With more than 30 years of agricultural experience, Jennifer Jeffrey was appointed to the Rural Financial Council Northern Region as a Farm liaison officer on Tuesday, specifically to travel throughout the Northern, Central and Western parts of NSW.
Her appointment was officially confirmed by the Minister for Agriculture Daivd Littleproud and the Member for New England Barnaby Joyce outside the new APVMA Building on Friday morning.
Jennifer said her job will be on a two-year contract to connect farmers with services by finding out what they need and how they can be supported.
I’ll be visiting little towns, some that people have never heard of.Jennifer Jeffrey
“I have extensive experience working at government, non-government and not for profit organisations, so, I’ll be rebuilding all my networks,” she said.
“This role is focused on supporting farmers and gathering information that will help the government to further support them into the future.”
Jennifer came from a farming family. Her parents had a poultry farm and she married a farmer, so has “boots on the ground” knowledge of working on the land.
“I’ve developed a very strong focus on rural communities over the last 30 years. I’ve spent the last six or seven years just working in rural communities; so talking with farmers, talking with locals, talking to small business people,” she said.
“I hope to be able to prove information to the department that they’re looking for so that can help them to inform any programs for the future. So, it’s intelligence gathering on the ground, not sitting in a Canberra office.”
Mr Littleproud said Jennifer’s job was to make sure the government’s multi-faceted programs totalling about $7 billion were hitting the mark.
“We don’t want Canberra solutions, we want local solutions,” he said.
“And that’s why we’ve employed Jennifer, to hit the road and get out there and listen, along with Barnaby and me and Major General Day, to sit at the kitchen table and listen to farmers.
“This is an ongoing commitment. Our government will continue to be agile.”