Students show farming can be fun by facing up to Challenge

IT’S not quite the Olympics, but a group of Charles Sturt University (CSU) Orange students are hoping a Young Farmer Challenge has the potential to become the bush’s version of a modern-day heptathlon.

Being held tomorrow at CSU Oval in Orange, the Young Farmer Challenge will pit 10 teams of four against each other over a series of rural-based challenges.

From cracking a stockwhip to drenching a sheep, building an electric fence to operating a water pump and carrying a hay bale, to name a few, the challenges will bring the best of the bush to those university students with a competitive edge.

The primary aim of the CSU Young Farmer Challenge is to raise awareness for Beyond Blue, but a touch of dorm rivalry is set to make the 2014 challenge one to watch.

“It’s a fun initiative to involve others on campus,” student Jaimi Brown said.

“It’s one of the social activities for the Ag Club and we’re also raising awareness for Beyond Blue and depression in farmers. It’ll be a gold coin donation to enter.”

This year will be the fourth time the Orange Agricultural Club has run the event.

Based on the initiative run by the Royal Agricultural Society, the Young Farmer Challenge is designed to promote excellence in farming and showcase the involvement of youth in agriculture through the skills, equipment and techniques farmers use every day. 

Emphasis is placed on completing each challenge with the fastest time, but more importantly, with the correct technique and safe work method.

The fastest time at last year’s event was a touch over seven minutes.

The top four teams from tomorrow’s Young Farmer Challenge will go on to compete at the Orange Show Society’s challenge in May.

Miss Brown said anyone, whether you be of city or country origin, is welcome to compete.

“Get in and have a go,” she said.

The young Farmer Challenge will begin at 5pm on Friday, March 14, at the CSU Oval.

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