Rural challenge tests entrants
YOUNG FARMERS CHALLENGE: Nobody knew what to expect from the first Monto Young Farmers Challenge, least of all the young farmers themselves.
Teams of four competed in a relay-style event, racing to unpack a swag bag, throw potatoes into a bag, chop a stump of wood, set up a wire fence and race hay bales to the finish line.
The rules stipulated every team needed at least one girl to promote diversity, but it was hardly necessary; most teams had at least one or two, and there were a couple of all-female teams among the ranks such as the J Lace Ladies.
A competitor suffered a head injury from wood-chopping early in the competition and had to seek medical attention.
St John's provided assistance until an ambulance arrived, whereupon she was airlifted to Bundaberg Hospital and recovered the next morning.
YFV coordinator Brianna Hockey said it was an unfortunate situation they hoped never to repeat.
With a team now out due to losing a player, a team of veteran farmers, dubbed "the Old Farts” stepped in to save the show, turning the final round into a battle of generations.
Though the younger competitors greatly outmatched the old guard, the final contest was close thanks to some liberal interpretations of the rules by the Old Farts, such as dropping the potato into the sack rather than throwing.
"We needed a handicap,” Barry Mundt said.
It was all in good fun, and the eventual winners, Marty Barbour and Brodie, Toni and Stuart Dingle said they enjoyed the close match.
"Monto Rural Traders put up a fantastic effort today and drew in so many spectators that really highlight rural industry,” Barbour said.