‘Untouchaballs’ out of reach in inaugural Wagin challenge

Cally Dupe and Kellie BalaamCountryman
Tiffany Davey and Kelly Gorter with the Young Farmers Challenge winning team “Untouchaballs” members Vicki Hempsell, Shannon and Carlton Hull and Tash Verazzi.
Camera IconTiffany Davey and Kelly Gorter with the Young Farmers Challenge winning team “Untouchaballs” members Vicki Hempsell, Shannon and Carlton Hull and Tash Verazzi. Credit: Kellie Balaam/Countryman

Wagin Woolorama’s first Young Farmers Challenge has been hailed a success, with plans for it to be even better next year.

The competition involved eight teams of four young farmers aged 18-35 test their farming skills and knowledge.

The teams completed a series of farming-based activities and challenges, with the fastest team emerging victorious.

Challenges included rolling up a swag, donning personal protective equipment, erecting a fence, rolling a tractor tyre and a theory component of identifying assorted seeds.

In first place was the “Untouchaballs” comprising Tash Verazzi, Vicki Hempsell, and Shannon and Carlton Hull.

Team members each took home $200 cash and a $500 voucher from Farm Gate Auctions.

Ms Hempsell said the team decided to sign up to help promote young people in agriculture.

“I’m always about promoting agriculture and getting young people involved and showing them how much fun it can be,” she said.

“I’m a technical officer at the agriculture school in Esperance so you can see I’m passionate about getting young people into the industry.”

The winning team will compete at this year’s Perth Royal Show.

Ms Hempsell and her teammates got involved in the challenge through social media.

“We’re all from different parts of WA, Tash and I met through Ag Connect — she’s a long way from where I’m from — and I just met Shannon today,” she said.

“The hardest challenge was definitely naming the seeds. I really want to know what they were.”

Woolorama’s 2020 event patron and Wagin Agricultural Society Rural Youth Ambassador Kelly Gorter co-ordinated the challenge with NextGenAg WA representative Tiffany Davey.

NexGenAg is a group dedicated to revitalising agricultural shows, and in other States has created a culture among young people that encourages them to get involved.

Ms Davey said the priority this year was to “help regional shows run young farmer challenges”.

“This is a form of free entertainment for these shows and a great way to engage the next generation attending the shows,” she said.

“The Young Farmers Challenge here is used as an opportunity to educate the crowd on the day to day runnings of the agricultural industry.”

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