The Royal Agricultural Society of NSW (RAS) has named eight talented and rural-minded individuals across NSW as the 2018 RAS Rural Achievers.
Now in its 28th year, the RAS Rural Achiever program recognises and celebrates the positive contribution young people make to their local rural communities and the agriculture sector more broadly.
Stuart Davies, RAS Youth Affairs Chair said the Rural Achievers program has a reputation for developing future leaders in agriculture.
"The quality of applications we receive each year for the Rural Achiever Awards is phenomenal".
"For our judges to have to decide on eight final ambassadors from the many dozens of excellent applicants is a very tough ask, because they are all so passionate about their communities," Stuart Davies said.
The 2018 RAS Rural Achievers are:
Tess Bailey, Forbes: Tess is a mixed veterinarian with a focus on beef cattle, sheep, working dogs and horses and more recently a vet at her local harness races.
Jock Brownhill, Spring Ridge: An Agribusiness Analyst with a major bank, Jock has a passion for linking economic profit with environmental sustainability in agriculture.
Hanna Darmody, Bungendore: Hanna has embarked on a range of vocational courses to value add to her family’s butchery and pastoral holdings businesses and is keen on educating her local community on the “paddock to plate” philosophy.
Timothy Green, Wagga Wagga: Timothy’s strong interest in research and resistance to chemicals in cropping sees him employed as a Technical Officer in the Cereal Pathology Team with the Department of Primary Industries.
Erika Heffer, Deniliquin: An avid writer and social media exponent, Erika is working with the Ricegrowers’ Association as a Local Landcare Coordinator passing on her knowledge about improving farming practices.
Joseph Murphy, Bribbaree: Hailing from a South West Slopes village of just 267 residents, Joseph now lives in Wagga Wagga where he graduated in Medicine and is now undertaking an internship as a Junior Medical Officer at the local Rural Referral Hospital.
Thomas Taylor, Grenfell: Thomas has left the family farm to undertake a Bachelor of Commerce, majoring in International Business, Marketing and Chinese Studies at Sydney University, citing the increased market links to China as a door to even greater export opportunities for our rural sector.
Meg Rice, Parkes: Meg hopes to direct her learning from her Bachelor of Laws/Agriculture degree at the University of New England into influencing decisions made at the highest levels of agriculture for the benefit of rural and regional farmers and their communities.
The Rural Achievers will participate in a 12-month program that provides a range of networking and professional development opportunities, including a seven day behind-the-scenes experience at the 2018 Sydney Royal Easter Show, official functions with RAS Councilors and the Agricultural Societies Council of NSW representatives and visits to Government House and the NSW Parliament.
One Rural Achiever will also be selected to represent NSW at the 2018 National Rural Ambassador Awards.
The overall winner will be announced during the 2018 Sydney Royal Easter Show.
All finalists will receive $2,000 in prize money, a 12-month RAS Alumni Membership and be outfitted in the latest country clothing from Akubra and Thomas Cook Clothing Co.
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