93% of food on our tables comes from Australian farmers

After purchasing their first farm in 2017, Northern Rivers farmers Bianca Tarrant and Dave McGiveron were faced with a series of unfortunate events —a slew of horrific bushfires, the worst drought in Australian history, supply chain ambiguity, and plummeting stock and produce prices.

“Our 2018 and 2019 rainfalls were some of the lowest on record, and then the fires came through. You just felt a little beaten at that stage…. you ran off no sleep, you’re just trying to protect your home and your assets and the grass that you did have for livestock and things like that. So it was pretty tough.”

Black Summer bushfires rip through the Bianca and Dave’s Northern Rivers farm

On top of all that, Bianca was constantly dealing with the additional burden of uncertain farmgate pricing.

“As a farmer, you don’t really know what price you’re going to get for the livestock or the fruit and veggies that you produce. You’re just in a commodity market and you take the price that’s offered on the day.”

It was during this dire period that Bianca and Dave received something in the mail to lift their spirits. Rural Aid had sent them a Christmas card created by primary school students saying, ‘Merry Christmas, thank you so much for everything that you do to produce our food.’

Bianca describes being overwhelmed by emotion at this act of kindness. “We just started crying. It doesn’t sound like much but when you’re extremely deep in feeding cattle and no water and no grass and fires and everything else, you can’t even paint the picture of how bad it was, just to receive something as simple as a nice Christmas card from some kids in the city that you’ve never met before that are thinking about you.”

Feeling supported during their lowest moments sprouted the seedling of an idea to start their own business. They established their paddock-to-plate meat delivery service, Our Cow, to help farmers across the country get a fair and consistent price for their livestock and to connect them to where their food goes.

The ‘Our Cow’ factory in Casino, NSW

“We saw how strong the support for farmers and rural communities is, and we had a vision to create an everlasting connection between farmers and the people who purchase their food … Rarely as a farmer do you know where your produce ends up and it’s extremely rewarding to know a family just like yours, in your own country is sitting down and enjoying the fruits of your labour,” Bianca said.

93% of food on our tables comes from Australian farmers,1 yet of farmers surveyed by Rural Aid more than three quarters (76%) of Australian farmers believe that the role they play is undervalued by the Australian public.2 Bianca believes it’s time this changes:

“We’re providing the food that people eat, the fibre for their clothes, the milk for their coffee. Everything that consumers touch every day has come from a farmer in some way. And it doesn’t just turn up on your dinner plate without a lot of challenges in the background.”

Dave continues, “to put it in perspective. It’s nearly three years before we get an income out of one animal off of our farm.”

Bianca and Dave at their property in Northern Rivers

Rural Aid will continue to stand with our farmers when they need it most, offering vital financial, volunteer, resource, and counselling assistance when and where it’s needed most. If our farmers suffer, we all suffer—but a strong farming industry means a stronger Australia.

From the farm to the table… every plate tells a story.