Farmers on the front line of climate change

By Verity Morgan-Schmidt
December 22 2017 - 8:00am
Farmers on the front line of climate change
Farmers on the front line of climate change

Not long after leaving school, I followed the well-trodden path of many farm girls and boys; packing my bags and joining a shearing team. Through 40-plus degree days of skirting fleeces and grinding blades (hot tip, this is not a good way to cool down) on the edge of the pastoral country during a Western Australian summer as a 17-year-old, I had no idea the suffocating heat was rapidly becoming a defining feature of our changing climate. Fast forward more than a decade and as I write this, in Crookwell, NSW it’s 38 degrees and a local sheep farmer has come in from an early morning start – forced to muster his lambs before the inescapable heat stresses livestock, and farmers. Shaking his head as the sweat drips down, he wonders how to adjust to temperatures 14 degrees above average.

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