Tracey Kruger is a farmer, photographer and author of children’s books about farming.
“I love everything about farming — I’ve grown up with it and I’ve married into it — and want to share my enjoyment of the farm that I get to see every day,” she said to The Weekly Times.
Alongside her husband, Peter, and two children, Tracey runs a cattle, sheep and cropping enterprise on their family farm near Penshurst (Kent, England).
Previously a primary school teacher, Tracey recognized the challenge in encouraging children to read, particularly young boys.
She said she believed by presenting farm kids with books they were interested in, “they might actually take a book to bed with them”.
Her children’s books aim not only to foster future farmers, but also spread the word about “what goes on at a farm daily”.
Tracey’s real love is the farm, especially shearing. She spent her childhood on a sheep farm, and married a farming husband as well. She says she never tires of watching a sheep be shorn, so it seems to have been a natural progression to start photographing woolsheds in action, and to then document their details in her book, “Shearing in Victoria’s Western District.”
Tracey drove over 25,000 kms and spent 2 and a half years visiting 160 Western district woolsheds in action over their shearing. The glossy hardcover book contains over 800 colour photos of woolsheds ranging from one to eight stands and includes woolsheds in operation on their first day as well as sheds that had seen 170 years of sheep.
“Too many people are disassociated from farm life — they are quite removed from what we do,” she said.
“For people to recognize how important farming is, we all need to take responsibility for showing a positive image of farming to the wider community.”