It was proposed that retirees with business acumen and wisdom could be ideal for this. The Bridging the Divide project brought this idea to life, bringing together urban people who have considerable experience, expertise, wisdom and time – ‘elders’, with farmers, who are feeling the stress of facing some of the greatest challenges of our time.
The elder provides support for the farmer, by gifting their time to listen and help the farmer identify where opportunities might lie and the challenges for implementation. As well-known farmer and writer Doug Avery says in his book ‘The Resilient Farmer’, things changed for the better when he realised the value of engaging a mentor from an unrelated background to assist him to think clearly – often over a cup of tea.
Farmers are so important to the future of all communities. The significance of their role in the changing world cannot be understated. This project aims to support farmers by enabling the sharing of wisdom, and giving elders the opportunity to learn the realities and challenges of farming and give back; helping to bridge the divide of understanding between city and country.