A salute to the people who feed and clothe us

When I was 18 I fell madly in love with this guy who was my blind date to the Jamberoo Footballers Ball.

He had bypassed a chance to play with Penrith to follow his parents to a Jamberoo dairy farm .

We did the long distance thing for three years with me at Uni studying to be pharmacist Michael Crop 1and him playing first grade football and doing odd jobs during the week.

When I graduated we did what all young people madly in love did in the 70’s we got married.

michael & Lynne Strong

Everybody has their dream career and for him it was being a policeman. Really I was flabbergasted. Policeman, what an undervalued career that was and so many risks. So the in-house joke was if you become a policeman I am going to be become a nun   

Six months into our marriage he comes to me and say I have been offered an opportunity to go back to my roots and be a dairy farmer.

I was mortified. I grew up on a farm ( 6th generation) I knew how tough it was. Of all the careers out there, for me only crazy people farm.

But dairy farm he did and I did what so many women who support the people who produce our food and fibre do, I took my expertise and worked 24/7 to support the people who feed and clothe us.

In 2001 I decided those people who feed and clothe us deserve better than this and bought 22 years in marketing back to the farm.

That has morphed into the Archibulll Prize and the Young Farming Champion’s programs.

This week the Archibull Prize 2013 entries flowed in.  I have taken a back seat this year and have only seen the entries at this point via their blogs and already the tears are in my eyes. Wow so many young people from non farming backgrounds who truly get how important our farmers are to them, to so many people overseas, and to the health, wealth and happiness of everyone in Australia and I couldn’t be more proud. I salute them all.

Over the next ten days art judge Wendy Taylor and I will get up close and personal with these fabulous artworks and the bright young minds who created them and I cant wait to share them with you.

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