So far, I’ve only opened the left door of my rental car once, expecting to slide in behind the steering wheel that on this continent is on the opposite side. That means, of course, it’s necessary to drive on the left side of the road here. That’s just one of many differences between Canada and Australia. But for a country where things are so different, for farmers on both continents their circumstances are also remarkably alike.
Many of the same things that are important to Canadian farmers are also on the minds of producers here — such as commodity prices and the weather. But the weather here can be brutally dry, and growing a successful crop every year in many parts of the country is far from assured. The machinery Australian farmers run through their fields is, in some cases, identical. And in many cases not.
I came to Australia to attend one of the country’s premier machinery shows in the nation’s fertile Liverpool Plains in New South Wales. After that show ended, I thought it was time to head off further into the heartland to get a better feel for what it would be like to live and farm here.
I spent a day on the road with my camera, stopping to talk to farmers whenever the opportunity presented itself. Here are just bits of what I saw.
For as much as the rural activities, infrastructure, problems and general lifestyles seem almost the same, the sights, as you’ll see, aren’t all that familiar. That’s what hits you about this country, we’re so much alike, but yet we’re so different.