Bright and early on Thursday at the Nowra Saleyards, with an instant coffee and a bacon and egg roll in hand, former Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce talked all things agriculture with local industry identities.
He picked their brains about the local climate, and the amount of rainfall they've had - or lack thereof - recently.
South Coast farmers did not shy away from bringing up the real issues.
Frustrated with endless chatter about drought measures from politicians, and the state of the dairy industry, Shoalhaven farmer Geoff Cochrane told Mr Joyce the government had done nothing to help farmers in his position, and advocated for a government-imposed rise in supermarket milk prices.
Mr Joyce said he would like Australia to follow New Zealand's lead, where the milk is $1.75 per litre.
Former dairy farmer John Bryce shared his heartbreak with Mr Joyce.
"My son had to go off farm, he runs around servicing farmers now, we had to give up dairying, we were too small to continue, the price [of milk] was too low," Mr Bryce said.
Mr Joyce excused himself and called a press conference.
In conference he made it clear he was well aware of the situation local farmers find themselves in.
"It's really important to explain to Australian people that you have to have an exceptionally good season on the coast to run dairy cattle," Mr Joyce said.
"A lot of them have a bit of silage packed away, but it's not a case of just because you see grass it's a great season in dairy country.
"Here they haven't had enough rain to get enough guts into the feed."
Barnaby: Katrina provides Gilmore voters with 'a proper choice'
Mr Joyce provided a glowing endorsement of Nationals Gilmore Candidate Katrina Hodgkinson.
"In Gilmore we want proper choice, and to have Katrina, a properly-experienced, long-term advocate for rural issues to be throwing her hat in the ring, and make sure that Gilmore is not run by the big city, it's run by the people of Gilmore, is a great thing," Mr Joyce said.
Ms Hodgkinson said it was "fantastic" to have his support, and they received a warm welcome at the St Georges Basin Country Club on Wednesday night.
"People are enjoying the prospect of actually having a choice of candidates," she said.
"I have 18 and a half years' experience in state parliament and I'll bring all that to this position. I won't have L-Plates on, I'll be straight into it."
Nats on Princes Highway funding
Barnaby speaks up about Ann Sudmalis
Exiting Gilmore MP Ann Sudmalis arrived in time for the sale on Thursday.
In an address to the public before the sales commenced, Mr Joyce sympathised with his federal colleague.
"I reckon she was done over, I'll tell it how it is," Mr Joyce said.
His speech was met with applause from Mrs Sudmalis.
'Katrina will mount a strong case'
In Gilmore, there are no local councils eligible for the Drought Communities program.
Mr Joyce said Ms Hodgkinson would fight to have them included on the list.
"It's important that we as the National Drought Envoy cover all sections of our nation," Mr Joyce said.
"No one's got feed so the market's smashed. We have to work out how we get in and help further. I'm sure Katrina's the person who can mount the case to ensure we get the money into the area. It's not just for farmers, the money will go around the town.
Ms Hodgkinson said she was concerned about the price of feed and availability of feed.
"A lot more focus needs to come onto our farming industries," Ms Hodgkinson said.
"We'll doing whatever we can to make sure we can help our farmers in drought which is very much in this region.
"I had a call from a farmer yesterday in desperate straits who couldn't get his hand on feed, he'll have to get rid of his stock now."