Pair have passion for livestock
Like many ambassadors before them, the stars of this year’s event Kelly Gorter and Peter Rundle are proud to be part of the 48th annual Wagin Woolorama.
As this year’s Wagin Agricultural Society rural ambassador, Ms Gorter is keen to promote the event, while as patron Mr Rundle has fond memories of attending the show as a youngster.
Most importantly, they embody the spirit of one of WA’s largest agricultural shows.
Originally from Kojonup, Ms Gorter is widely regarded as a livestock industry young gun and moved to Wagin after studying animal science at the University of New England.
In her younger years, Ms Gorter attended the local district high school in Kojonup before attending boarding school in Perth.
During her gap year after high school, she worked at the WA College of Agriculture — Cunderdin piggery, and later went on to show cattle at the IGA Perth Royal Show and the WA Youth Cattle Handlers Camp.
From there, she was offered the chance to associate judge the led steer and heifer classes at the show, and was offered a position at the Charolais Youth Muster in NSW.
While studying at Murdoch University, she transferred her degree to UNE, packed up, and moved to Armidale. Her passion for livestock technology shines through as the owner of her business, KG Livestock Services, and her separate role working for Wagin farmer Clayton South.
As an electronic identification consultant, her day is a perfect mix of in-field data collection and office-based data management and analysis. The idea is to help farmers make informed, data-driven decisions in the paddock.
She offers eID data collection and management services, as well as advice for farm businesses which want to implement eID tags but are unsure about where to start.
“Growing up, we went to all of the local shows, and I know how important they are to local communities,” she said.
One of Ms Gorter’s key roles this year is to help launch Woolorama’s first Next Gen Young Farmers Challenge, which includes a range of tasks for those aged 18-25.
She was inspired to help Next Gen WA president Tiffany Davey launch the event, which is in its infancy, at other rural shows in WA, after being heavily involved in NSW.
While fun and amusing, the challenge has a serious aim — to give youngsters in agriculture a platform to show off their farm skills. Ms Gorter is also helping introduce the first Kids Pet Parade, for children to show off their favourite animals.
Mr Rundle, a local politician and Katanning farmer, attended his first Woolorama in the early 1970s at age 10. The Nationals Roe MLA said he was honoured to be selected as this year’s patron, and strongly believed in the event.
As a child, the things that stood out to him most were the sheep competitions and the rodeo.
“I have strong memories of being really impressed by the wide range of sheep ... seeing the different breeds of the various studs,” he said.
“The rodeo came on in later years ... which was good.
“The Woolorama was always a good chance to spend some time with my parents and see what was going on.”
When asked what he enjoyed most about the show now, Mr Rundle said the event held value for him in more ways than one.
“From a political perspective, our stall is on the main thoroughfare, so we get a good chance to catch up with our constituents in a relaxed atmosphere,” he said.
“I also love the diversity of things on show, the sheep dog trials, the sheep handling equipment, the family stalls, small goods and other businesses.”
“I always see the fashion parade and the shearing at least once.”
As patron, his role will be to attend various functions to promote the event, a role he gladly took on as a way to give back to WA’s agriculture industry.
“We have always been sheep producers... the thing I miss most about being in parliament is not being on the farm all the time, with the livestock,” he said.
“Farming is a great lifestyle.”
Mr Rundle said he had noticed a real spring in the step of WA’s agriculture industry last decade, with a new generation of young farmers emerging.
“You can really see that passion for agriculture coming through the ranks,” he said.
“It is great to see the agriculture college students put their skills on show.”
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