‘I’m really honoured’ — Woolorama’s Kelly Gorter named State Rural Ambassador at Perth Royal Show

Email Shannon Verhagen
Wagin Woolorama's Kelly Gorter was named the 2021 Rural Ambassador for the Perth Royal Show at the weekend.
Camera IconWagin Woolorama's Kelly Gorter was named the 2021 Rural Ambassador for the Perth Royal Show at the weekend.

WA looks poised to make quite the impression at the Sydney Royal Easter Show, with the potential for a back-to-back win for the State in the National Rural Ambassador competition.

The face of Wagin Woolorama and livestock industry young gun Kelly Gorter was at the weekend bestowed the title of the Perth Royal Show 2021 Rural Ambassador.

Ms Gorter — who grew up on a farm in Kojonup and now runs an electronic sheep ID tag consulting business out of Albany — said it was an “honour”.

“I’m really honoured,” she said. “There’s a lot of really great competitors out there so it was an honour to be chosen,” she said.

It comes after two years proudly bearing the Wagin Woolorama Rural Ambassador sash — after the COVID-19 pandemic quashed agricultural shows Australia-wide last year and the 2020 competition circuit.

A familiar face on the agricultural show circuit already, she will now represent the Royal Agricultural Society of WA at selected events with an agricultural and education focus as the “face” for primary production and agricultural shows in WA.

Wagin Woolorama's Kelly Gorter was named the 2021 Rural Ambassador for the Perth Royal Show at the weekend.
Camera IconWagin Woolorama's Kelly Gorter was named the 2021 Rural Ambassador for the Perth Royal Show at the weekend. Credit: Picture: Shannon Verhagen/Countryman

Come Easter — COVID-19 restrictions pending — she will head to Sydney to vie for the national title, which was last won in 2019 by Boyup Brook farmer Harris Thompson, who was the first national winner from WA in 16 years.

It means after a decade-and-a-half without a national sash, WA could be looking at a back-to-back win.

“That would be pretty awesome,” Ms Gorter said.

There will be plenty of familiar faces on the trip.

“We ran the State finals of the Young Farmers Challenge on Saturday and the Woolorama team won that as well so we’ll all be going over together,” Ms Gorter said. “It’ll be fun. Mackenzie Walmsley, who won in 2019, will get to go to the finals as well so there’ll be a few of us going over.”

Each year, up to 12 Rural Ambassadors are selected for each State, who then vie for the State title, before competing on the national stage to win the prestigious honour as the National Rural Ambassador. It is awarded to a young rural adult — aged between 20 and 30 — with a passion for living and working in rural communities.

Swan View & District Arts and Agricultural Society vice-president Elyse Hudson was named runner-up 2021 Rural Ambassador for the Perth Royal Show at the weekend.
Camera IconSwan View & District Arts and Agricultural Society vice-president Elyse Hudson was named runner-up 2021 Rural Ambassador for the Perth Royal Show at the weekend. Credit: Shannon Verhagen/Countryman/Shannon Verhagen/Countryman

Swan View & District Arts and Agricultural Society’s vice-president Elyse Hudson also walked away from the weekend’s presentation ceremony with a sash, named runner-up in the State Rural Ambassador competition.

The mining engineer and self-taught beef cattle judge has a passion for the industry after growing up in rural New South Wales and becoming “part of the agricultural show movement”.

Based in Perth representing the Swan Valley, she is passionate about connecting the metropolitan area with rural Australia and agriculture and the jobs available in not just farming, but teaching, nursing and other professions.

She wanted to highlight just how much agriculture was in the Greater Perth area, on metropolitan residents’ doorsteps.

“We produce the majority of poultry products in the State, we have strawberry farms, table grapes, orchards...and urban people can be involved in agriculture,” Ms Hudson said.

“Coming to a show like this is an opportunity for them to see what’s available, what’s out there, to get some networks and put their hands up and get involved.”

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