Power of the mind: Rob and Sarah Cook find a way to keep on farming

In my 20 years as a journalist I've met and interviewed some incredible people. Every now and then someone comes along whose story and attitude to life leaves an indelible mark. Rob Cook is one of those people. Rob was born and bred on the land. He lives for farming. Rob was left a quadriplegic when the helicopter he was passenger in crashed. Doctors told him to find a … [Read more...]

Where does your food come from? Imports bad news for Aussie shoppers and farmers

HERE’S a scary statistic for you. Just five per cent of the fruit and vegetables imported to Australia is tested for banned chemicals and other contaminants. Most fruit and vegetables are deemed by AQIS as being ‘surveillance foods’ not ‘risk foods’ which are tested in 100 per cent of cases. What does this mean for you? It means the frozen berries you thrown in your … [Read more...]

This Christmas buy local – look for the pink Australian Pork label

Not all pork is created equal. I learned this during an interview with Queensland pig farmer, Andrew Jones. His family's Pilton Valley Premium Pork business is located on 1618ha in Clifton, south-west of Brisbane. The Jones family first started farming pigs in the 1930s, when Keith Jones bought his first pigs as a way to diversify his interest from dairy and grain … [Read more...]

Life’s sweet: Ben swaps schoolroom for pineapple patch

Which is more challenging – working with a room of school children or with Mother Nature? Pineapple farmer, Ben Clifton, has done both and says: ‘Both have their challenges.’ This Yeppoon farmer started his professional life as a physical education teacher but when he married the daughter of a pineapple farmer Ben knew what he must do. It was a sweet decision, easy to make … [Read more...]

Margot & Mike’s Melon Dream

Margot Black jokes that her family is ‘living the watermelon dream.’ If it’s whinging farmers you’re after don’t stop here, this QLD farming couple are the antithesis of that. During the June/July school holidays Margot and husband Mike pack up their four children (aged 11 to 5) their three dogs and two cats and travel the 3300km from their Oakey farm, Ruby Downs, to their … [Read more...]