Georgie Somerset and Lorraine Crothers at the Dirranbandi AgForce meeting.
Georgie Somerset and Lorraine Crothers at the Dirranbandi AgForce meeting. Sharon Purcell

Regional tour sees AgForce president discuss hot topics

DIRRANBANDI and Roma were the final stops on a week-long meetings tour for AgForce general president Georgie Somerset.

Making the rounds across the Western Downs, Balonne and Maranoa last week, Mrs Somerset spoke with members, explaining what she has been doing since taking over the presidency in November, and where AgForce needed to improve.

She said they needed to become stronger to make a greater impact in their advocacy.

"Our mission is advancing sustainable agribusiness, and the reason we chose that is because our products are worth nothing without the supply chain,” she said.

"While we are completely member-focussed, our products are only valuable when we do something with them in some way.

"The other piece of that is that we need the whole supply chain to actually advocate for us because we are too small to do all this on our own.”

Mrs Somerset said the group was working harder than ever in the halls of power to advocate for better agricultural policy.

"I'm trying to re-build some bridges into George St in Brisbane and we have had some good meetings in the last couple of weeks with both opposition and government,” she said.

"There are more coming up in the next couple of weeks, and they might be a bit tougher but we will see how they go.

"I don't think politicians realise the long-form nature of what we are doing, or the breadth of the work we do, or the number of people (in AgForce) who are actively engaged in policy development.

"We are not a one-man band and I am really clear that this is grass-roots, producer-driven policy that is science-based and evidence-based.”