John began his working life as do many farming sons – he went jackarooing in Queensland, spent some time as an overseer, worked on a mine near Mt Hope, spent 12 months on the Sydney to Moomba gas pipeline, and of course worked the family property. This gave him a solid grass roots grounding in rural life.
His family life and his professional career have been concentrated on the Central West. John enjoyed raising his many daughters on the family property and is now enjoying the pleasures of being a (rather young) grandfather.
In the 1980s John became increasingly frustrated at the way policies affecting regional NSW were being made, by politicians and bureaucrats in the city with no knowledge or regard for regional areas. He joined the NSW Farmers Association with the drive to do something about it, and began a 15-year agri-political career that culminated a three-year term as Association president.
In agri-politics, the issues that John fought for included increasing the number of doctors in regional areas, better telecommunications services for country communities, and property rights for landholders – particularly the ability of farmers to continue to develop country to feed Australians.