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“Oh my God, thank you for these chickpeas,” he said.

“We don’t eat meat Monday to Friday and these will go great the vegan tagine I’m cooking tonight. Thank you so, so much. Katie, you’re doing God’s work out there. Keep it up! ‘kay thanks, bye!”

That’s the seventh phone call local grazier and farmer Kate Lauritsen has fielded today from residents in more cosmopolitan areas of the state.

Her family property, about an hour to the north of the Betoota City Limits, produces beef, lamb, wool and the occasional crop.

Last year, she grew chickpeas.

“The phone’s been ringing off the hook,” she said.

“We thought it was bad back in 09/10 when we grew quinoa. These Trad-based vegans down in New Farm are something else. It’s basically on the hour now, folk ringing up the house phone wanting to speak to a farmer. Didn’t think anybody would actually take those bumper stickers seriously.”

Lincoln Queeve, who phoned Kate just before to thank her for growing the chickpeas he’s going to eat tonight, said he did take those ‘Thank a Farmer’ bumper stickers seriously.

The bearded advertising executive told The Advocate that without people like Kate growing food for him, he would probably starve to death.

“I just take a moment to phone a farmer to say thanks,” he said.

“When they started putting their phone numbers on the can, it made it so much easier. Not like McDonalds. If they think the meat in my 4am $2 McDouble came from a prime Glen Innes Angus cow, they’re drinking their own Kool-Aid,”

“But yeah, I always take the time to make a farmer feel valued. It’s a hard thankless job that’s tough at times.”

More to come.



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