Riverina farmers have said they hope for "trickle down" benefits from the National Farmers Federation's plan for having agriculture lead a post-pandemic economic recovery.
The NFF released its 'Get Australia Moving' report on Tuesday, which called for a range of federal government policy changes to allow agriculture to grow to a $100 billion industry much sooner than originally forecast.
The report called for changes to simplified industrial relations, access to migrant workers, better communications in rural areas and a major boost to regional infrastructure among its 35 recommendations.
Downside lamb and broadacre crop farmer David Meiklejohn told The Daily Advertiser that helping the agriculture industry as a whole could help smaller operations like his.
"A lot of small to medium farms probably won't benefit directly from [the recommendations] but my view is that anything that benefits farmers in general will flow through and could provide an opportunity," he said.
"The push to 'buy Australian' is great, but is that going to continue after the coronavirus settles down?
"The cynic in me would say 'probably not; the consumer will go back to the least possible cost option on most things'."
NFF president Fiona Simson said in a National Press Club speech on the report that "the obvious place for [post-COVID] recovery to start is in the bush".
Downside cattle, sheep, horse and Kelpie stud farmer Steve Condell said the most important thing from the NFF's report was for farmers to have access to "secure" markets overseas so they could "invest with confidence" rather worry about trade disputes with China.
NSW Farmers Wagga branch president Alan Brown said he backed the NFF's call to return value-adding operations back to Australia.
"We did have a major wool processing plant in Wagga, which provided a lot of employment and gave us real options when it came to selling wool," he said.
Riverina MP and Regional Infrastructure Minister Michael McCormack said the federal government would consider the NFF's recommendations.
"The federal government is committed to working collaboratively with all industry sectors, businesses and unions to deliver pragmatic outcomes as we build back from the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic," he said.
"This includes working with the NFF to seek solutions to issues affecting people and businesses, particularly in regional and rural communities throughout the Riverina and Central West.
"We have long held a healthy relationship with the NFF and will consider the recommendations."