Open gate conversations seek to the close rural-urban gap

It’s the digital campaign providing answers to the big farming questions such as, ‘are farmers concerned about water usage?’ all in the hopes of breaking down barriers between city and country.

In the world of social media it can be hard to separate the fact from the fiction, especially when it comes to agriculture. But, what if there were a way to replace search engines with real, living and breathing farmers, willing to answer any and all questions about ag? Especially the prickly ones.

Well, that is exactly what one digital farming campaign is doing…

Open Gate Conversations is an initiative by the Victorian Farmers Federation and state government, aimed at providing transparency about how Victoria’s food and fibre is produced. Already, more than 50 farmers and organisations have volunteered to ‘open their gates’ virtually, answering questions of animal welfare, food security, and waste.

Compiled online through a series of Q&As, the webpage is a place to debunk myths, provide insight, and even, give tips about Australian produce, practice and livestock. To date, more than 70 consumer questions have been asked, while the page itself has already garnered more than 20,000 visitors.

Of the questions asked, around 50% were to do with animal welfare, while questions on post-supermarket produce handling, sustainability and the price of everyday items were also frequently asked.

Each question is sent to a Victorian farmer (or farming organisation) to be answered, before being uploaded to the website, creating a direct link between farmers and consumers. One, it is hoped, that will show the significant role Aussie farmers play as stewards of the countryside.

Click the images below to find the answers to two important questions about Australian farming.

Maddison Langley

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