Dumbleyung #1

Dumbleyung not only produces great footballers, but also Australia’s best farmers:

A WEST AUSTRALIAN farmer who can mend a fence and understands conservation farming techniques has been named Australia’s young farmer of the year.

Shayne Smith, 23, works on his family’s 3000ha wheat and sheep property near Dumbleyung.

He beat seven other young farmers from around the country, topping them in fields such as welding, conservation faming systems, fence mending and farm general knowledge.

Mr Smith plans to take over the family farm one day, but admits life on the land does not look all that inviting to other young people.

Even when being praised for his own excellence, Smithy doesn’t forget to remind Australia of the mighty Kukerin-Dumbleyung Cougars, or the sad demise of the Dumbleyung Parrots:

Another problem caused by the lack of young people in country areas was in the social connections that keep many rural towns alive.

Mr Smith’s own local Australian football team Dumbleyung had to merge with nearby Kukerin a few years back just to keep afloat.

“It’s a problem all over Australia, it means you have to travel further to play, and it’s a sign of the lack of young people,” he said.

Luckily, there’s still enough young people left to make the Grand Final for 9 of the last 11 years.

(thanks to Slatts for the tip-off)

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