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‘Cheeky’ Hay Bale Art off the A9 Tells and Important Message for Mental Health

LISTEN: Jillian Kennedy explains the message behind the SAYC bale art

Drivers passing by Logierait have ‘kept one eye on the road and one eye on the field’ taking notice of the eye-catching hay bale art set up by local young farmers.

As part of the Scottish Association of Young Farmers Clubs annual Hay Bale art competition, Jillian Kennedy, chairman of Aberfeldy and Districts Junior Agricultural Club, says that this year’s theme is ‘something to make you smile’ so they decided to get creative and have fun with their display.

Made up of three bales stacked on each other, this year’s entrant for Scotland’s East region is a woman hanging up clothes on her washing line with pair of pants stretching bigger than an arms span.

Another six bales, three either side, support the washing line that’s complemented by five polka dot pattern pants along the line.

Jillian Kennedy said: “So this year our bale art theme is just a washing line, the theme this year was something to make you smile, so we built a person to look like their hanging out their washing.

“So, there’s just five pairs of pants, massive knickers, just hanging on a washing line next to the A9.”

Image Courtesy of Jillian Kennedy

It’s hard to miss the art which standing proud in Rabbie Laird’s field, who allowed the team to use his field for another year’s display, and it’s fair to say it’s hit the mark celebrating the ‘something to make you smile’ theme.

Ms Kennedy added: “It just makes you smile, we were all giggling putting it up.

“It was amazing putting the display together, so we painted the knickers on the Friday night and then, of course, it rained all day Saturday so it was quite a struggle getting everything dry but we got there in the end.

“We actually borrowed, just because it was close by, a tractor and trailer from the Wilson Brothers and a couple of our guys put it up with the tractor and trailer basically.

“Strung a couple of knickers up on a piece of rope and winched that up as well.”

Image Courtesy of Jillian Kennedy

Although there is an important message behind the fun of the washing line art, ‘Keep Talking’ which aims to support farmers after the busy lambing and calving period during Spring.

The campaign was started by The Royal Scottish Agricultural Benevolent Institution (RSABI) who are supporting ‘people [who] could be at particular risk of feeling lonely, anxious or unhappy.’

Talking about people who’ve come out of the busy season, Ms Kennedy explained: “Obviously with everything going on this year, a lot of land-based personal have maybe been quite lonely, so it’s to just to try and ensure people are still talking and aren’t feeling alone at any point.

“And RSABI really promote that, they do a lot of practical, and financial, and emotional help to individuals and families across the country.”

Reflecting on the work of the RSABI and what they can do for people who are struggling, for Ms Kennedy it’s about getting the conversation started, adding ‘I think you just need to talk to people.’

She said: “If you are in doubt, RSABI are there and it’s volunteer run and they’re absolutely fantastic.

“Whether you go to them yourself, or if somebody encourages you to speak to them, everything’s obviously confidential.

“And they do have that wide range of [support], they can give you emotional support, a kind of friendship, and there’s also practical and financial support there.”

Anyone looking for some support during these times can find more information from The Royal Scottish Agricultural Benevolent Institution from the following link: https://rsabi.org.uk/Home-Page

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