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12-month project to show who our farmers are

TRUE FARMERS: Michael and Nicole Skipper, with their daughter Millie, at Billimari in New South Wales, proudly stand in front of year's canola crop.
TRUE FARMERS: Michael and Nicole Skipper, with their daughter Millie, at Billimari in New South Wales, proudly stand in front of year's canola crop. Avalind Photography

WHAT does a farmer look like?

When Kim Storey plugged this question into Google, the results surprised and disappointed her.

"You mostly get photos of old men with beards, dressed in overalls while holding a pitch fork,” she said.

Worried that people in urban communities might actually think this is what modern Australian agriculture looked like, the rural photographer was prompted to do something to change the perception.

Kim has now teamed up with Eugowra graphic designer Cassie Gates and the pair have embarked on a 12-month mission to capture farmers from across the country.

The end goal will be a stylised coffee-table book, aptly named What Does a Farmer Look Like?

"Between the two of us, we are going to get around and visit all the properties,” she said.

They have now put the call out for farmers from all industries, including pearls, alpacas and crocodiles, to volunteer to share their story.

"The response so far has been great,” she said.

"We have had interest from beef, dairy and sheep, but we really want to get to all the industries.

"There are a wide range of farmers out there, from young professionals, and then there is the older generation who have been doing this for 50 years. We want to portray all sides of it.”

Kim grew up on a fine-wool property near Bathurst, and now runs a small sheep property at Eugowra, as well as managing her full-time photography business, Avalind Photography.

What Does a Farmer Look Like? founders Kim Storey and Cassie Gates will work for 12 months on their project.
What Does a Farmer Look Like? founders Kim Storey and Cassie Gates will work for 12 months on their project. Avalind Photography

Cassie is the owner of Anthologie Group, a trendy company that prints customised books.

Cassie will be the art director for the project, assisting creatively with the photo shoots and crafting the designs and look of the finished product.

The pair are currently looking for a publisher for their book.

As a farmer herself, Kim finds it worrisome that inaccurate representations of agriculture are readily available for the public online.

"What animal rights groups portray as being farmers or agriculture is generally not accurate,” she said.

"What we want to try and do is get the real message out there, show what really happens and show that farmers do care about their animals.

"We just want to get the truth out there.”

Each of the photos will share a little bit of information about the farmer, she said.

"I am heading up to the Lightning Ridge area next week. I visited there a couple of years ago when they were right in the middle of the drought, so it will be good to get a comparison of that property, to show the highs and lows that farmers go through.”

To volunteer for the project, or to keep up to date with Kim and Cassie's project, like What Does a Farmer Look Like? on Facebook, and to get in touch, or volunteer, email hello@whatdoesafarmer looklike.com.au.

Topics:  farmers rural photographer


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