New team on show
SHOW business - Gympie Show business particularly - runs strongly in the blood for new show president Joe Mooney and vice president David Warren.
And that is probably just as well for Gympie District Show Society's most senior volunteers.
Senior in rank, however, doesn't mean senior in age.
Joe is the youngest president and was the youngest vice president of any of the larger Queensland shows.
"We came over from Mt Perry 30 years ago, in 1983," Mr Mooney said.
"Mum and Dad had a dairy farm with some beef as well, but we got rid of the dairy herd in 1994.
"My dad's a (Gympie Show) life member and I worked on my first show here in 1984.
"I had about 10 or 12 years in charge of the rodeo.
"I used to like working at the show because you got out of school."
But it seems that studying just would not stay out of Joe Mooney's life, despite his best efforts.
"I won a Nuffield Scholarship and did a report on hydroponic cattle feeding," he said.
"I also did 25 years of bullfighting as a (rodeo) protective clown," coming between rampaging bulls and people who might otherwise get hurt.
So the clowns get hurt instead. "It hurts even if you don't do anything wrong," he said.
Now Mr Mooney operates several Gympie Region grazing properties and with wife Peta and daughter Neisha, runs a Droughtmaster stud and livestock transport business.
The same sort of show pedigree runs in David Warren's family.
His father is well known chief ring steward, John Warren.
But neither of our new show leaders underestimate the difficulties of their own volunteer jobs, nor of the many farming businesses on which the show depends.
The end of live cattle exports is only one of the disastrous circumstances facing Australian agriculture.
"Everyone's in drought. All the feedlots are full."
Dairying is in trouble and it is increasingly hard to find a farm industry sector that is not.
Mr Mooney said running the show involved "a whole lot of stuff we didn't know about.
Good staff and 347 volunteers make it possible, he said.