Special Feature: Bring the farm to the footy




1960s “footballers” Graeme Willingham (Camperdown and Daylesford FCs) and Owen Beaton (Camperdown, Heywood, Birregurra and Colac FCs) continue with their plan to recognise the contribution The Farm has made to today’s modern game.


Naming a FoFF Farmyard Team of The Centuries is all well and good and has been done by every football club,  but in today’s event-driven world of glitzy promotion we can also “Bring The Farm to The Footy” through a major event staged by the AFL, launching at The MCG during the Grassroots Weekend.


Project objective:

  • Salute the AFL/VFL players who have had a vital link with the farm
  • Build a bridge between city and rural
  • Show off rural industries
  • Boost AFL attendances
  • PR for the AFL – be seen to be “breaking new ground”
  • Plough-back export dollars into country football


Project elements

  • AgSport™ Half-Time Entertainment
    • Ploughing competition/or demonstration at the MCG (initially), spreading to all AFL matches around Australia, every week. Abandon the Little League because they have lost their novelty crowd-pulling powers.
    • Wood chopping exhibition (goal posts) and band sawing races to make new poles
    • Sheep dog trials after the game to round-up trespassers on the playing surface
    • Races on the wings to divine for water, sink a well, erect windmill, tap it for ongoing watering of ground, and conceal
    • Fencing (replace existing metal picket fences with fences made of high tension electrified wire/barbed wire/treated pine posts (at Skilled Stadium, use boulders from Western Plains to build dry stone walls stocked with rabbits as a bonus night-time grass growth control measure)
    • Hay bale stacking on the inside of the electric fences, for player safety


Ploughing Competition. During the long break, divide the centre square into four for a ploughing competition. Competition involves ploughing, harrowing, sowing seed, rolling, watering (superphosphate is allowed) and growing of grass to its pre-existing state, within the Half Time Break. Genetically Modified varieties permitted.


Alternatively (1), instead of turf, plant quick-growing wheat, harvest, roast and package as cereal for sale at the ground (self-funding).


Alternatively (2) extract existing square by Elvis helicopter and drop in containerised turf specially bred for ploughing, replacing it with the original for the start of the 3rd quarter.


Single-engine crop-dusters allowed.


The event must produce a “level playing field”. The modern tool, laser beams, is permitted.


The event would be launched by former Victorian MLA for Benambra, farmer Tony Plowman.


Note: Ploughing could bring a real international flavour to our domestic sport. At the 55th World Ploughing Contest at Grafenegg, Austria in August 2008, Australia was represented by Brett Loughridge from Poowong and David Smith from Rocklyn.

Brett came in 11th in the Conventional section and David 24th in the Reversible. Both drove “Fergys” and used Kverneland ploughs. Competitions are based on two legs-one called Stubble and the other Grassland. These are commendable results given that they were ploughing out of season and had an inadequate taper. (Source www.worldploughing.org)


Sponsors: Society of Toorak Tractor Owners (SoTTO) … City supporting the Country.


Trophy: The AgSport Award, a silver-plated plough disc, presented by FoFF Captain Forever, Graham “Polly” Farmer.



Ploughman’s Lunch (replacing the meat pie)

Wines (replacing city-made beer):

Reds: Coldstream Hills Pinot Noir, Crabtree Watervale Cab Sauvignon, Krondorf Pioneers Rest Shiraz Cabernet, Main Ridge Half Acre Pinot Noir, Miranda High Country Dark Horse Merlot Malbec, Oakridge Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot, Robertson’s Well Shiraz, Sadler’s Creek Bluegrass Cabernet Sauvignon, Stanley Bros Black Sheep (Malbec, Merlot), Storm Ridge Pinot Noir, Stumpy Gully Cabernet Sauvignon, Turkey Flat Butchers Block (mourvedre/shiraz. Grenache), Water Wheel, The Willows Cabernet Sauvignon etc

Whites: Angoves Sarnia Farm Chardonnay, Briar Ride Early Harvest Semillon, De Bortoli Windy Peak Rhine Riesling, Hay Shed Hill Sauvignon Blanc, Mitchell Growers Semillon etc


Historic static display: Stump Jump Plough


Theme music:  George Frideric Handel’s Water Music, or Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, performed by the Academy of St Martins in the Field.


Sing-along: Click Go the Shears, sung by Muddy Waters, and shown on big screens


Wood chopping: Recruit woodchop champions the O’Tooles of Gippsland and the Mathiesons of the Western District to cut down goal and point posts whilst loggers bandsaw new poles, paint and erect for start of 3rd quarter. Again, at half time. Designed to entertain cheer squads behind the goals.


Sheep dog trials: Self explanatory


Water bores: Self explanatory


Fencing: Self explanatory


Hay bale stacking: Self explanatory but carried out by Young Farmers Association.


AFL Export Earner: Apart from the obvious international television rights that would be attached to such an event, the AFL could licence and trade mark the AgSport concept as detailed above and export it to all nations hosting events on turf surfaces (gridiron, soccer, rugby, show jumping, cricket, polo, baseball, hurling, athletics etc) with revenues being “ploughed back” into Australian grass roots country football…thereby assuring the future of the code, in the bush, and everywhere. Forever.



  1. Pamela Sherpa says

    If you blokes aren’t careful Andrew will be out of a job.

  2. Hey guys, you forgot the dog jumping competitions at half time! You could use the hay bales or new fencing, and invite supporters to bring along their border collies, kelpies, blue heelers etc. No handbag-sized dogs allowed!

  3. Lord Albert says

    Lady Pamela, Who would want to jump a dog at half time in front of all of those peoples, when with a little bit of patience and ‘wait, wait WAIT!’, you can do the same thing all night in King Street without nary a glance from the crowd. And, as a bonus, you would be doing it [jumping a real dog] in front of all of those Blue Heelers you see on TV! Albert Lord (father of Stewie and Allie). Y’Self?

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