Introducing one of the Active Farmers Patrons
Introducing one of our first Patron’s - Gerard Hines
We are super excited to announce our first patron of Active Farmers!!! Gerard has been a supporter of Active Farmers from the very beginning and we are extremely grateful! To celebrate our first patron announcement we caught up with Gerard so that you can get to know him!
Why did you decide to join the Active Farmers Board?
As our company are the founding Sponsors of Active Farmers, I felt that to best reflect our companies and my commitment to the cause, and to ensure Ginny had enough support and ability to fundraise effectively into the Agri sector, especially during the Not For Profit (NFP) establishment phase, it would be a very worthwhile thing for me to be involved in and to further contribute to.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I grew up on a 4th generation family farm at Wallendbeen in Southern NSW, attended Orange Ag College, and always thought I would also be a farmer. I had a nasty accident in 1987 which resulted in me taking some time out from the farm, and I pursued an opportunity in the agri services space with a local fertiliser company. I really enjoyed the retail and distribution sector, and then was fortunate to have the opportunity to get into my own small business with some experienced industry participants. Nearly 30 years later I am still loving the challenges and opportunities to work with great colleagues to create and build a broad and diverse agribusiness (Delta Agribusiness) that focuses on rewarding shareholders, developing career opportunities for our people, and contributes strongly to adding value to our customers, communities, and profitable and sustainable agriculture.
What do you love about Regional Australia?
I love the authenticity, diversity, sense of humour and resilience of rural people. Farmers and rural communities are very innovative, have a deep and strong commitment to not only being a critical provider of food and fibre, but are passionate about the communities they are a part of, genuinely care for each other, and are trusting and honest people striving to make a difference for their families and communities.
Why is it so important that Regional Australian’s have access to services that are abundant in the city?
There will always be a trade off between what’s possible from a services perspective in a large city, that also comes with all its intensity, stress, affordability and other issues, compared to living in the relaxed, peaceful regional areas with reduced infrastructure and services. The main reason Ginny created Active Farmers was to recognise and address the rising prevalence of a declining mental wellness and the prevalence of rural suicide which is on the rise. Farming is getting more and more isolated with increased automation and improved technologies, which is great for efficiencies, but detrimental in some ways for health, fitness and emotional wellbeing. Its very important to recognise the pressure points, and to find ways to fill the gaps where possible in these rural and remote areas to help address this trend by providing qualified support and resources around fitness and well-being. Just bringing people together regularly with a common purpose so they can communicate and discuss there issues is a major step in the right direction, and Active Farmers is one such initiative that is making a difference.
Why did you decide to become a Patron?
I was kindly asked by Ginny, and I feel honored to be invited to be a patron, and gratefully accept this position. It will also allow me to remain connected to Active Farmers in a very meaningful way, and continue to hopefully be an influencer and supporter for healthy and happy rural communities.
What would you say to someone thinking of becoming a Patron?
It’s a honor to be invited, and I would encourage anyone to accept such a privilege.
Thank you so much Gerard!!!
Our next patron will be announced soon!