Goondiwindi Young Farmers forum

Keynote speaker Sam Bayley delivers a take home message to delegates


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AGForce grains president Brendan Taylor, Warra, with Tom Woods, Billa Billa, Goondiwindi, and Luke Arbuckle, Bungunya, who acted as MC.

AGForce grains president Brendan Taylor, Warra, with Tom Woods, Billa Billa, Goondiwindi, and Luke Arbuckle, Bungunya, who acted as MC.

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Some 70 young people interested in farming were in attendance.

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More that 70 young people with a strong interest in agriculture attended the AgForce Goondiwindi Young Farmers Forum held at the Goondiwindi Cultural Centre last Friday.

In what was an actioned packed program the event included 12 guest speakers addressing various aspects of farming from data collection to multi-species crop cover.

The keynote speaker was Croppa Creek farmer Sam Bailey, Pine Hills, who told his journey of when his life changed forever on the side of a road the heading to the Urandangi Hotel when he was only 19.

This horrific road accident turned the schoolboy sporting hero and outback jackaroo into a quadriplegic which changed the path of his life and and that of his parents.

Sam told the delegates on how he turned tragedy into hope and how he beat the odds to fulfil his life-long dream of being a farmer.

The medical experts told him was impossible but despite being paralysed with only limited use of his hands and arms, and an intolerance to heat and cold, he went home to the family farm and proved everyone wrong.

He learnt to ride a four wheel motor bike, which became his "legs" around the farm, devised a hoist to lift him into the farm machinery and converted tractors, the harvester, front end loader and dozer so he could drive them.

He learnt to drive a car again, travelled overseas and even tried snow skiing.

As if he hadn't already achieved enough - he "climbed" his very own "Mount Kosciuszko" when he learnt to fly an ultralight aircraft and will soon learn to fly a helicopter.

Sam told his story with charm and humour but send home a vital message was for those in the room to think of the consequences of their actions and how it will affect their lives.

Sam also told of finding his soul mate in ABC journalist, Jenny Black, who he proposed to "live" on regional radio.

The audience was captivated by Sam's story and you could hear a pin drop throughout his presentation as the delegates absorbed the seriousness of his message.

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