Students at Longerenong College picked the brain of one of Victoria's top agricultural advocates during a special visit on Monday.
Victorian Farmers Federation president Emma Germano and chief executive Jane Lovell sat down with the young farmers to talk about the industry and advocacy.
In her speech, Ms Germano highlighted the importance of solid political advocacy for farmers and how policy can affect day-to-day work.
"This notion of being someone who drops out of school and then goes back on the farm - these days you have to be a genius to run a farming operation," she said.
"I've seen pictures from the VFF of 30 or 40 years ago where 1000 farmers drive up to Spring Street in their tractors and trucks and make a big spectacle of it.
"That style of advocacy just doesn't work for us anymore because there just isn't enough farmers turn up with their truckloads of manure or rotten oranges to dump on the steps of parliament.
"Advocacy has changed, it has become more sophisticated, and we are having these trade-off conversations with politicians all of the time."
Ms Lovell said the trip aimed to meet members face-to-face and better understand issues affecting farmers.
"To understand the issues and concerns of farmers and regional communities, it's vital to visit in person and hear directly from our members and the broader farming community," she said.
"Our agriculture industry has been incredibly resilient over the past 12 months, but now is the time to reconnect with our members face-to-face."
Ms Lovell attended a meeting with branch members and agriculture representatives at the Royal Hotel afterwards to discuss issues affecting farmers in the region.
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