BRYDIE Everson called the coast home in her younger years, but her love of the land has made her the new poster girl for agriculture.
The 23-year-old farm assistant was roped in by a friend to enter the Tamworth Showgirl competition and hasn’t looked back since, winning over the judges to be crowned the 2014 Showgirl.
The competition – one of the biggest in years – helped to cement a successful two-day pastoral and agricultural show.
Organisers say the rain was a double-edged sword, killing crowd numbers on Friday after a deluge, but it also buoyed spirits as locals revelled in greener pastures after the welcome wet stuff.
Show president John Rodd said crowd numbers looked good this year, as did the feedback from showgoers.
“We just got the rain at the wrong time. The downpour pretty well nullified Friday night, but then on Saturday we had a hell of a big day,” he said.
“We were pretty lucky, because it brought it back to last year’s, if not better, just in the one day.”
The grounds may have resembled a mud pit come Saturday, but a crew of volunteers put down wood chips to ensure showgoers saw every nook and cranny of what was on offer.
Mr Rodd said, on the agricultural side of things, this year’s show boasted 400 juniors in the judging parade, as well as a bumper turnout for the rodeo.
“Everyone was in a very good mood – agriculturally, but also the city people, too, because they understood we really needed the rain,” he said.
The showgirl contest helped to round out the show festivities, but Brydie admits she didn’t know much about the competition when she entered.
However, she soon got to talking to colleagues at work and found out the real history of the favourite pastime.
“All the girls were really good competition, so it was exciting,” she told The Leader.
“But I wasn’t really expecting it. It was a bit of a shock.”
It was the extra research she did to find out about local perceptions of the show that helped get Brydie over the line, with judges calling a last-minute speech interview for contestants at Saturday’s crowning to decide the winner.
Unlike some others, her love of agriculture stems from studies in her final years of high school, before she turned it into a career as a farm assistant with the Department of Primary Industries in Tamworth.
“Agriculture is a really diverse field and there are so many different aspects. I just really enjoy it,” she said.
Brydie will now go on to compete in the zone competition and will also head to New Zealand as part of a sister city agreement, backed by spending money and vouchers from local sponsors.