What farmers want online.

What farmers want online.

Many farmers are turning online to grow their knowledge and build their networks in order to better arm themselves with the resources they need to grow their businesses and connect with others doing similar things.

However, there are inherent problems that we need to solve to ensure good information is disseminated in an improved way and to safeguard the wealth of information in the heads of experienced and older farmers.

We have spoken to farmers across Australia and two key things continue to come up, time and time again:

Information overload is overwhelming

Farmers have voiced that a great deal of information is received online and offline, and although there can be very useful aspects of information at times, ‘information overload’ was perceived as a real issue and could be seen as overwhelming. Producers are having trouble disseminating all information received in order to make valuable and practical change in their businesses.

Farmers have suggested that that a system where you can select different filters, to tailor information to your particular needs and interest would be useful to start overcoming this issue. The ability to create your own online personal library, rather than have to sift through a great deal of information, has been suggested as a way to better interact with resources online.

Working together makes sense

Farmers we have spoken to are pro-sharing. They have told us that they enjoying sharing information and that there shouldn’t be inherent competition between us. The more growers/producers work together, the bigger the scale, and the better bargaining power available to Australian farmers to be competitive on the global market scale, of which should be portrayed as a win/win for all Australian farmers.

Farmers suggested that creating an industry specific, trusted platform, where farmers can ask questions and seek information from their peers (locally, regionally and globally). Developing a platform of information sharing with like-minded farmers was seen as greatly beneficial to the industry, as we can share both good stories along with the lessons learnt and mistakes made.

We are working hard at the Farm Table to develop a vehicle for the Australian agricultural industry that meets these two issues head on.

But, the exciting bit is not the platform itself.

The real story is in the conversations, connections and knowledge gained through this enabling platform. The exciting bit is what we can achieve as an industry if we all come together in a way we haven’t seen before.

See the full website here www.farmtable.com.au

Airlie Landale

Airlie Landale is an Agricultural Economist and Independent Consultant at Landale Rural who works part time on her family farm out of Deniliquin. With a background in commercial business, farming and corporate agriculture and a passion for the Australian agricultural industry. Prior to Farm Table Airlie worked at Macquarie Bank as an Agricultural Business Analyst and was named as a ‘Tomorrow Maker’ by the AMP Foundation. As well as this Airlie was NSW Rural Young Achiever of the year.

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