As a journalist for 27 years before entering parliament, it’s an honour to be the Patron of the Farm Writers' Association of NSW. This network of highly regarded rural journalists and agri-communicators has played a significant role in building awareness of the agricultural sector, its people and communities, and the issues faced by the people of rural NSW.
The importance of fostering communication to bridge the information gap between rural and metropolitan communities cannot be underestimated, and I’m proud to be involved in this work as Patron of the Association.
The work of the Farm Writers' Association of NSW has helped educate countless people of the important role the agricultural industry plays in all our lives – how food ends up on our tables, the impact our scientists have on crop and farm animal sustainability, the number of jobs the sector provides and the contribution it makes to overall economic viability of NSW.
In fact, the NSW primary industries sector now contributes $20.9 billion in total primary industries output, strengthening the social, environmental and economic wellbeing of many rural and regional communities.
The support the Farm Writers' Association of NSW provides to its members in terms of connection and opportunities for discussion of current or emerging industry developments is to be commended.
The association has had an impressive impact over the years. I applaud the ongoing work of the Farm Writers' Association of NSW and its hard-working committee for their efforts.
The Hon. Dugald Saunders, MP
Minister for Agriculture
Minister for Western NSW