Scott and Lee-Anne Robinson, Jarrahmond - November 2022 Calendar
by Gippsland Jersey
“Communication is key; it needs to be open, consistent and go in both directions. Just because you might have differing opinions, doesn’t mean either one is wrong.”
Scott and Lee-Anne have recently started leasing the farm that Scott was raised on in Jarrahmond. A fourth-generation farmer, Scott says that dairy farming hasn’t come without its struggles, but the key to managing mental health is open communication and time away from the farm. 2021 saw many changes for the family that has meant Scott and Lee-Anne are now thriving in their business, marriage and family life. Scott knows firsthand that dairy farming can be all consuming, at times a farmer can feel locked on the farm with no escape.
Throughout his career it has only been him and his father, Mick, milking. At times it can been a long, hard slog, battling droughts, floods, fires, fatigue and financial hardship. Together Scott and Lee-Anne have begun to implement changes to their business that will hopefully see farm life become easier to manage financially, psychically, mentally and emotionally. For example, Lee-Anne has sought to ensure that they seek advice from experts regarding business management. She describes particularly draining days for her during Covid restrictions and remote learning. She acknowledges that on these days she has taken news from consultants in a negative light, while Scott, after a great day on the farm, has taken the same news well, so they find it important to share their interpretations for a broader perspective and to remain ‘on the same page’.
After 20 years together, they have recently come to realise just how much open communication can create a healthier dynamic at home and in their business. Scott has begun to juggle work and family life well. He plans to regularly lock in trips and weekends away to spend quality time together with Lee-Anne. Scott also realises that managing his mental health is important. Catching up with mates and other farmers to talk about farming operations and life in general is a good way of staying on top of it. Scott says he took courage from other farmers discussing their mental health journeys in previous Gippsland Jersey calendars, and he hopes others will too.
A big thanks to Connect Well East Gippsland for helping us bring this calendar to life in 2022.
If you need someone to talk to, reach out to:
Rural health connect
Lifeline on 13 11 14