BRODIE Chester’s aim of encouraging more youth involvement in the agriculture sector has seen her named the 2014 Bega Showgirl.
The announcement was made at a formal dinner at Thornleigh on Newton, Bega, where the five prospective showgirls mingled with family, friends, judges and members of the Bega AP&H Society.
Ms Chester, 21, of Bega, was announced as the local winner, with Candelo’s Georgia Shellard, 20, runner-up.
The reason the decision was made earlier than usual this year was so the Bega Showgirl can be included in the Zone 3 final, to be hosted at Crookwell on February 1.
Bega AP&H Society vice-president Jacinta Day said the five entrants were assessed on their general knowledge of people and events in the Bega Valley, what their involvement is in the rural community, as well as their personal interests and what they hope to get out of the showgirl competition.
Ms Day said at the zone final the judges will take a closer look at their rural knowledge and interests in both an interview and dinner speech.
“The showgirl competition’s major sponsor is The Land newspaper, so judges will want to know the girls are aware of what is going on in the rural sector, but also what their opinion is on those topics,” Ms Day said.
The eventual winner of the zone final will then head to the Royal Easter Show for the chance to be crowned The Land Sydney Royal Showgirl for 2014.
Ms Day said seven zones compete for the state title, while in theory there could be up to 23 showgirls in Zone 3.
“But there hasn’t been more than about 14 for a long time. A lot of the smaller shows don’t run a showgirl competition – there’s a lot of work involved,” she said.
As well as Ms Chester’s involvement in the competition’s progress, she and the other four Bega Showgirl entrants will have local duties to perform.
The entrants will all be invited to attend the Far South Coast National Show on February 14-16 to present champion sashes and take part in some of the events such as the Bega Cheese Race and Young Farmers Challenge.
Ms Chester will officially be announced as the 2014 Bega Showgirl during the Bega Show’s opening ceremony from 7pm on the Friday.
Opportunity a privilege
BRODIE Chester says she feels privileged to have been named Bega Showgirl for 2014.
The 21-year-old moved to the Bega area only 15 months ago and said taking part in The Land Showgirl Competition was a great experience.
“I’ve always looked up the showgirls and wanted to be part of that,” she said after being named the local winner.
“It’s a good thing to get to know more people and to learn more about the area.”
Ms Chester admitted the prospect of the Zone 3 final in Crookwell on February 1 was “nerve-wracking”.
“But it’s all good experience and I’m looking forward to it.”
Ms Chester said encouraging youth in agriculture was a main focus for her.
She has been involved in showing cattle and junior judging at rural shows since she was 11 years old.
“I was lucky enough when I was younger to have farmers take me around and I got to see plenty at rural shows.
“It’s important for young people to get shown how important agriculture is and to have these opportunities.”
Meanwhile, Candelo’s Georgia Shellard said she was thrilled to be named runner-up.
“It [the announcement] was really unexpected, but it will be my pleasure to offer assistance to Brodie,” Ms Shellard said.
“Bega Valley is a land of opportunity.
“I really like living here and I’m proud of the area.
“All I need now is a handsome young farmer!” she said with a laugh.