Libby Price, former ABC broadcaster and editor of the Benalla Ensign and now editor and presenter on ACE commercial radio, described her work in the media while retired local farmer Lock Lidgerwood outlined the challenges of growing subterranean clover seed and harvesting it in hot dry conditions mid-summer.
After Agricultural College, and at the third attempt, Libby joined the ABC's rural department and eventually worked on TV programs as well. She told the U3A group the main tool of radio recording was a Nagra tape recorder which reproduced sound beautifully but weighed 5kg. It was so heavy that job applicants were supposedly selected on the soundness of their backs. Nowadays Libby said, the ubiquitous iPhone did all the heavy lifting, including the ability to eliminate or subdue background noise.
Lock Lidgerwood grew up on a fairly typical wheat and sheep family farm at Devenish in the 1950s and 1960s. The difference was a significant investment by his father in sub. clover harvesting equipment. Because the seed is generally deposited underground, it must literally be dug up and separated from soil.
The advent of all-crop harvesters revolutionised the process and over his working lifetime he added significant equipment tweaks to make the process easier and more profitable.
Given the hot and dusty conditions of working machinery in high summer, fires and thirst were constant challenges. Not surprisingly, various strategically placed pubs featured in Loch's presentation.
Next month's Stock and Land will comprise a visit to the Toland family's Merino stud at Violet Town on May 1.