Sally Downie is 2018 Forbes Showgirl | Photos, video from Friday night at Forbes Show

Local dairy farmer, student and founder of the Grassroots Blueprint project to connect farmers has been named our 2018 Forbes Showgirl.

Sally Downie was sashed before a big crowd at the official Show opening on Friday night, one of five young women to step forward for the title this year.

Sally is the Central West coordinator for the Young Dairy Network, and sees a lot of benefits flow from connecting farmers. 

In the past few months she’s launched Grassroots Blueprint, an organisation she hopes will connect farmers and tell their story to the wider community.

Due to the seasonal conditions, her immediate focus has been on drought relief and she’s run events in Forbes, Condobolin and Parkes to get people together.

She’s also connected to the local Salvation Army to help deliver drought relief.

Sally thanked all those involved with the Showgirl competition.

“I had a really fun day at judging and it really opened my eyes to the opportunities that you can get and the amazing people you can meet,” she said, thanking the other entrants. 

“I just really love Forbes, it’s where I’ve grown up, and I love agriculture.

“I just want to work in local communities to encourage people and to encourage farmers. 

“I’ve had my own struggles with physical and mental health and if I can help other people in our community, particularly in tough times such as drought, then that’s all I want to do.

She added particular thanks to her family, who own a dairy at Jemalong, for their support so she could enter the competition.

Jess Zieltjes, who is now studying at the University of New England, was presented with the commendation award.

The naming of the Showgirl was just one part of an excellent night of entertainment.

Forbes Auto Sports Club took to the track, with riders including Tom Drane showing their speed and long track style, endurance rider Nic Tomlinson showing off his skill going over logs and Joe Dukes winning with the longest wheel stand.

Kristen’s Dance Studio troupes performed a series of their winning eisteddfod performances, before a group of girls from Forbes High took out the 2018 Farmers Challenge.

Six teams entered the challenge, they had to roll up a swag, eat a dry Weetbix, transfer water from one drum to another and roll a wool bale up and down the track. 

The night was capped off with a spectacular fireworks display.