Rural Women’s Award winner Sophie Hansen plans to help growers promote their produce on social media. 
Story and photos by Therese Hall

A homemade zucchini quiche and a ginger honey log sit side by side on Sophie Hansen’s country kitchen benchtop. The scene has all the hallmarks of an ‘Instagram moment’ – indeed, Sophie has taken a quick snap on her smart phone to post on her blog Local is Lovely – but the food is not just for virtual sharing. It’s lunch for her venison farmer husband Tim and an after-school snack for her children, Alice, 9, and Tom, 7. 

Fresh seasonal food is at the heart of the life Sophie has built for herself since moving from Sydney to a 400-hectare deer farm in the central west of New South Wales 11 years ago. With her family centrestage, the former food and lifestyle magazine journalist and editor has reinvented herself as a food blogger and social media coach. Sophie’s posts stand out in a crowded market of vintage-filtered lifestyle photos for their down-to-earth depiction of rural produce. “I’m convinced of the power of storytelling and the importance of a good photo coming from a place of real authenticity,” she says. 

A few months ago Sophie won recognition for her skills when the Rural Industries Research and  Development Corporation (RIRDC) named her the national winner of the 2016 RIRDC Rural Women’s Award.  She’s now focused on setting up My Open Kitchen, an online social media course for farmers, which she hopes will train them to connect better with consumers. 

This story excerpt is from Issue #110

Outback Magazine: Dec/Jan 2017