Evan Campbell and Kellie Price, Yannathan - MAY 2022 Calendar
by Gippsland Jersey
'We love the lifestyle farming provides but know it can be isolating and stressful. When we meet other farmers, we try to be empathetic to what they might be going through.'
Evan and Kellie lease a 460 acre dairy farm on the plains of Yannathan. Despite growing up on a dairy farm, as a teenager Evan never imagined he would become a farmer later in life. However, now as an invested dairy operator, he wouldn't have it any other way, and they both enjoy the lifestyle that farming offers.
After graduating university and working in the oil industry in the Middle East for five years, Evan developed more of an appreciation for the way he was raised. He now sees the beauty of life on the land. Dairy farming offers him the chance to learn new things every day. Despite elements that are out of a farmers' control, like the weather and milk prices, he has risen to the challenge and prides himself on continual improvement. After receiving a double degree, Evan has a passion for growth and understanding and his commerce studies at university have served him well in working the farm's budget and seeing dividends. However, despite being introverted, there were days that Evan felt isolated and lonely on the farm, he called these days 'dark patches'. Evan says these dark patches have caused him to be aware of managing his emotional and mental health. Meeting fellow dairy farmer Aaron Thomas, and listening to his journey with depression, encouraged Evan to open up about his own struggles.
When Kellie moved on to the farm with him in 2021, Evan found himself less lonely and says that he is now in the best place he has ever been. Together, they make a great team, able to lift each other up emotionally with their differing strengths, abilities and perspectives.
Kellie has been through personal challenges over the past few years herself, after significant life events that left her feeling despondent. She says the key to overcoming this for her was the support she received from family and friends. At the time she was the farm manager of 500 cows, by herself and raising two young children as a single mother. She looks back now and realises she made it through due to the encouragement she received from her network of people and Evan.
Evan and Kellie believe that the stigma attached to mental health conversations is slowly eroding. They have become more aware of the need to be mindful of not only their own emotions, but the emotional state of others too.
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