By Oli Le Lievre
Wow, well what a year it’s been, I feel like 2020 has thrown it all at us and then some. It only seemed fitting that I do a quick year in review from my bedroom - which has been my home and office this year.
At home in Australia, the lead in to 2020 was hazy, our cities spent months blanketed by smoke, our regions devastated by drought followed by the worst fires in history as we lived through the ‘Black Summer’ of 2019/20. 24 million hectares burnt, three billion animals were killed or displaced (9 News), followed by flooding rains the impacts of Climate Change on our doorstep with the world watching.
On the 8th of January I was in the freight facility at Melbourne Airport looking at Rock lobster bound for China as the first indications of the impact of Corona Virus began to show its face. Before we knew it our streets were empty and the shelves were bare, friends were losing jobs and a virus, in effect nature was in control. The world stopped.
With our lives fundamentally changing before our eyes I had so many questions that I wanted to ask - we needed to actually talk about these challenges, engage in real dialogue and challenge the status quo to deliver solutions that create more vibrant and prosperous societies.
In order to make agricultures influence in our daily lives relatable, I knew I needed to broaden our perspectives as who we see influencing our food and fibre system from paddock right through to plate. I needed people to share their own stories, yet I lacked the confidence and courage to speak about it myself and dreaded to put my face to it – my first video took me more than a week to upload after recording.
I reached out to Chef and co-Founder of Three Blue Ducks, Mark LaBrooy and with a gentle shove from Brianna Casey the Humans of Agriculture podcast was launched, complimenting our photo stories we were sharing.
Providing me the chance to ask those ‘dumb questions’ (that I really wanted to ask); to understand more about people, to get better at listening to their stories and develop my own understanding. Some 41 episodes on, our content has been downloaded more than 15,000 times in 56 countries around the world. Thank You!!
There’s been a lot of memorable moments and so I wanted to share a couple that really stand out and to me, they were moments when things clicked and I felt like maybe despite feeling like I was going around in circles there could be relevance:
And yet amongst a year of challenges, through grief and some incredibly lows, we were able to put the wheels in motion for a community of people that have an interest in bettering themselves and the world around them through their relationship with agriculture. Through sharing more than 105 stories we are able to create a better understanding of the role agriculture plays in the lives of every person everyday.
We’re 1% of the way to our goal of sharing 10,000 stories of people involved in agriculture. In 2021 we’re looking to partner with people and organisations that share our vision that agriculture is fundamental to healthier, happier and more prosperous communities. We know storytelling is incredibly powerful to help grow our understanding and shape the futures we desire.
So if you’re interested get in touch with me email@example.com as we get More People, More Often, Identifying with Agriculture.
I hope you have a safe Christmas, and that 2021 is a year of opportunity, that we continue to learn and adapt to the world we live in and that we acknowledge the importance of connection.
Stay safe and stay sane and see you in 2021!
Oli Le Lievre
Oli's experience is extensive for someone his age; from AgTech to production agriculture to consulting. He was a key member in the development of Australia's largest agrifood event in 2019. Oli's passionate about a resilient food system and believes engaged people are pivotal to this success.