NSW Farmers advocates for a profitable and sustainable NSW farming sector
NSW Farmers is an Association of farmers and stakeholders of the agriculture industry. Our members gather in branches right across NSW to discuss the issues affecting their businesses and to learn about agricultural topics. The grassroots branch structure creates a framework for knowledge transfer and for identifying the issues that affect farmers at local, state and federal levels.
Our members come from every aspect of the farming sector. To be eligible for a voting membership of NSW Farmers, members are required to have a proprietorial interest in a farming enterprise, be the manager of a farm or have close employment or family connections with an existing NSW Farmers member.
NSW Farmers is an advocacy group for the farming sector, championing the rights of farmers and rural communities at all levels of government and with industry stakeholders. We are apolitical, independent from government, and our policy is driven from the grassroots up.
We are Not For Profit and act proactively, responsively and with integrity.
Our farmers continue to face a growing number of challenges from home and abroad, which stand to impact farmers’ lives, businesses and the future of our state and country. It is the responsibility of each and every farmer in NSW to face these challenges, make their voice heard and ensure that they are a member of NSW Farmers.
A proud history
NSW Farmers in its various incarnations has supported the agriculture industry in NSW since the 1800s, fighting for rural industries and country people in times of both peace and war.
One of NSW Farmers’ predecessors, The Pastoralists' Union of NSW, was formed in 1890 to counter an attempt by the Shearers Union to enforce a ‘closed shop’ in shearing sheds meaning that farmers would be forced to only hire Shearers Union members. The Pastoralists’ success in this famous industrial dispute was to be the start of a range of farming industrial bodies, each with proud histories and long lists of achievements.
In 1916 The Pastoralists’ Union of NSW changed its name to the Graziers’ Association of NSW.
NSW Farmers as we know it today was formed in 1978 under the name the Livestock and Grain Producers’ Association of NSW (LGPA NSW) by the amalgamation of the Graziers’ Association of NSW, the Farmers’ and Settlers’ Association and the Riverina Graziers’ Association creating a strong, unified voice for agriculture in NSW. Each of these organisations had individually fought for rural industries and country people. They helped overcome the problems of isolation, poor communication, the transport and handling of produce, union militancy and the vicissitudes of climate. They also fulfilled the need for unity among scattered small producers if they were to be fairly treated in the marketplace, before the industrial courts and in the political process. All major beneficial changes enjoyed by rural and regional Australia can be traced back to the efforts of these bodies.
On 1 January 1987 this Association changed its name to the NSW Farmers’ Association.
NSW Farmers continues to grow and represent the needs of an ever changing agriculture industry.
In 1995 the United Oyster Growers Council of NSW joined as a specialist commodity group.
In 1998 the NSW Chicken Growers Council merged with NSW Farmers' Association.
In 2001 the NSW Dairy Farmers’ Association re-joined the Association.
In 2002 the NSW branch of Pork Council of Australia merged with NSW Farmers' Association.
NSW Farmers champions the interests of farmers of all shapes and sizes, living out the values of a strong, unified voice calling for the interests of the agriculture industry.