THE Victorian Farmers Federation is a family affair for the Gulline family of Longerenong.
Farmer Robyn Gulline, her two children Isabella and Will, and her father-in-law Graeme all attend meetings of the VFF's Wimmera branch together.
"Our family has always been members, but I've been actively involved since 2014. Graeme has been involved since the the 1960s and before amalgamation of the branches," Mrs Gulline said.
"At the start of 2014, I said to Graeme that I'd take him to a meeting - and we've been going together ever since.
"We get people from all over coming to meetings. It's a very diverse group and I always come home having learnt something new.
"I've been active in the rates debate and the road transport movement that is the realignment of the Western Highway."
Mrs Gulline was voted onto the VFFs Industrial Association last year as its treasurer. This year she is the association's president.
"That group is responsible for monitoring all the workplace laws - whether it's Occupational Health and Safety or the different awards. We're currently dealing the industrial manslaughter laws and providing our feedback to that," she said.
"Through that association, I'm also on the National Farmers Federation's Workplace Committee."
She said Wimmera farmers benefited from having many state and national industry leaders in the region.
"Having people like (VFF president and Murra Warra farmer) David Jochinke and (Grain Producers Australia chairman and Rupanyup farmer) Andrew Weidemann in the region definitely helps us," she said.
"We have VFF Grains Group members who do come to the Wimmera meetings and brief us on what's happening."
Mrs Gulline's children Isabella and Will have been VFF members since 2018 and 2017, respectively.
Isabella, 22, moved home to Longerenong last year after university, and has worked at Horsham's Grains Innovation Park, BASF and Birchip Cropping Group.
She said she didn't plan on working at the family farm.
"That's Will's job. I'm leaning towards an advocacy and research type of role. I am certainly interested in being in some kind of advisory role for the farm later on," she said.
"I'm working casually in research at the moment and getting involved in some of the other groups. I'm learning how this industry works.
"I've always enjoyed talking to people and telling them things they don't know, so advocacy and teaching seemed like a really good route to go down."
Will, 21, attended Longerenong College and studied an Advanced Diploma of Agribusiness.
"After that I went up to Queensland to work on farms - cropping, cotton and sheep. It was great to work for someone else," he said.
"The plan will be to eventually take over from mum. It's common for people to go away for a while and come back home to the family farm."
Mrs Gulline said this was a trend in the region.
"There's a trend for children to go away and work with others, and learn new things to bring home. I have lots of friends who have done degrees in a whole range of things and then come home in their 30s and settle at the farm," she said.
"It brings a different perspective and broadens your horizons. If you've only ever worked for the family and you've had no other experiences, your knowledge and experience is quite limited."
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