Pig farmer serves as ambassador for producers at rural show
ENCOURAGING people to be proud of working in agriculture and empowering women on the land is what Kingaroy's new rural ambassador plans to do.
South Burnett pig farmer Brigitta Knopke was named the Kingaroy Show 2019 Rural Ambassador at the show dinner on April 12.
"I'm looking forward to what it leads to and what I can contribute," Mrs Knopke said.
She said she hopes to connect with other like-minded people, especially young people, at the show.
"The shows are that one sort of remaining platform to connect us with where our food comes from and it's getting less and less highlighted," she said.
"We should rely on talking to these people at the shows, rather than social media or documentaries on Netflix."
The rural ambassador said many people were misinformed about the food industry with a lack of facts presented to people through these documentaries and trends on social media.
Mrs Knopke said she wants the rural shows to be an opportunity for people to engage with and see the passion producers have.
"You see how much love people have for their industry, and it puts the human back into it rather than what people see on the screen," she said.
Mrs Knopke and her husband purchased the South Burnett piggery she grew up on six years ago and also run some cattle on the property.
The mother of Sidney, 1, and Ailsa, 3, spends her time balancing family life and running the farm.
"It's a great thing and I'm really glad I'm in a position to raise my kids like we were raised," she said.
"When dad was away with work, my mum was the one who held down the fort by hosing out the piggery with a baby on her back."
She has studied animal science and worked as a certified meat inspector at Swickers as well as being a product liaison officer who communicated with pig producers.
"It found I could relate to the farmers a fair bit," Mrs Knopke said.
"A lot of people don't get that insight into the whole picture."
With vegan activists getting a lot of recent attention, Mrs Knopke wants to reinforce the importance of agriculture.
"I wanted to come forward to try and encourage people to feel proud of what they do," she said.
"It's pretty tough when people directly attack your job. It's off-putting, especially for young people."
Mrs Knopke had been the Kingaroy Miss Showgirl a decade ago and is looking forward to the new role.
"I definitely think I can add to the positive image of women on the land. You can be a mother and have a family and pursue your goals on the land," she said.
Mrs Knopke will be joined by Junior Rural Ambassador Jack Hall at the 2019 Kingaroy Show from May 4-5.