Legendairy Farmers’ Day To Bring Fierce Rivals Together (on Aug 20)

The Stanhope and Girgarre footy clubs are separated by an M.Blight torp and possess one of the Kyabram District Football League’s fiercest rivalries. Both were founded in 1920 and joined the Kyabram League in the early 1930’s. In an area where dairy farming families are at the root of the community, the two clubs have relied on these farmers as players and community members since their respective inceptions. For both towns to be able to maintain senior sides as well as Reserves and Under 18’s teams is a major achievement as Stanhope’s population sits at 490 residents, while Girgarre’s is slightly larger at 593.

In 2015, Stanhope was nominated for and eventually won the Legendairy Capital of Australia award, coined in 2015. This initiative aimed to recognise eight communities in each of Australia’s dairy regions for the  positive impact that dairy farming has made on the community. Each one of these eight communities were awarded a $2,500 grant, while the winner would be awarded an additional $7,500.

Stanhope used this grant to construct a playground at the local Stanhope Recreation Reserve, the home of the Stanhope Lions. Incidentally, the seniors currently sit third on the ladder, after scraping by Lancaster by 13 points. Girgarre, meanwhile, had a somewhat easier afternoon, leveling Undera by 123 points and sit in eighth.

Stanhope’s title as the Legendairy Capital of Australia has helped put the tiny town on the map. It hopes to increase its notability in next month’s Legendairy Farmer Day, which revolves around the clash between Stanhope and Girgarre. The inaugural event will be held in Stanhope on the 20th of August and attended by AFL legend Kevin Sheedy.

“He’ll be around to speak to farmers and mix with the crowd,” Stanhope dairy farmer and ex-player Andrew Hipwell said. “It’s fantastic to have him here and he’s gone out of his way to help us. I reckon 90 per cent of people in Stanhope barrack for Essendon.”

“It’s not a fund-raiser or anything serious; just a casual day out for local farmers to enjoy the footy for free and something to eat and drink,” he said. “Some farmers don’t get off the farm often enough but there are a lot of benefits from going to a social gathering.”

The Kyabram League expect the Legendairy Farmer Day to become an annual event to recognise the importance of dairy farming to the community and to provide continuous support to local farmers.



About Paddy Grindlay

Paddy is new to the city and thinks it's all a bit much at the moment. He's studying at RMIT University and can be found 'round the traps.

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