Social media site plans to get farmers talking

ISOLATED farmers hope state and federal government will get behind a new social media website aimed at opening up communication in rural areas.

Farmz.com.au founder Alex Sparkes described his website as a national social network catering specifically to farmers.

Mr Sparkes said farmers across Australia could log in and create a profile to share information, gain commercial contacts, make friends and problem solve.

"We've been going for about three weeks and so far have about 280 farms online," he said.

"At this stage we have a number of Northern Queensland farms but none in the North West.

"You can post status updates and photos on what you're doing and ask for help with problems from someone who might have experience it before."

Mr Sparkes, a sixth generation cattle farmer from central Queensland, said he believed it was important to connect remote farmers who often suffered from feelings of isolation.

Goodwood Station owner Rick Britton described the website as a "great initiative".

"It's something we really need here," he said.

"City people take it for granted that their mobile phones work and they're in constant contact with others.

"Communication is something out here that's definitely not taken for granted, it's really hard."

Mr Britton believed state and federal governments should get behind social networking for farmers.

"These sites should be sponsored," he said.

"Individuals are getting together and putting up these websites but state and federal government need to get on board too and start funding this sort of thing.

"Better communication is going to benefit us all, right through to health, education and even the police in rural communities.

"It would really open up the bush for farmers if we had a solid communication network.

"I've had a look at farmz.com.au and I'm quite prepared to put my enterprise up there."

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