NSW Farmers launches Country Connections membership for city people; response to dairy crisis

PACKAGE PERKS: NSW Farmers' new Country Connectionns membership package is open to city or even town residents who didn’t own a farm. Photo: Ian Waldie/Getty Images
PACKAGE PERKS: NSW Farmers' new Country Connectionns membership package is open to city or even town residents who didn’t own a farm. Photo: Ian Waldie/Getty Images

‘TOWNIES’ who don’t farm – but want to support the people who do – will be able to join NSW Farmers with its new Country Connections membership.

Public affairs director Kathleen Curry said the package was a different spin on an old metro membership option, and was prompted by the recent dairy crisis.

For $50 a year, members will receive a monthly newsletter with farmer stories, backyard fruit and veggie growing advice, cooking tips and recipes, and discounts on farmstays, fresh produce and health insurance.

Ms Curry said Country Connections was “a category for anybody who really cares about farmers and is interested in what they face and go through”.

She said the membership package was open to city or even town residents who didn’t own a farm.

“The idea of it came about following the dairy crisis,” she said.

“We had a lot of people - particularly those based in city areas – calling us on a daily basis, asking us, ‘What kind of milk should we be buying to support dairy farmers?’, so we know there’s a real thirst for wanting to help.”

Ms Curry said there could be “a real disconnect between the city and the bush”.

However, many city residents had agriculture in their background or simply recognised its importance.

“It’s really encouraging when you hear of people - and we met hundreds of them at the Royal Easter Show - who are based in the city and who talk about how their grandfather was a farmer.

“They don’t really have that connection anymore [but] want to be connected.”