Fat Farmers Newsletter – October 2018

Dear Friends,


Welcome to the latest Fat Farmers’ newsletter. It’s a busy time for our teams, who took on the City-Bay Fun Run in Adelaide last month.

Fat Farmers also attracted interest at a number of recent field days across South Australia, and it is hoped a number of new teams will join us in the fast-approaching New Year!

Check out more details on our recent and upcoming activities below!

Best wishes
Sally Fisher
Fat Farmers Executive Officer

Fit Farmers take on City-Bay 

Fat Farmers – more than 85 of them – converged on Adelaide last month to put their fitness to the test in the City-Bay Fun Run.

The day was a success with new members challenging themselves, including Fat Farmers founder Ben Wundersitz, who ran 12km alongside his daughter Charlotte.

Congratulations to the Fat Farmers’ Mallee team which had the largest number of participants show up on the day with a total of 27 runners.

A number of “Quiet Achievers” were recognised with post-race awards acknowledging improvements to their fitness over the past year:


  • Adrian Mason (Central YP)
  • Nicki Robins (Barossa & Light)
  • Jacqui Foster (Mallee)
  • Erin Warnes (Lower North)
  • Charmayne and Bruce Edwards (Southern YP)

Fat Farmers growing in size 


We welcome new members to join our groups at any time. We have seven teams currently across SA and are hoping to establish more new teams in the New Year.

A new team of Fat Farmers is being launched at Saddleworth in 2018, with all farmers and regional community members in the area invited to join.

Team coordinator Greg Schmaal said he was hoping the community would get behind the cause.

“I decided to join as it’d be good if farmers around here did a bit more exercise,” Greg said.

“It’s so important – not only physically, but for mental and emotional health.

“I’m looking to provide a diversity of activities so people can choose what’s for them and what isn’t. There will be something for all ages and fitness levels.”

If you would like to join the Fat Farmers’ Saddleworth team, please contact Greg Schmaal on 0427 485 217 or via email at wurinyav@bigpond.com.

If you don’t already have a Fat Farmers team and are interested in starting one in your local area, contact Sally Fisher on 0410 473 167.

Men’s mental health in focus 

The statistics around men’s mental health are frightening.

According to Black Dog Institute, one out of every six men will be affected by depression at some point in their lives; but almost two-thirds of people living with a mental illness don’t seek professional help.

Fat Farmers is proud to be affiliated with Menswatch – a program supporting men living in rural communities and teaching them the skills needed to be ‘mentally fit’ and to look out for other men.

Roger Fielke, Menswatch Riverland branch coordinator, said the program was effective in helping men to understand their own journey, gain the courage to speak up when struggling and to not be afraid to check in with other men. They run regular meetings for local community members to join in.

“We always get some great and open discussion around men and our ways of coping once the blokes feel comfortable on the night,” Roger said.

“The focus is on gender differences, our instinctive male drivers, relationships and how to deal with these in the least destructive ways.”

Menswatch also delivers a half-day session called Conversations with Women – a women’s only program which aims to help women to better understand how men function mentally.

If you are interested in your community holding a Menswatch program, contact Sally Fisher, Fat Farmers Executive Officer on 0410473167.  We can assist you with resources to fund it.

More information is available on the Menswatch program here.

For other health and wellbeing information tailored towards rural communities, see https://fatfarmers.com/health-tips/

Meet a Fat Farmer champion: Jane Mason  

For Jane Mason, 21, one of the greatest benefits of Fat Farmers has been witnessing her father’s fitness transformation.

Jane, who grew up on her parents’ farm in Maitland on the Yorke Peninsula, completed City-Bay alongside her father last month.

“I got involved in Fat Farmers through my Dad and it’s been great because before that I wasn’t really involved in fitness,” Jane said.

“Seeing my Dad get excited about fitness and seeing how much his fitness level has improved has been really inspiring.”

Jane, who is a member of the Mid Yorke Peninsula team, said weekly gym classes also had social benefits.

“The instructor, Brenton, is so high energy and the classes have been awesome for all ages,” Jane said. “It also helps being part of a group. We have a lot of fun.

Another benefit was the opportunity to connect with people from different communities, such as at City-Bay when all teams came together.

“It’s not just our little group; we’ve got to know people from the EP, down the bottom (of the state) and you meet a variety of people – that network is invaluable,” Jane said.

“It’s great to see people getting together and having the chance to step away from work and farming to connect with others.

“It doesn’t need to be some huge scary step, you just do what you can.”

Over September Fat Farmers were out promoting our work at the Hart, Riverland and Eyre Peninsula Field Days and Pinnaroo Show.

The winner of the $100 Rebel Sport Gift Card was Patrick Allchurch