The Herbert River Farmers' Association. Sugar farmer associations on the periphery-an examination from the "other end"

Vidonja Balanzategui, Bianka (2017) The Herbert River Farmers' Association. Sugar farmer associations on the periphery-an examination from the "other end". In: Presented at Rural History 2017. From: Conference of the European Rural History Organisation: Rural History 2017, 11-14 September 2017, Leuven, Belgium.

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Abstract

In the late nineteenth century sugarcane farmer associations emerged in Australia. Representing genuinely independent small farmers such associations were a rarity elsewhere. Such associations as they appeared in Australia were a peripheral phenomenon in a geographical context, but nevertheless manifestations of a worldwide movement aimed at improving agriculture. Outside Australia sugar was grown on plantations by a land owning elite or by large corporate companies. The first to form associations were planters. They were formed when planters realized that they could avert crisis if they petitioned government with a unified voice. In contrast, in Australia, (after a brief plantation era) sugarcane was grown by independent small farmers whose cane was crushed at a central mill, often cooperatively owned. This was a unique development. Associations formed by small independent growers identified themselves as distinct from the planters and united by different interests. They became an effective lobbying force. Agricultural associative behaviour has been elitist and accordingly scholarship of agricultural associations has been undertaken through a top-down approach. As the small sugarcane associations disappeared once the legislative associations assumed their roles, scholarship has largely ignored their existence. This paper uses sugar growing in tropical north Queensland to illuminate a unique peripheral vision.

Item ID: 51047
Item Type: Conference Item (Non-Refereed Research Paper)
Keywords: Australian history, environmental history, sugar history, agricultural associations, rural politics, farmer education, Ingham, Herbert River Farmers' Association, Queensland history, agricultural extension
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Date Deposited: 27 Nov 2017 03:27
FoR Codes: 21 HISTORY AND ARCHAEOLOGY > 2103 Historical Studies > 210303 Australian History (excl Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander History) @ 90%
21 HISTORY AND ARCHAEOLOGY > 2103 Historical Studies > 210301 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander History @ 10%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970121 Expanding Knowledge in History and Archaeology @ 100%
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