Global Agriculture

Innisfail local a Bayer Rural Angler of the Year finalist

29 May 2023, AU: A fishing team from Lindsay Rural North Queensland has been awarded the first spot in the final round of Bayer’s prestigious national fishing competition.

A team of anglers from Lindsay Rural North Queensland has been awarded an early place as a finalist in a national fishing competition supporting rural mental health.

David McDowell heads up Lindsay Rural’s team competing in the 2023 Bayer Big Fish Challenge.

The Bayer Big Fish Challenge is a friendly fishing competition that supports rural mental wellbeing through a partnership with The Fly Program.

Bayer Crop Science donates $1 per centimetre of the largest fish per species per team to The Fly Program, funding additional places for rural Australians on mental health retreats.

Ordinarily, the top performing finalists at the end of the year are invited to attend a final round of competition for the chance to be crowned Bayer Rural Angler of the Year.

However, Bayer Crop Science national key account manager, Ben Thompson, said a change to the competition rules this year has given the top performing team as at 30 April an immediate berth in the final round.

“David’s team are fantastic supporters and had raised $1417 by April 30 this year, just four months into the competition,” Mr Thompson said.

“The impressive total is not only good news for a team member of Lindsay Rural, who will now travel interstate to compete for the title of Bayer Rural Angler of the Year, it’s also good news for rural Australians more broadly.

“Bayer’s retreats, which are funded through the competition, address the serious consequences of the mental health challenge which faces rural Australians.

“We know people living in regional rural Australia face more barriers to accessing healthcare than those in major cities, making it harder for them to maintain good mental health.

“Bayer is a leader in health and agriculture. This program is just one of the ways in which we are helping improve the physical and mental health of rural Australians.”

Mr McDowell himself can attest to the importance of the program, having previously attended one of Bayer’s retreats.

“It was a soul-healing experience,” Mr McDowell said.

“It was great to spend some time with other like-minded people, who also worked in the ag industry, and to realise there’s a lot of other people in similar situations to you.

“You get time to reflect and share your struggles in a supportive environment.

“I think a lot of farmers are struggling at the moment with high input costs and various other challenges, so I’m pleased to have been able to raise so much money for the competition and afford others from our community the same opportunity to attend these retreats.

“I’m really excited to get this early chance to compete to become 2023 Bayer Rural Angler of the Year.”

The competition will be held early next year.

“It’s a very different experience to what we have here, but I learnt a lot on the retreat and I’m looking forward to putting it all into practice again next year.”

Competition organisers remind anglers across Australia that it’s not too late to participate in the 2023 Bayer Big Fish Challenge – the year-long challenge still has a further 11 spots up for grabs in the final round. If you’d like to enter a team, drop a line to 

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