Have you ever googled the term “what does a farmer look like?”…Well, we did and the images that came up were disappointing to say the least!
Mostly they were images of grey haired, bearded men in checked flannelette and bib & brace overalls holding a pitchfork. That’s certainly not what any of the farmers we know look like!
So our new coffee table book project “What Does A Farmer Look Like?” was born. Our aim is to challenge the stereotypes associated with farmers by putting together beautiful photographs combined with farmers’ stories from across Australia. We want to change that image and show the world what our farmers do and who they are.
The whole reason for plugging that term into google in the first place was a conversation between a few women in ag on twitter about perceptions of farmers. Unfortunately, in the past (right up until now!) any stories in the mainstream media about farmers is a dramatic one. Whether is fire, flood, drought or the latest attempt by animal rights groups to blacken their name, these stories are usually showing farmers at their rock bottom when they are crying out for help or when it comes to animal rights stories, they are showing something horrific that has been filmed for shock value and doesn’t actually portray truth. I mean, who wants to see stories on the national news about happy farmers looking over happy livestock grazing in paddocks? Boring when there’s no shock value right?
To us, a farmer is someone of any age, gender or nationality (the list of differences could go on) that produces food or fibre for other people to utilise.
Every time you eat anything be it meat, veggies, dairy, cereals, nuts and more, a farmer has produced that for you. What we hope to achieve with this project is to encourage people to find out a little more about where your food and fibre comes from and who is producing it. There are some amazing farming people out there for you to meet!
From our interviews so far, our farmers want you to know that they are living a good life, that they are completely ruled by mother nature, that it’s hard yet rewarding work but there can be heartbreak too. They want you to know that they feel a real sense of achievement when they have produced something that other people are going to enjoy.
Our team consists of Kim Storey, a rural photographer from Eugowra, NSW, owner of Avalind Photography and Cassie Gates, a graphic designer from Eugowra, NSW, owner of Anthologie Group.
We are looking for farmers from all different locations, backgrounds, enterprises and demographics to be involved. We are looking for sheep, cattle and cropping farmers, graziers and station owners. Horticulturalists, market gardeners and flower growers. Aquaculture, crocodiles, tropical fruit and everything in between…even camel dairies and emu farms! We want a whole different range of people producing food and fibre in Australia.
We will be travelling around the country over the next 12 months photographing and interviewing everyone and are currently planning our trips!
Kim Storey and Cassie Gates, founders of What does a farmer look like?