Aussie cricketing legend and WA farm boy, Brad Hogg, is the National Ambassador of GPA’s Mates Mental Health initiative, working in partnership with Nufarm, Rural Aid, Lifeline and GrainGrowers.
During the first of his field day visits for 2023 at FarmFest in Toowoomba, where he also spent time with AgForce members and the Rural Aid team, Brad caught up with ABC journalist, Arlie Felton-Taylor, from the Queensland Country Hour.
Brad spoke about this year’s theme, on the ‘Take-a-Break’ tour, about the importance of reminding farmers and everyone that it’s essential to make the time to down tools and take a break from work.
“Whether it’s a short drinks break where you can grab a beer, it’s important to go visit the neighbour and catch up and talk about things,” he said.
“We’re up here in Queensland and you’ve got the State-of-Origin on at the moment and (you can also talk) about how we’re going to get stuck into those Blues next week.
“You can have a bit of humour (to lighten up the mood), but then you can also bring up the stuff that’s hard in the area at the moment and the troubles that you’re going through.
“It’s important to take your short breaks but after you’ve had a long season you’ve got to make sure that you take a week if you can, or a two-week break, where you take your family away.
“You might have things in the back of your mind, but you just have to say, ‘I’m going to spend an hour here just making sure I’ve got everything sorted on the farm and then the rest of the day focus on the family’.
“Things can happen out of the blue on the farm and things can come up at harvest or seeding, and it’s very difficult to plan, but you’ve got to be adaptable.
“Sometimes you might just have a three-day break, but those three days could be the most important three days of the year where you get right away from it all and really catch up on those relationships that are most important to you.
Pic: ABC journalist, Arlie Felton-Taylor, from the Queensland Country Hour (left) with Brad Hogg, and AgForce Grains President, Brendan Taylor.
“Because it’s not just you the farmer – it’s also the family around you, because we all feel the vibe of energy from each other and we’ve just got to make sure that we help each other out.”