A Millennial New Year’s Resolution

Last year, I didn’t go home for Christmas.

I didn’t go home because I already was home, for the first time in over ten years.

After more than a decade of being based in the big smoke and collecting a wide range of friends, colleagues and acquaintances – and followers – along the way, I made the move from inner city Melbourne back to the Darling Downs.

Before moving, I had grand plans of documenting my transition from city to country life, and from working in corporate to family business. Reality struck, time got away from me and since making the move, I’ve posted only a small number of updates to my online profiles.

Nevertheless, the few times I have posted about my new day-to-day, I have received a surprisingly large response from my online connections, often people who I’d least expect to engage with farm content. Many of them tell me they’d love to see more, and several others tell me that if they did not know me, they would know nothing about how a farm works or what farm life looks like.

In this day and age the power of professional online influencers is obvious; but the power of every day individuals shouldn’t be taken for granted either.

As young people, well-connected and versed with technology and the internet, we have the greatest opportunity to capture our peers as an audience and keep our lives in agriculture on their radar. To tell our story from our point of view and to help them feel a sense of connection to what we do and how we live.

People won’t defend or advocate for something they know nothing or don’t care about; how many examples are there where policies that work against those in agriculture have been passed? Or consumers complain about something having no idea how things work in reality? You don’t have to think too hard to come up with a solid number of examples, such as tractors marching through Dutch CBDs over the approach to emission reductions or Sri Lanka going into turmoil over a legislated move to organic food production. You must wonder what the politicians’ connection to and understanding of the food supply chain was to have passed those laws in the first place.

Content can lead to conversations that ignite ideas, expand networks and open doors, in ways you may never know.

The colleague from your first job might now opt for natural fibre products over synthetic alternatives because they understand how they’re grown.

Someone you went to school with may become a politician and have a better idea of implications when voting on policies that impact your everyday life.

Or someone you’ve never met might simply appreciate what went into growing the food they eat every day a little more.

All these little influences help build a bigger, more connected and better-informed support base for our industry and everyone within it.

Really, this feels like a long-winded way of saying that I intend to share more of my farm life, professional and personal, with the online world in 2024. And I think you should too.

Author: Lauren Roellgen (FFN Director & Vice Chair)