God made a farmer and on the 8th day he said I help those who help themselves

In my post yesterday cheekily titled Shame on you Woolworths set to sell sex toys in the milk isle I talked about my dream for a new look agriculture that saw farmers level the supply chain playing field, working side by side with supply chain partners who showed each other equal respect and our farmers gaining the knowledge and skills sets to allow them to extract real value from supply chain. 

I don’t know how many farmers feel like me and I hope the fact that when I write a post that has a dig at Coles is 15 times more popular with my readers than a post that actually talks about working on real solutions to get farmers out of this nightmare paradigm where all the power lies at the top of the supply chain is not indicative of the lack of interest in my sector in driving real change

Whilst I might get disillusioned from time to time by lack of positive feedback, it wont stop me spending the rest of my days in paradise working towards my goal of supply chain equality driven by the farmers themselves not this energy wasting dream of white knights with silver bullets  

Farmers can laugh at themselves and we have all heard this joke

There was a man whose farm was located on the banks of a flood-swollen river.  As the water rose, a neighbour drove up in a Jeep, urging him to leave before the farm was flooded.

“Oh, no,” said the man confidently, “God will save me.”

The water rose higher, and the man was forced to move into the second story of the farmhouse.  A police boat soon came, and the officers called for the man to hurry and get into their boat.

“Oh, no, that won’t be necessary,” the man insisted.  “God will save me.”

Finally the house was completely engulfed in water, and a Coast Guard helicopter swooped in to rescue the man, now perched on the roof.  Again he refused.  Just then, a huge wave of water swept over the house, and the man drowned.

When he got to heaven, he stormed at the Lord, asking WHY God had let him die when his faith had been so strong.

“What do you mean?” asked the heavenly Father.  “I sent a Jeep, a boat, and a helicopter … and you wouldn’t budge!”

and we have all heard the phrase

“god helps those who help themselves”

Whether farmers like it or not its time we got with the program

This morning I am going to give farmers the best advice that I have ever been given

In the words of Steve Jobs

‘Don’t be trapped by dogma – that is, living with the results of other people’s thinking’,”

  • Shed the whingers. 
  • Shed the below the line thinkers.
  • Shed the people who only want to Coles and Woolworths bash.
  • Shed the people who cant talk about anything but fringe groups
  • Shed the people who think the world revolves around them and their problems
  • Most of all walk away from the victim triangle and shed the people who think you are their white knight


  • Surround yourself with people you can learn from.
  • People who give you energy.
  • People who genuinely want to drive change and are prepared to gain the skills sets and knowledge to make it happen 
  • People who genuinely support your vision and
  • Most importantly don’t be like me and wait 50 years to do it.

I know it can work and I know we have lots of farmers who think this way. We certainly have lots of highly visible young people who think this way. One great example I have the pleasure of working with is just an example of many. Celebrate them.

“For the creativity of individual creators to be celebrated, and to make a difference in the world, it has to be enthusiastically embraced by others,”

In this great article Professor Haslam (see below) poses the question of whether, if Mozart were alive today, he would be writing symphonies.

“It’s unlikely, and without a well-funded and publicly valorised group of classical musicians to nurture and encourage him, it’s probably more likely that he’d be writing jingles for laundry detergent,” he said.

An important finding from Professor Haslam’s research was that in order to get the best out of creative individuals, society needed to invest in the groups that made certain forms of creativity possible.

“Even Steve Jobs needed a group to treat his ideas seriously and to cultivate them,” Professor Haslam said.

“Indeed, it was precisely because people refused to be ‘trapped by the dogma of another person’s thinking’, that Jobs’ idea of the personal computer wasn’t dismissed as lunacy.”

My call to action.

Agriculture identify your young talent, engage them, nurture them and most importantly invest in them 


BTW –  Some food for thought for Australian dairy farmers in this opinion piece from TWT  Dairy industry needs to act now


Professor Haslam collaborated on the paper – The Collective Origins of Valued Originality: A Social Identity Approach to Creativity – with Dr Inma Adarves-Yorno from the University of Exeter as well as Professor Tom Postmes and Dr Lise Jans from the University of Groningen in the Netherlands.

Author: Lynne Strong

I am a 6th generation farmer who loves surrounding myself with optimistic, courageous people who believe in inclusion, diversity and equality and embrace the power of collaboration. I am the founder of Picture You in Agriculture. Our team design and deliver programs that inspire pride in Australian agriculture and support young people to thrive in business and life

5 thoughts on “God made a farmer and on the 8th day he said I help those who help themselves”

  1. It is true. You can’t teach an old dogma new tricks. Or can you? With enough patience and empathy, can we lead the dairy industry to a new future? Only when we accept that the rules now favour them taking complete control and responsibility for that future.

  2. Lynne, you are spot on, again!
    It is so refreshing to know you, and to be involved with the Young Farming Champions – people who are putting their time and effort where their mouth is, people who are walking the walk instead of getting caught up in talking the talk.
    Your advice about positive energy is the biggest thing I took away from last weekend’s YFC workshop in Sydney. Back out here, on the property in western NSW, it is so easy to get caught up in our daily grind, and feel like we just want to go and eat some worms. Since last weekend, I’ve been embracing those “daily grind” moments and repeating to myself “I am going on a positive journey, I am going on a positive journey, I am going on a positive journey… and anyone who isn’t doesn’t matter.” << well, that's the PC version. The version in my head might be a bit more heated, depending on the task at hand… hahaha 🙂
    In one week I can feel the difference – and if I make these positive choices in my personal life, I know the professional life, and my aims for the positive future of agriculture, will follow easily.

  3. Being a Young Farming Champion has changed my life! I have never been more encouraged, rewarded or nurtured to improve and develop as I have with this program. I have developed my industry networks, professional skill and experience, and my circle of friends, all from being a YFC! I would never have dreamed about being awarded the opportunities I have had in the past twelve months if it weren’t for the support and guidance of Lynne and the team. I have big dreams but as a girl from Central Queensland I had no idea how to achieve them. Look at me now – Art4Agriculture MLA Target 100 Beef Young Farming Champion; Art4Agriculture Ambassador; AgForce Queensland Red Meat Industry Emerging Leader; and Farmer Bron. Look out world here come the YFC’s!

  4. Totally agree with you Lynne. Its so easy to get bogged down in negativity when our daily lives are bombarded with it in media and from our peers, myself included. So thank you for sending me the jeep, the boat and the helicopter because like Bron the opportunities and tools you have given me as a YFC have boosted my confidence and allowed me to grow to create my own opportunities and latch onto other opportunities to find the positive solutions industry can use.

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