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Watch grieving farmer’s tribute to ‘very special’ aunt

farmer sheep heart
Mr Jackson's sheep get to work forming his heart-warming tribute. Photo: Twitter
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A NSW sheep farmer is warming hearts with a touching tribute to a beloved aunt.

Ben Jackson, who lives in Guyra in northern NSW, was unable to travel to Brisbane for his aunt Deb Cowdery’s funeral because of coronavirus border rules.

Instead, he used what he had at hand – his flock of sheep – to pay a special tribute. With the aid of a few tricks, he got the flock to form a massive heart-shaped formation and filmed the spectacle on a drone.

The video was played at Ms Cowdery’s funeral service.

“I feel a bit hopeless here on the farm, but I wanted to show my love somehow,” Mr Jackson told The Weekly Times this week.

His aunty Deb was “very special”, he said.

“It’s completely busted me not being able to say cheerio, but it is what it is I guess,” he told Seven’s Sunrise on Thursday.

“If this just brings a smile to just one person’s face, she’d be one very proud aunty right now.”

The heart-warming trick was surprisingly simple to create. Mr Jackson just used the supplementary feed he gives his sheep ahead of lambing, and laid it out in a heart-shaped pattern. Though the well-laid plan wasn’t without its difficulties.

“I had to have several cracks at making it happen. The first – well, the first one looked like a big poo,” he told the ABC.

“While my aunty Deb did have a very wicked sense of humour – you know, a beautiful sense of humour, in fact – that wasn’t the effect or what I wanted to display for her while she was looking down.”

Eventually he, and the flock, got it right. And the effect is quite beautiful.