This afternoon's proceedings of the NSW Farmers conference got off to a rocky start right off the mark with Griffith branch's proposed motion for the association to cease all funding to the National Farmers Federation.
The motion was then changed to 'NSW Farmers express dissatisfaction with the NFF' before it was moved to be put 'in camera' and media were sent out of the room while delegates debated.
But before that happened some delegates were happy to show their displeasure at the NFF's performance while others understood the need for the continued relationship.
This comes on the back of criticism from outgoing NSW Farmers' president James Jackson who stated the day before in his final speech that the "NFF should do stuff that matters."
On behalf of the Griffith branch, Ben Dal Broi moved the original motion on funding despite declaring he wasn't fond of it.
"I don't particularly like this motion, but in good faith to my branch I'm the representative here and I'll do my best to explain where it comes from," he said.
"I think we can all agree that a strong NFF is important and a strong NFF is a unified NFF.
"Because farming is no longer as politically powerful as it used to be.
"The only time we really get noticed when there is no food in the supermarket.
"We need the NFF to put important issues on the agenda and to help solve problems with good solutions.
"We need the NFF to hold the government to account.
"So if you think about it, NFF support should not be a given.
"Our branch believes the NFF is very good at doing the easy things but when things are hard nothing gets done.
"To quote one member of our branch, they are more corgi than cattle dog."
Guy Gaeta, Orange branch, seconded the motion.
Peter Carter, Wellington branch, put forward an amendment to change the motion from 'That NSW Farmers cease all financial support to the National Farmers Federation' to 'That NSW Farmers express dissatisfaction with the NFF.'
This proposed amendment bought on heated debate among some delegates.
"I just think the NFF needs a bit of a rev up," Mr Carter said.
Speaking against the amendment, executive councillor Mark Horan said the motion was a little bit broad.
"As we withdrew funding of NFF, we lost influence," Mr Horan said.
"We need to have a federal representation.
"If we want to have a good performance from the NFF, we need to make sure we have people on their committees pushing our policy forward because we are the NFF.
"It's not us or them, it's us and them."
Executive councillor Martin Honner, Junee, did not agree and spoke for the resolution.
"Are they that precious that we can't express dissatisfaction with their performance?" Mr Honner said.
"James (Jackson) said carry a big stick and by the time we get to the NFF with this motion now, on behalf of Mr Horan, we are going to give them an un-smiley face sticker on their performance card.
"They need to be put on notice.
"They have to be big enough to know that they have not done a good performance and when they are performing well they have to be applauded.
"I think we're getting a bit precious if we can't say we are not happy with how they are going."
A procedural motion was then put forward and passed to go 'in camera'.
This meant that anyone that was not a delegate had to leave the room.
While not being able to speak on the result of the amendment or the motion, vice president-elect Rebecca Reardon said that association support for NFF was still there.
"We support a national body, from grass roots to the top," she said.
"The association will look at the issues raised in this debate and work with NFF to sort them out.
"We look forward to continuing to work with them.
"At the end of the day, NSW Farmers were one of the founding members of NFF."
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