A NEW rural social networking site has taken cyberspace by storm with more than 200 farmers nationwide connecting in the first two weeks.
Farmz.com.au targets people living and working in agriculture in Australia and was created to bridge the gap that exists in our nation's farming.
Farmz offers a central communication hub for farmers to stay in touch, share their experiences and develop new and valuable relationships with farmers from all over the country.
This is particularly valuable at a time when foreign land ownership and mining of prime agricultural land threatens the Australian agricultural industry.
"People on the land now rely on online tools and we wanted to create a dedicated place for farmers to connect with other farmers and share farm-related content," Farmz.com.au co-founder Alex Sparkes said.
Mr Sparkes is a passionate sixth-generation beef cattle producer from Taroom, in central Queensland.
Having lived on the land for most of his life, he understands the communication challenges facing farmers and acknowledges the enormous potential for better and more sustainable personal and business relationships in his sector.
"We've been blown away by the initial interest in the site and the number of farmers signing up," Mr Sparkes said.
"We hope that it will lead to more commercial relationships being developed between farmers."
The website allows farmers to provide a professional image for their farm via photos, farmcasts (text updates), ask questions of other farmers, share links to promote discussion and promote things they're looking to buy or sell. The website is free to use for all farmers and privacy is assured.
Barngo farmer Bronwyn Roberts was one of the first to sign up to Farmz.com.au.
"We signed up hoping to not only stay in touch with farmers we already know but to also meet new ones and learn about what they're doing and how they're doing it," she said.
"It's a fantastic initiative."