Two women from Eugowra in central-west New South Wales are receiving a lot of interest on social media for their project: What does a farmer look like?
They’ve started a year-long campaign to recreate Australians’ perceptions of farmers and agriculture.
Project founder Kim Storey said she was spurred into action after typing the phrase into Google.
“So I just typed into Google exactly that — What does a farmer look like?” she said.
“The results were of old men with beards and checked shirts, bib and brace overalls, holding a pitchfork.
“For anyone not involved in agriculture, if they do a search to try and get an idea of what farming is about, the perception is totally unrealistic.”
Over the next 12 months, Kim Storey and her graphic designer friend, Cassie Gates want to travel Australia photographing and interviewing farmers from all agricultural industries and put their stories into a hardcover book.
“We have done that so that we can hopefully get around to everybody and get shots while everyone is harvesting,” Ms Storey said.
“At the moment we are focusing on stone fruit and cherries to be followed by grain harvest and so on.”
They have also started building a community on Facebook and Instagram so farmers could recommend themselves or other farmers as subjects.
“We’ve only just put it out there in the last two weeks and the interest has been huge,” Ms Storey said.
“So we have been a little bit unprepared and we are just getting ourselves organised now.
“We popped a Facebook page up and two days later we were approached for interviews.”
Ms Storey has always been involved in agriculture in some way. She grew up on a fine wool property near Bathurst in central-west New South Wales, went to University at Orange Agricultural College, and worked for Elders for 12 years.
But her other passion is photography.
“I have wanted to do a photographic book for a while so this is the perfect project because I am fulfilling that desire as well as getting the truth about what farmers really do out there,” she said.
Her partner Cassie Gates, was born and bred in Eugowra, where she returned home to after pursuing graphic design studies in Sydney.
“I think it is a great idea,” Ms Gates said.
“We want to make it a happy book celebrating all those great things about the land.
“I don’t come from a farming background, so I am interested to see what everyone is doing and educate my children as well that you don’t have to be of a certain stereotype to be farmer.”
Original article can be found on ABC Rural, written by Skye Manson