Book aims to debunk farmer stereotypes

Book aims to debunk farmer stereotypes

Life & Style
Busselton dairy farmer Tahlia McSwain says a lot of people don't understand agriculture or farmers.

Busselton dairy farmer Tahlia McSwain says a lot of people don't understand agriculture or farmers.

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They say you can’t judge a book by its cover and a new publication shows you also can’t judge a farmer by a stereotype image.

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THEY say you can’t judge a book by its cover and a new publication shows you also can’t judge a farmer by a stereotype image.

‘What Does A Farmer Look Like?’ aims to debunk outdated views about farmers and present Australia’s current generation of farmers in a positive and accurate light.

Author, photographer and central New South Wales sheep farmer Kim Storey was inspired to produce the book after conversations on social media showed how far perceptions of farmers differed from reality.

“I googled the term `what does a farmer look like?’ and the images were mostly of older men in overalls with a pitchfork and chewing straw,” Ms Storey said.

“Farming was really dumbed down and there were very few women – I wanted to do something to change that and show the diversity of farming in Australia.”

The book features six Australian dairy farmers, including Tahlia McSwain, Busselton, who said it was important to share a positive vision about farming.

At 23, Tahlia is a fourth-generation dairy farmer and said a lot of people didn’t understand agriculture or farmers.

“That’s why I was keen to be involved and tell my story,” Ms McSwain said.

“People have preconceived ideas of what we do and how we treat animals, so anything we can do to help educate them will support all farmers.”

Finding subjects to include in the book wasn’t a difficult feat for Kim.

“I set up a Facebook page and I was inundated with people from all over the country,” Ms Storey said.

“Most farmers want to tell their stories and connect with people who may not have visited a farm or met a farmer before.”

In the book, Kim tries to represent all facets of farming, from dairy and beef to cropping and horticulture.”

Supported by Dairy Australia, What Does a Farmer Look Like? can be purchased at whatdoesafarmerlooklike.com/store

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