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Our “golden era” has arrived

There is a great sense of optimism right across regional NSW and farmers are backing up the claim that we are, in fact, in a “golden era” for agriculture.

And when our farmers do well, we know our communities right across NSW are thriving.

We have seen one of our best winter crop seasons in recent history with record yields and after a busy harvest it will be a great reward to see money flow back through the farm gate.

Our people working the land across this great State have plenty to be confident about heading into the new year and are making the most of a stellar finish to 2016 by increasing summer crop plantings by 51 per cent, according to the latest estimates.

The NSW National Party will always reinvest in the hard work and ingenuity that goes into producing our primary products to make our agricultural sector more profitable and sustainable for future generations.

Last week, I travelled to Rimanui Cotton farm, west of Moree, with the Member for the Northern Tablelands, Adam Marshall, to announce $14.7 million in funding for the cotton and grain industries.

Family farms are a major driver of jobs in our regional centres.

Did you know that the average Australian cotton farm creates 6-7 jobs directly in the industry with an average age of 39 for growers managing cotton operations?

Adam and I got a crash-course (no pun intended) in flying drones over the Rimanui cotton fields and got a close look at how quickly farmers are adapting technology to become more efficient and productive on the land.

Up-skilling today’s workers and providing subsidised industry training for the new generation of workers that will take the industry into the future is a key priority of the NSW Nationals.

Regional NSW is a fantastic place to live and work which is why we are investing a record amount of money in regional infrastructure and our Future Towns Program which I look forward to telling you more about next week.

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