The 24-year-old farmer, from Victoria, was not afraid to bare all when his photographer friend Emma Cross dared him to take off his kit during the harvest season in 2016.
Mr Brooksby said:
‘My good friend came out to my property at St Helens Plains to take photos of us harvesting,’
‘We were harvesting lentils at the time and the truck was near full. As she got up on the truck to take a photo of the lentils, she said “jump in and take ya kit off”.
‘I laughed and of course, I’m up for any challenge so I stripped off and jumped right in…. I popped that photo up on social media and it gathered lots of laughs.’
From there, the young man started The Naked Farmer on Instagram after he failed to find a playful social media account dedicated to farmers who want to celebrate country living in all its glory.
‘I was planting those lentils back into the ground and it made me think of that photo we took and the laughs and enjoyment people got from it,’
‘I wondered if anyone had an Instagram page dedicated to that. After some research, there was nothing so I thought “why not?”. I’ll start a page just for a giggle. I did it all for the fun and I just love making people laugh and smile.’
And what started as a humble joke has now encouraged hundreds of farmers of all walks of life to snap their very own cheeky rural photographs, from posing on horses to lying naked in a pile of sheep wool.
‘I think it’s great getting everyone involved with sending photos in,’
‘You notice all the farmers have a beaming smile, such an incredible thing seeing people get amongst it and feeling happy.’
The 24-year-old farmer said he has since used the platform to raise awareness of mental illness in the farming community
And fast forward, the page has since attracted more than 28,000 followers.
‘With this many followers I began to think, wondering ways I could make a difference in the agriculture community,’
‘That’s where the idea of raising money to help people with mental health in rural areas came to mind. It’s a huge issue that doesn’t get talked about enough.’
Mr Brooksby said he decided to turn the platform into a good cause by raising awareness about mental illness in the farming community.
‘The suicide rate in the agriculture industry is almost double any other industry – that’s a scary figure,’
‘My message is to get people to talk about this issue, ensure that we talk to one another. There are other farmers in the same boat going through similar issues.’
Mr Brooksby has raised $5,000 for the Royal Flying Doctors Service after selling 2018 calendars, featuring the best saucy farmers, who strategically cover up their modesty
Two young women smile at the camera as they pose on a table full of sheep wool as part of a lighthearted farmers campaign
Since then, Mr Brooksby has raised $5,000 for the Royal Flying Doctors Service after selling 2018 calendars, featuring the best saucy nude farmers, who strategically cover up their modesty.
His next plans are to hit the road this year to raise more money.
‘This year in June and July, Emma and I plan on travelling around Australia to take photos of farmers in all agriculture industries to go into the 2019 calendar,’
‘For the next calendar, I plan on making two – one of all males in agriculture and one of all females in agriculture. I want to use the platform that I have at my fingertips on making a difference anyway I can.
‘I am also currently designing some male and female underwear to go on sale sometime this year.’
And the support he received from everyone so far has been overwhelming.
‘My family and friends have been a huge support for the project. I only just recently told them about it over the past month and some are still only finding out today,’