Empower Australians to support our farmers by creating an independent and not-for-profit company, funded by public and philanthropic donations, to buy Australian farms, manage them according to best practice, and to re-invest in rural communities.

Australian farms and Australian agricultural is under threat from inappropriate peri-urban development and increasingly complex markets and trade agreements. There are tensions between the interests of the nation and those of foreign investors, as exemplified by current negotiations over the Kidman company.

My big idea is an opportunity for every Australian to support the sustainability of Australian agriculture.

I propose establishing a not-for-profit, independent company whose mission is to acquire Australian agricultural properties, to manage them profitably and according to best-practice science, to re-invest profits into the properties it maintains and in the pursuit of acquiring new properties, to provide Australians with skilled employment opportunities in the agricultural sector, to sustain, support and encourage Australia’s rural communities through its activities, and to act as an advocate for the interests of Australian farmers in matters relating to investment, water rights, markets and trade agreements.

This company would be self-sustaining, funded by public donations, philanthropy and bequests. This business model works in the conservation field – see Bush Heritage Australia as an example – and would be more successful in agriculture, because it would acquire assets that would continue to generate income.

A committee of agricultural scientists and market experts would advise the management team and board on the operations of the farms owned by the company and the best and most profitable markets for their products. Value would be placed on sustainable outcomes and partnering with the research community to implement best-practice agriculture and develop new products, such as Australian indigenous crops.

My big idea would create skilled jobs in regional Australia and strengthen and support rural communities through employment, investment and genuine engagement.

NSW Primary Industries is a partner in the My Big idea campaign: a pilot program could be tested in NSW before roll-out to other states.

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