JUDY Hocking was mystified when the letter arrived.
A flash of colour caught her eye, followed by a child's handwriting.
"Who on Earth's this for?" the Tandarra woman initially thought.
Then, the words came into focus: "To the Hocking family, Thank you for the food you make on your farm."
This was the work of a young student reaching out to the farming community as part of a school activity.
"I read it and thought, this is really good," Mrs Hocking, a former teacher, said.
The letter and artwork were among about 80 sent to members of the farming community by East Loddon P-12 College students from years prep through to four.
College principal Steve Leed said each student wrote a letter to a different farming family.
Mrs Hocking was the first to reply.
"It's about trying to lift spirits... show a bit of gratitude and empathy for others," Mr Leed said.
The letters and artworks were completed during class. The activity was inspired by National Agriculture Day.
Mrs Hocking and her husband are both well into their 70s.
Their sheep and wheat farm in Tandarra spans several thousand acres.
"My husband is a fourth-generation farmer," Mrs Hocking said.
"His family has always had this farm."
Charles and Judy Hocking's children have grown up and onto other opportunities, away from the farm.
"It's not a job, it's a lifestyle," Mrs Hocking said of farming.
"It's 24-hours a day, seven days a week."
She said the letter and picture of appreciation from East Loddon P-12 College student Hudson were a welcome surprise.
"It's just a nice idea that children are writing to someone in the community," Mrs Hocking said.
She decided to write a note and say thank you, in the hope it would show Hudson his message made a difference and encourage further kind acts.
"It's really important children know people care about what they're doing," Mrs Hocking said.
"It doesn't matter who you are, you always like to have someone show appreciation."
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