IT'S fair to say it has not been the easiest of years for the agriculture sector.
Headlining the list of woes has been the seemingly never-ending drought up and down the east coast and pushing into parts of South Australia, but it has not just been the climate causing farmers to pull their hair out.
High profile farm invasions from animal rights crusaders, the worldwide condemnation of the cropping sector's most important herbicide in glyphosate and vociferous vegan activists questioning livestock producers' social licence and right to farm have all made life difficult for Australia's rural sector in 2019.
However, president of the National Farmers Federation (NFF) Fiona Simson says the adversity will only make ag stronger as she contemplates the year that was in the lead up to National Ag Day, to be held this Thursday, November 21.
As Australians across the country are urged to don green for the day in recognition of the event and reflect on the efforts of farmers producing clean and safe food and fibre Ms Simson said support that had come in for the nation's primary producers had been overwhelming.
"There have been some positives out of the events of this year, we've received wonderful support from a lot of quarters and we've also seen members of our own industry, in particular young people, step up and become fantastic advocates," Ms Simson said.
"Getting our message out to the broader community is just going to become more and more important as we consider issues such as social licence and the right to farm it is why we at NFF are involved in the Telling Our Story campaign and ensuring people are connected to their country's farmers."
"There's a lot of great work getting done on highlighting our serious sustainability credentials."
"The research shows Australians are very conscious consumers when it comes to their food purchases and we need to ensure people stay connected, reconnect or connect for the first time with the farmers that provide the fresh food they eat every day."
NFF research showed 74 per cent of Australian consumers looked for ethically sourced food, such as free range eggs, RSPCA approved meat and sustainably caught fish.
Ms Simson said creating this connection was about more than just selling product.
"We truly need the public to allow us our social licence to operate and initiatives such as National Ag Day are a good way of engaging with people and to highlight the great work we are doing in areas such as environmental management."
"With issues such as glyphosate we need to get on the front foot and explain how and why we use it."
"Over time it is fair to say we have focused on the production side and have not got as involved in promotion, but we've seen whether you are chicken or cotton or whatever you can come under attack when people don't understand the issues so we really need to get out there and tell our story."
"With National Ag Day there are lots of good things happening and we urge people in agriculture to get involved however they can."
"It is a really busy time of year for many farmers, but maybe shoot a quick photo or video for social media or even do something as simple as ring a mate in the city and ask them to raise a glass to our farmers it all raises the profile of agriculture and the good things we are doing."
Australian Community Media is the proud media partner for National Ag Day.