THE whole off-farm income scenario needs to be addressed and government must recognise off-farm income is essential for farming families to survive,especially as this drought continues.
That's the opinion of Dubbo district farmer, Peter Ryan, Belmont, who was visited by NSW Agriculture and Western NSW minister Adam Marshall on Tuesday.
"Stop penalising us," Mr Ryan said.
Mr Marshall was visiting the Dubbo electorate with new local member Dugald Saunders, on a leg of his "listening tour" of the state.
Last week he was talking to members of the Pastoralists Association at Broken Hill and this week was heading to Nyngan, Cobar, Bourke, Walgett.
"I'm doing a lot of tripping around in the next few weeks to get as much feedback as I can on what's already worked well, what hasn't, and what do we need to tweak and change just to continue to provide the most appropriate support that we can for our farmers," Mr Marshall said.
Mr Ryan, who purchases the 750 hectare Belmont four years ago with wife, Natalie and two daughters 13 and 11, said he would like the government to relook at the whole off-farm income situation.
"That needs to be addressed," he said. "How young farmers are meant to buy a place without off-farm income today is impossible.
"So government must change attitudes towards off-farm incomes when assessing funding applications."