Welcome to our first “Take 10” feature, where we feature an inspiring person passionate about the Wheatbelt region! This week we chat to Erin Pope, the girl behind the Yarns from the Farm initiative, a platform designed to share the rural lifestyle and generate curiosity around agriculture.
I am… Erin Pope.
I spend my days… at the moment up in Perth at University where I am studying a degree in Agribusiness, in between playing guitar with mates and constantly searching for a bit of sun to warm up in! Otherwise you will catch me drinking tea, lazing in a hammock and brainstorming different travel adventures to embark on.
Home is… on our family farm where we run a mixed cropping and sheep enterprise, 50km South of Moorine Rock in the Eastern Wheatbelt…A beautiful place with jaw dropping sunsets, hidden down the dusty gravel roads where visitors rarely emerge!
I have lived in the Wheatbelt… my entire life! My parents are 3rd generation farmers, my two brothers and I grew up being handballed between Mum and Dad, from the back seat of the truck on the way home from the Wheat-bin to the front seat of the Ute out checking mobs of sheep.
My favourite thing about the Wheatbelt is… the closeness in community. The drive home once the houses disappear with the gravel road stretching long ahead through the gimlet tree lined paddocks, that moment where the one finger wave starts appearing over the steering wheel, or the neighbours stop you at the cross roads, leaning out the window for a chat. There may not be many people out here at first glance, but the ones that are here, are absolute legends.
A big issue facing the Wheatbelt is… I would say mental health is big one, an unspoken shadow lingering in the background of day-to-day life. Farmer’s are a tough breed and that comes from having a tough mindset, especially living in isolation where your work is also your lifestyle. I think sometimes when looking at that job list we forget that it is just as important to keep ourselves healthy as is it to keep the crop looking healthy.
One thing I find really hard about living in the Wheatbelt is… the downfall when it doesn’t rain, there will always be challenges associated with an industry that relies on those uncontrollable rainclouds. But it’s the ability to adapt with an open mind, think critically on your feet and communicate with others that will get you through.
I started Yarns from the Farm because… I wanted to create more exposure around agriculture and those involved at a producer level, starting conversations and bringing farming back into focus in a generationally relevant way. It was a scary thought up in Perth when I realised those around me were oblivious to the lifestyle and opportunities supported through agriculture, one that was second nature to me. So I decided to start sharing information in an engaging way, through yarns, photos, links, movies and personal experiences, opening up an invitation for others to engage with what I took for granted. That’s where Yarns From The Farm kick started, a social media project aimed to share the rural lifestyle and generate curiosity around agriculture, which is active across Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and as a Blog. Check us out and tag/share/post with #yarnsfromthefarm to keep the conversation going!
If I could do anything I wanted… one thing would be to travel and explore different rural communities globally supported by agriculture and share their way of life. Or head up north for some adventures in the Kimberley, or get my helicopter licence… You would have me here for hours trying to decide!
My favourite quote is… “The world has dreamers and the world has do-ers…. But what the world needs is dreamers who do.” – Sarah Ban Breathnach
Thankyou so much to Erin for taking the time to answer a few questions for Wheatbelt Local. Here’s how you can get in contact with Erin and keep up to date with the Yarns from the Farm initiative:
Contact | firstname.lastname@example.org
Web | www.yarnsfromthefarm.com
Twitter | @yarnsfromfarm
Facebook | Yarns From The Farm
Instagram | Yarns From The Farm
Stay tuned for then next instalment of Take 10, when we chat with Hon Mia Davies MLA, Deputy Leader of The Nationals WA and Member for Central Wheatbelt!