For David Littleproud, politics runs in the family.
His grandfather George was mayor of the Chinchilla Shire, where Littleproud was born and raised.
His father Brian served in the Queensland Liberal National government as the state education and environment minister.
Now Littleproud, 43, is the second-most senior National Party MP in federal parliament.
Did a career in politics feel inevitable given his family history, I ask Littleproud three days after he was shot into the deputy leadership position.
"It's a bit like growing up on the land, you know. You get it into your blood, you understand it, and want to be part of it," he says in a broad Queensland accent.
"I was realistic to know it may not have happened but I'm glad it has."
Littleproud's rise in the party has been meteoric. He swept into parliament for the regional Queensland seat of Maranoa in 2016 with 49.19 per cent of first preference votes. In the 2019 election, he increased that share to 56 per cent.
He leapfrogged other long-serving Nationals MPs to become Agriculture Minister in the reshuffle of December 2017. The portfolio was split in the wake of the 2019 election, with then Deputy Nationals leader Bridget McKenzie taking the prized title of Agriculture Minister, while Littleproud took on drought and water resources. McKenzie's resignation over the sports rorts affair cleared the way for Littleproud to become deputy and return to agriculture.
Littleproud was six when his father - a teacher and farmer - entered politics. He remembers watching his father in parliament and wanting to be like him.
He says his father was like an "invisible hand" throughout his life - not guiding though, but supporting. "He doesn't interfere, he just likes to stand back ... just trusting that I'll make the right decisions. Sometimes I don't, but he trusts that I'll learn from them."
It was a bittersweet moment when Brian made the flying trip to Canberra to see his son sworn in as Agriculture Minister. He was only able to come because Littleproud's mother Peta entered care on Monday. Peta has dementia and Brian had been caring for her for years, but recently it became too much. "We've known for some time, it's just been one of those gradual things," Littleproud says. "Even dad said last night, we lost her a couple of years ago really."
Before entering parliament, Littleproud was a rural banker. When I observe he has jumped from one historically untrusted profession to another, he laughs although deems my assessment a bit harsh.
"I was never in head office as a banker. I was always the one out around the kitchen table doing the cash flows, putting applications together for farmers to borrow money," Littleproud says.
In this job, he was not just financier, but also a part of the business and often "marriage counsellor", he says.
Those skills he learnt sitting around the kitchen table have been handy in his move into politics. As the minister for Drought and Emergency Management, Littleproud has been a key figure in the Morrison government's response to the drought and bushfire crisis gripping Australia.
It has been a brutal few months, he admits. The Morrison government has been accused of being too slow to act in the face of the fires tearing through the eastern states. The public outcry was compounded by the fact the Prime Minister went on a holiday to Hawaii during the height of the crisis and when he was back in the country, he was filmed forcing a fire victim to shake his hand.
But Littleproud says it is hard to know how to handle those moments, especially when the eyes of the nation are on you.
"When you're there in the heat of the moment and you're feeling people's emotions, it's not something that's natural," he says. "How you interact with someone who's gone through trauma that you've only just met is a difficult thing to judge."
He thinks of one man he met in the Blue Mountains, who was around his age and lost everything in the fires.
"His mental and emotional state actually rocked me. I hadn't seen anyone in that way. I really feared for him. I went up to him afterwards and said 'we need to get you some help'," he says.
Littleproud also disputes that the government was too slow or too piecemeal in its response. Every request for resources that came across his desk was signed off on in minutes, he says, while every state and federal government response was "to the letter of the law".
"I don't think there's any more that either could have done in terms of the roles and responsibilities set out," he says.
"What we're saying now is are they fit for the future? This is a national disaster that we haven't seen across so many jurisdiction from a fire perspective for a very long time if ever. Do we need to think differently about how we do that in future, where those lines of delineation come in?"
As deputy leader, Littleproud was able to exercise some control over which portfolios he shed and which ones he kept. With the bushfire recovery in its infancy, he didn't feel right giving Emergency Management up.
To keep it, it meant Littleproud could not reunite the agriculture portfolio with water and drought. Keith Pitt was elevated to the frontbench to take on the water resources role.
Having drought and water but not agriculture was like trying to solve a puzzle with only two-thirds of the pieces, and Littleproud reckons he had the "hardest two thirds at times".
Does he regret not reassembling the pieces when he had the chance?
"You've got to actually be honest with yourself, if you take on too much you're actually at risk of doing damage to the people you're there to protect," Littleproud says.
"We're just at the starting point of recovery I think and I wanted to see it through."
While the reshuffle has ruffled some feathers - Barnaby Joyce and a bloc of disaffected Nationals MPs have threatened to vote against the government after Joyce's supporters failed to get a spot on the frontbench - Littleproud says the choices were made on talent and ability.
"Everyone has their own political opinion and I respect it," he says.
Littleproud has three sons - aged 13, 6, and 5. Is politics a life he'd want for his own boys?
"I work on the same principle as my dad. I'm not big on imposing my will on them. I think they'll be individuals and they'll make their own minds up. That's what my father did for me," he says.