Jo, a former newspaper photographer, fell in love with South Australian cattle farmer Rob as Australia watched on from their living rooms.
“I remember it like it was yesterday,” she smiles .
The pair seemed like chalk and cheese, but their shared zest for life and deep desire to have a big family meant they were a match made in heaven. It wasn’t long before the pitter-patter of tiny bare feet were heard outside on the grass – Jo and Rob now have Darcy, 8, Maggie, 6 and 3-year-old Roy.
“I remember watching Rob’s profile video before he went on this show, and he said, ‘I just want my own family this much …’ and held out his hands to show how much,” Jo recalls fondly. “And I say to him, ‘Remember when you said how much you wanted kids? Well here they are!’”
Even though it’s been around 12 years since Jo and Rob graced our TV screens, the couple still get stopped on the street by fans who were so invested in their love story.
The pair also plan to show their children how mum and dad met on television when they are older.
“We’re going to watch it with the kids in the future. I mean, we literally have the first time we spoke to each other on video,” Jo says.
“There was a bit we showed Darcy from the episode where we had our first kiss, but it was behind a hat. And we turned around to Darcy and she was just crying.”
Jo has made no secret of her past heartaches, suffering from mental health issues and eating disorders.
Now an author and founder of The Nourish Nook, a holistic health space in Mount Gambier, the 42-year-old says Farmer Wants a Wife – and meeting Rob – absolutely saved her life.
“Moving to the country actually saved me. Life has done a complete 180 for me since meeting Rob and moving to the farm,” Jo confesses.
“My whole life has completely and utterly changed. I never thought that I would even have children.
“I never thought I could own a business. I never thought that I could be really healthy and happy, after 23 years of being really unhappy, mentally.”
Jo says she and Rob can’t wait to watch the new season and witness other couples find love just as they did.
“It’s just such a wholesome, really lovely, authentic and such a beautiful show.
“And the results speak for themselves,” Jo adds.
And the bubbly city girl turned farmer’s wife has just one word of advice for the fresh batch of female contestants looking for their future husbands.
“I think the biggest thing is just to be yourself. Just take it as a really fun experience, and if you find love at the end of it, that’s even better.”
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