Tracey Kruger always wanted to inspire children to read but little did she know she would be writing children's books seven years after the release of her first book featuring western district shearing sheds.
The Croxton East mixed farmer is known throughout the industry for her vibrant on-farm photos and during the depths of the pandemic, attracted a strong social media following when she shared photos of orphan lambs dressed in woolly jumpers.
Now, the mother of two and former teacher is turning her sights to publishing a series of children's novels following the success of several picture books aimed at educating children about the important role farms play.
From books on wool to machinery, Mrs Kruger is only months away from releasing her first children's novel called The Farmer Twins.
The story is about the journey two 10-year-old twins' experience while growing up on the farm - and the role seasons play during their adventures.
"One comment that I'd heard from bookshops and schools was that there were not a lot of farm-related chapter books for kids aged eight to 12 to keep them reading and engaged," Mrs Kruger said.
"I'm more into photography but I do enjoy writing so it's a nice challenge working on the chapter books."
The release of her first book, Shearing in Victoria's Western District, showcased 160 working wool sheds photographed by Mrs Kruger.
"The feedback I got was that it encouraged kids to read even though the book was targeted at adults," she said.
"I really want farming children to be able to see their lives depicted in print and that their lives are valued and for non-farming children to see what farm life is actually like."
Mrs Kruger has published six children's books including most recently Lambert wants a jumper, released last year after her social media followers showed a keen interest in how she was raising orphan lambs during the pandemic.
The story also features illustrations from Glenthompson artist Alyshia McInnes, who will produce the illustrations for the upcoming novel as well.
"It's about Lambert, who is a lamb out in the paddock, and wanders in and notices pet orphaned lambs dressed in jumpers," she said.
"He goes back to his mother who tells him he doesn't need a jumper because he has a mum... but he's determined to get a jumper."
"The moral of the story is that we all have ideas about what we want but it's not necessarily what we need."
The Farmer Twins will be released in mid-2021.