Farmer plans to trans­form public image

Albany Extra - - Extra | News - Cally Dupe

A third-gen­er­a­tion wool grower with a pen­chant for agri­cul­tural ed­u­ca­tion has been crowned this year’s WA ru­ral am­bas­sador.

Luke Hall, 27, farms 3000ha of crop and sheep at Wa­gin with his fam­ily and wife Alexan­dra.

Mr Hall said his pitch to the Royal Agri­cul­tural So­ci­ety of WA se­lec­tion com­mit­tee high­lighted the need to change the “public per­cep­tion of a farmer”.

“What some peo­ple think of is an over­weight gen­tle­man, chew­ing on a piece of straw,” he said.

“To try and turn that image around is re­ally im­por­tant.”

Fourth-gen­er­a­tion deer farmer Stephanie Ken­naugh, of Mar­garet River, was run­ner-up this year.

Other WA fi­nal­ists in­cluded Larissa Honey, 27, of Quairad­ing, Court­ney Humphrey, 23, of York, and Ju­lia Davis, 25, of Yal­goo.

Af­ter spend­ing his child­hood in Wa­gin, Mr Hall at­tended Nar­ro­gin Agri­cul­tural Col­lege and re­turned to the fam­ily farm in 2007.

Now, he and his wife are set­ting up their fu­ture at Glen­downer, a 1000ha prop­erty that is an ex­ten­sion of the Hall fam­ily’s 2000ha farm in Buchanan Hills.

The cou­ple have de­cided to cross their Merino flock us­ing Prime SAMM rams to lift lamb numbers and coun­ter­act the in­creas­ing grain-mar­ket volatil­ity.

Mr Hall was nom­i­nated by Wa­gin Agri­cul­tural So­ci­ety and recog­nised for his vol­un­teer work in the com­mu­nity.

It was the sec­ond accolade for the wool grower this year af­ter he was also crowned the so­ci­ety’s ru­ral am­bas­sador in March.

The WA Ru­ral Am­bas­sador award is co-or­di­nated by the Royal Agri­cul­tural So­ci­ety of WA and aims to un­earth in­spir­ing young lead­ers in re­gional ar­eas.

As the State win­ner, Mr Hall will com­pete in the na­tional ru­ral am­bas­sador awards in Septem­ber next year.

Mr Hall and Ms Ken­naugh trav­elled to Perth last week­end for the award pre­sen­ta­tion at Clare­mont Show­ground.

Out­go­ing ru­ral am­bas­sador Brad Kup­sch, a mixed-grain and live­stock farmer from the Al­lanooka re­gion, will at­tend the na­tional com­pe­ti­tion later this year.

Pic­ture: Bob Gar­nant

Wa­gin farm­ing cou­ple Luke and Alexan­dra Hall.

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