Local girl Anna Jowitt loves the TV series ‘Farmer Wants a Wife’. So when one of the contestant’s known as ‘Farmer Howie’ didn’t find his perfect match on the show she jumped at the chance to meet him.
> How long have you lived in Armidale?
I have lived in Armidale since about 2003, after my parents moved here in 2001. I grew up in Mildura, Victoria and lived there until I started boarding school in Adelaide in 1999. When my parents moved here in 2001, I stayed in Adelaide to finish Year 12 in 2002 and then went to England for my GAP year in 2003. Once I had completed my GAP year, I came back to live in Armidale with my parents. My mum is a pilot and my step dad is an Anesthetist, and they moved here when my step dad started working at the Armidale private and public hospitals.
Armidale is completely different to Mildura (as you could probably see in the November Focus Magazine), although both are great places to live. Although I love living in Armidale, it was quite difficult moving here, as I did not have any friends – only my immediate family. But I now have a great circle of friends and love spending time with them and their families. I have two dogs, one seven year old kelpie who lives at my parents’ house and an eight month old Staffordshire Terrier puppy, who is very spoilt and just graduated from puppy school.
> What are you studying at university?
I have just completed the third year of my Bachelor of Primary Education. I originally started Arts at University of New England, but transferred over to Education after a year. I have enjoyed the degree but am glad the end is finally in sight. At UNE, Education students do some practicum (experience) in every year of the degree.
I have completed pracs in Nambucca Heads, Wollomombi, Lightning Ridge, and most recently Walcha. I am glad I have been to such diverse places for my practicums, as it has allowed me to see not only how different schools work, but all of the positives and negatives of working in the different types of towns.
The pracs are difficult but are always fun and a great opportunity to learn about yourself and your teaching abilities. I am not sure what I will do once I have completed my degree, but I hope to stay near Armidale. However, as a new teacher it is very hard to find a permanent job – especially in sought after regions like the New England.
> Tell us about the TV show ‘Farmer Wants A Wife’.
‘Farmer Wants a Wife’ is a show that finds single farmers around the country, and single women apply to meet them to try to win them over. The farmers choose ten of the women who have applied to meet them, and they have a short, speed-date type of meeting for the farmer to get an idea of what each of the women is like. From the original ten potential dates, the farmer must pick two to come and spend time with him on his farm, so the farmer can then decide if he would like to pursue a relationship with either of them. It is a wonderful show, showing the development of relationships between the farmers and the lovely ladies they chose from the original applicants.
Farmer Howie, who was in Series Two, chose two women from the ten but decided, after they had spent some time on his farm situated between Walcha and Tamworth, that he did not have any feelings for either of the women – so they sadly left the show. Although Farmer Howie did not have much luck on the show, there has been one wedding for a Tamworth farmer from Series One and a very new engagement between a farmer and his girl from Series Two. Series Three is in the making now, and I am quite excited! I hate to admit it, but I love the show and it is a favourite – you can tell I’m a single girl now!
> What prompted you to try and contact Howie?
A Current Affair did a feature on Howie when he did not manage to meet a potential wife from the show. My mum happened to be watching this particular episode and rang to tell me that the show was asking for people interested in meeting Howie. I am not sure why, but I decided to send an email to A Current Affair, seeing as I am single and thought I did not really have anything to lose!
A few days later, I received a reply from a producer asking for more details about myself and a photo to forward on to Howie. I emailed the information and photo without really thinking about the possible outcomes, which turned out to be quite surprising. I received a phone call from the producer, and Howie had chosen me from the information I had sent, and A Current Affair was coming to Armidale to interview me. This was a huge shock, but quite exciting! So a few days later the journalist Ben McCormack and the camera crew flew to Armidale and spent the afternoon with me.
> How did your visit with A Current Affair go?
As I previously mentioned, A Current Affair came to me, which was very surreal, but a great experience. Ben McCormack and the camera guys were hilarious, and any nerves I had before we met disappeared and we ended up having a hilarious afternoon. The crew came to my house to meet me, and we then went to Knights Store, where I work, to get some footage of me at work – apparently trying to see into my normal life in Armidale. I was still very nervous at this point, but I am lucky none of the spills or mistakes I made were included in the final cut of the episode!
After getting the footage inside Knights Store, we went out to Sport UNE to the Hockey New England turf fields to get some shots of me playing hockey, as I have played hockey since 1999 and also play for Classics Hockey Club during the winter. Although I am normally the goalie, the camera crew wanted me to shoot some goals – which proved to be a lot harder than it sounds! After my terrible effort at trying to score goals, we moved onto soccer skills, which I don’t really have either.
I started playing for East Armidale Women’s Soccer Team this year and we won the minor premiership, but this does not mean I have learnt anything useful! All of my nerves had disappeared by the time we got to the interview, which was not as scary as I had thought, and I think that it actually went well. In any case, it could have been a lot worse!
> Did you ever get to meet Howie?
Unfortunately, no. Although I did make his shortlist, I did not ever meet him. It turns out that a number of people I know already know him – who are always suggesting they will introduce me, but so far, no such luck!
I believe he has met someone, but not through the show. I hope this is the case, as he seems to be a nice bloke and deserves to meet a nice girl.
> Are you glad that you at least tried?
Definitely. While it was disappointing not to meet Howie in the end, I had a great time with Ben and the cameramen, so do not regret any of it – it was a great experience.
> Did your friends and family support your decision to go on TV in search of love?
My friends supported me, but even though my mum was the one who initially told me about Howie being on A Current Affair, she was not too keen for me to go ahead with appearing on the program. Once the show went to air, she thought it went quite well, and we both decided it could have been a lot worse! I had friends from all over the country see me on the show, and my family will never let me live down the fact that Ben McCormack called me ‘the sporty type’… but apart from that, they all thought it went really well.
I am very surprised with how many people actually saw me on the program, but I have heard a lot of positive comments from many different people. So overall, I received a great deal of support from everyone who saw the show.
> What type of partner are you looking for?
Someone I can trust, and who I can have fun with and who is caring and kind. I think a sense of humour is important; someone who likes travelling and spending time with family and friends. Mostly, someone who has similar interests and values to my own. It is hard to put into words, but I don’t think I am too fussy … from my point of view!
> Thank you Anna.