by Jack Lawrie
THE Young Farmers' Challenge is among a range of new features planned for the Monto Show and organisers expect it to be a highlight for participants and spectators alike.
While a new addition to the Monto Show schedule, the Young Farmers' Challenge has been part of the show circuit for some time.
The event allows young farmers, aged 15 and up, to showcase their skills in a series of activities that highlight the challenges of rural work.
These activities include things like hay baling and erecting a fence and within strict time limits with the winning team being the first to finish.
The challenge calls for teams of four, including at least one female member.
While some of the individual activities carry across from show to show, the twist is that the specific events are kept secret until the start of the challenge so young farmers will have to compete under pressure.
Organiser Breanna Hockey said the challenges would be kept general, though tailored to the abilities of Burnett farmers.
"I think in places like Monto, agriculture work is taken for granted because it's such a cornerstone of our community,” Ms Hockey said.
"But when you get further afield, particularly for the visitors coming to Monto, it really showcases what the people of our region are capable of doing.”
There will be stewards supervising the event to keep it safe and entertaining.
Monto Rural Traders will sponsor the event, supplying the $300 for the winners and $200 for the runners-up.
They will also supply prize packs of materials and equipment for the event.
Monto Rural Traders owner Kevin Roth said it was more important than ever to promote young farmers.
"There's not many (young farmers) out there,” Mr Roth said.
"I think the average age of Australian farmers is somewhere between 55 and 60 years old.”
Mr Roth said the cost of land meant farming career is were out of reach for many young people who haven't been raised on a farm.
"The young ones are succession-planning farmers where parents are still there and they've gone away for an education and come home to work to possibly take the farm on and buy it from their parents or just take it over,” Mr Roth said.
Because farming is such an important part of the region, events like the Young Farmer's Challenge are necessary to showcase the fun side of farming for young people.
People looking to nominate for the event can collect an entry form from Monto Rural Traders.