Fiona Simson is a farmer from the Liverpool Plains in New South Wales (NSW) where she, husband Ed and family run a mixed farming enterprise including broad acre farming and breeding commercial poll Hereford cattle.
With tertiary qualifications in business and education, Fiona’s passion for local food production and the growth and sustainability of rural and regional Australia led to a career in local government as an elected Councillor in Liverpool Plains Shire Council and an elected representative of NSW Farmers’ Association. In 2016, she became the first female President of the National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) in its 37 year history. Fiona has stepped up to her role in safeguarding the interests and of Australian farmers by campaigning for their rights and raising awareness for the agriculture industry on a national level. Several of her greatly publicised efforts in acknowledge the impact of climate change on the land and it’s effects on farmers as well as her call for an increase in government support for farmers. “It is an honour and privilege to represent Australian farmers at the national level and to be elected as the NFF’s first female president,” says Fiona. “To me, it’s a great acknowledgement that women contribute tremendously on farm, along the value chain and increasingly as thought leaders and public advocates for agriculture.”
She adds that her focus is on developing and advocating for policies that benefits farmers not just in terms of what they produce, but also in reaping the rewards of any increases in value along the food and fibre supply chain. Fiona further states, “I also want to make sure that farmers, producers and rural and regional based agribusinesses have access to communications technology that gets them better connected to their customers and allows them to reach out to global markets. To achieve this agenda, I will be focusing on strengthening the NFF’s capacity to provide a strong and united voice, and be the sector’s leader in addressing industry challenges and creating opportunities in the new economy.”
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