THE Australian Year of the Farmer roadshow has been pulled from touring commitments for the rest of the year due to lack of resources.
The roadshow hit financial troubles despite being given an initial $1.2 million in funding from the federal Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, and a further $500,000 in March.
Communications manager Jacqueline Baptisto said it was a case of underestimating the amount of cost and travel involved in the roadshow.
“Basically we travelled three times the kilometres in the first three months than we planned,” she said. “I suppose as much as anything we underestimated the interest in the roadshow, so due to lack of resources we’ve had to pull out.”
Ms Baptisto said the program decided to prioritise where their remaining funding would be spent for the rest of the year.
“There are still huge amounts of outreach programs continuing for the rest of the year. On top of that there are communities all over the country putting on Year of the Farmer events every day, and we’re helping to facilitate that.
“It’s really hard to be disappointing all those other shows, and letting the roadshow crew go was devastating.”
Nationals Senator for Victoria Bridget McKenzie said it was an unsatisfactory end to a project that had government backing and strong commercial support.
“It is disappointing that such a great idea with fantastic corporate and community support has not come to a more positive conclusion. (It) is no indication of the passion and commitment of those who work hard to put food on the table of ordinary Australians right across the country each week,” she said.
“Every year should be celebrated as Year of the Farmer.”