Almost 4 year ago I was dragged kicking and screaming into the world of online advocacy, the live export ban had just been put in place, the Ban Live Export Supporters were jumping up and down for joy and hurling abuse at farmers and the farmers themselves had been caught completely unprepared and were just learning the power of social media.
Fast forward to the present day and its a completely different story – ok not much has changed re: the hurling of abuse but where once an Animal Right’s group could launch a campaign and be met with stunned silence from farmers and cheers from their supporters, Australian Farmers and their supporters are fighting back and making their voices heard.
In less then four years we have seen the start of such amazing pages as Aussie Farms, Ask The Farmers, Peterson Farm Bros, I am Agriculture Proud, Farmers 4 Animal Welfare, Dairy Carrie, Onward Murray Greys, Rural Miss and many, many more – these are just the ones that immediately spring to mind for me. Yes, some of these are American pages but they are still fighting the exact same fight with Animal Rights Activists (ARA’s) that we are here in Australia and doing a brilliant job of building support for all farmers in the process.
In less then four years it has gone from me staring in horror at some of the things that come across my timeline and the blatant misrepresentation of facts by certain factions (sad to say THAT is still happening) and only being challenged by a minute number of people to me rolling my eyes at yet another piece of propaganda and then smiling with pride at the number of people from all walks of life telling them they are wrong and holding them to account.
To those that have been on the front lines of this fight since day one- both farmers and non-farmers (you know who you all are) I take my hat off to you and say again how proud I am to know you all, you guys and girls are the ones who stepped up to the plate and made this happen. It was you leading the way that has given others the courage and know how to follow in your footsteps. Well done and I hope you are every bit as proud of what you have managed to accomplish in a relatively short time as I am. I look forward to seeing what you will have accomplished in another four years.