FARMERS say there is a need to ''sex up'' the image of Australian agriculture.
The call for an image makeover has come from farmers who have in recent months participated in forums, workshops, interviews and surveys on the future of agriculture in this country. More than 3700 farmers participated.
The sessions have been held as the National Farmers' Federation and other groups involved in agriculture research a policy document called the ''Blueprint for Australian Agriculture'', which tries to influence policy development and innovation.
Concerns among farmers about their image emerged as one of the key themes. Participants called for agriculture ''to be made a national priority'', to be advertised as a ''wonderful career opportunity'' and promoted as ''a relevant, viable industry which offers Australians access to the best produce in the world''.
They also called for the efforts of Australia's farming forefathers to be recognised, and that ''farmers need to be recognised for having an affinity and an emotional connection with the land comparable to indigenous Australians.''
NFF chief executive officer Matt Linnegar said the information showed ''there are issues with image,'' which can impact on the ability to attract workers.
Asked what was meant by the call to ''sex up'' agriculture's image, Mr Linnegar said: ''Farmers generally don't want to blow their own trumpet, but perhaps we need to get past that and start selling the message a little better.''