Fat Farmers started in 2010 when Greg Hean, Ben Wundersitz and Scott Hoyle (all farmers near Maitland on Yorke Peninsula, SA) starting going to the new local gym. They were over 40 and joked about becoming
"Fat Farmers" now they were no longer playing footy.
The name stuck as the Maitland group grew and gradually other areas across SA got involved...
To inspire and encourage farmers and those living in rural communities to improve their health and wellbeing through physical activity.
In 2015, the Fat Farmers initiative spread beyond Yorke Peninsula and connected with other farmers across South Australia. Fat Farmer teams are now dotted across South Australia (see map) and include farmers and rural people from diverse production areas and cater for a variety of fitness levels and ages.
About our Groups
It really depends on what works best for the local community but all groups aim to meet weekly to get active, connect with others and have some fun!
We have gym groups that are attended mainly by male farmers (Maitland, Freeling, Kimba & Kadina) and groups that are open for farmers and friends of all ages that meet for a "walk and talk" (Tanunda, Saddleworth, Streaky Bay) and even a group of parents and kids that meet for a Monday morning walk to school (Owen).
The City to Bay is usually our big event for the year that brings all our teams together and we are hopeful that the 2022 event goes ahead after being
cancelled in 2020 and 2021 due to COVID.
Fat Farmers: Rural Health Initiative became an Incorporated Association in September 2021.
This means we now have our own Constitution and a Board to ensure good governance of the organisation.
Ben Wundersitz, Chairman: has been involved with Fat Farmers since the very beginning. He was a founding member of the Maitland group and has been a driving force in growing Fat Farmers across SA. Ben is a fifth generation farmer from Yorke Peninsula and his motivation for keeping fit is to do active things with his family and maintain his resilience in managing a large cropping enterprise. Ben sees Fat Farmers groups as a way of encouraging those living in rural communities to improve their physical health and also to promote the mental health benefit that come with increased physical activity.
Bradley Barnes, Deputy Chair: is an Agribusiness specialist and Partner at Brentnalls SA. Following a three-month secondment from a UK accounting firm in 2010, Brad enjoyed his time at Brentnalls so much that he promptly returned to live in Australia permanently. He has clients across rural areas of SA and enjoys travelling to meet them onsite rather than clients having to make the trip to Adelaide. Brad has previously participated in the City to Bay fun run with Fat Farmers and is delighted to be part of the inaugural Board.
Deb Purvis, Treasurer: is Director at Robinson Sewell Purvis and a Board Member of the Hart Field-Site Group Inc. She worked as a Rural Financial Counsellor from 2006 to 2017, so she is very aware of the challenges farmers and those living in rural communities face. Growing up on a farm and working with agribusinesses for over 20 years, this is a world that Deb is very familiar with. She is looking forward to helping Fat Farmers grow and support better health and wellbeing across more rural communities.
Would you like to be a Fat Farmers Team Coordinator ?
If you are interested in sport/physical activity and like connecting with others, you are welcome to join us ! No special qualifications are needed, just enthusiasm! If you have been a footy or netball player or coach previously, you would have a good background to take this on.