VICTORIA's farming sector needs both a sharper image and voices which the public can associate with agriculture.
Agri-politics is tough. Those who put up their hand to give their time to the Victorian Farmers Federation, or other groups, deserve full credit and support from other farmers.
But primary producers should be aware of how the public sees them and how others - elected or not - may be seen as speaking on their behalf.
How they are received influences how effective farmers are at getting heard by politicians and consumers.
This week on The Project TV show Federal Member for Kennedy Bob Katter struggled to defend his Katter's Australian Party's position on homophobia, while ineffectively trying to talk about dairy issues.
While Mr Katter does not represent all farmers, to an urban audience, when he's the only bloke in a big hat on TV, they could be forgiven for thinking he does. They may also wonder how professional and well-considered the farming sector is.
It's a shame, as many of the rural issues he tries to get on the national agenda - rural inequalities and supermarket power - deserve attention.
These attempts are being overshadowed by blunders made by former KAP candidates.
This is KAP's failing and arguably, reflective of how disinterested much of the media is towards rural issues. Victorian farmers need to engage and unite behind lobby groups or individuals that give them reasonable and respected voices, not just in discussion within industries, but also beyond the farmgate. Those voices need to resonate, not just in rural parts of the state. They need to take people with them, not polarise them. Politically, make new allies interested in understanding and working with the farm sector. Shouting just wears you out and makes your audience deaf.