Challenge

To enhance the ties between rural and urban communities, to foster greater understanding and respect in order to celebrate the impact of farming on the economy, change attitudes and encourage more people to consider a career in agriculture.

The program also needed to secure sponsorship and grants, in order to fund its ambitious industry, community and schools outreach plans, which included year-long roadshows and events in every state and territory.

Response

  • We undertook market research to understand and benchmark Australian’s perception of agriculture.
  • We created special feature publications within the Rural Press Network, established a popular website, launched and managed a highly successful social media presence.
  • We launched a ‘Proud Supporter’ program, which established strong relationships with 438 industry and education organisations, representing a network of hundreds of thousands of advocates. These relationships led to coverage in hundreds of membership newsletters, industry magazines, on multiple websites and in over 360 events, which adopted a Year of the Farmer theme. Proud Supporters included Rotary Clubs of Australia, Australian Rural Women’s Coalition (250,000 women nationally), Landcare, industry associations, Chambers of Commerce, schools and colleges.
  • We established key relationships with Patron Governor-General Dame Quentin Bryce AD CVO and appropriate celebrity and industry Ambassadors including former Australian test cricketer Glenn McGrath.
  • We secured commercial sponsorship of $5m with Elders, Woolworths, Suncorp Bank, Toyota, Fairfax, ABC, ooh Media, Building Brand Australia, Australian Wool Innovation, with value in kind support of well in excess of this figure.
  • We built and managed nine individual travelling roadshow exhibits, which travelled the country and interacted with the community at hundreds of events.
  • Competitions throughout the year attracted over 7000 entries and created invaluable story and photography libraries of success stories and agricultural imagery.
  • We developed, implemented and embedded a national education program for schools with classroom materials for age groups K-10.
  • We created special feature publications within the Rural Press Network, established a popular website, launched and managed a highly successful social media presence.
  • We launched a ‘Proud Supporter’ program, which established strong relationships with 438 industry and education organisations, representing a network of hundreds of thousands of advocates. These relationships led to coverage in hundreds of membership newsletters, industry magazines, on multiple websites and in over 360 events, which adopted a Year of the Farmer theme. Proud Supporters included Rotary Clubs of Australia, Australian Rural Women’s Coalition (250,000 women nationally), Landcare, industry associations, Chambers of Commerce, schools and colleges.
  • A Cows for Careers art initiative engaged 1200 schools in a competition to learn about and reflect on agriculture through painting and decorating the ceramic cows.
  • We produced an educational video which was widely distributed.
  • We produced and distributed a community service announcement for TV and radio.
  • The Governor-General’s Australia Day address focused on agriculture.
  • We secured partnerships with Botanic Gardens around Australia who themed displays and hosted events throughout the year.
  • The National Jobs Guide 2012 was themed to agricultural careers and distributed to every Year 10 student in Australia.
  • National Skills Week 2012 focused on agriculture.
  • We persuaded The Mint to issue a celebratory Year of the Farmer collector coins and sold 14,000 coins.
  • We persuaded Australia Post to issue two series of Year of the Farmer stamps.
  • We established a database of 35,000 individuals and organisations committed to agriculture.
  • The Year was featured at the Australian Embassy in Washington on Australia Day.
  • We produced and published a feature publication to celebrate and reflect on the Year.
  • We were instrumental in initiating the National Agribusiness Education, Skills and Labour Taskforce.
  • We secured over 5,500 pieces of news coverage in top tier media and all levels of print and electronic media including embedding Year of the Farmer messaging into popular programs such as Great Outdoors and Farmer Wants a Wife.

 

The Year of the Farmer 2012 successfully changed the conversation about agribusiness in Australia – raising significant awareness of Australia’s innovative capability and the critical importance of agriculture to our nation’s economic and social fabric.