2018 RAS Rural Achiever Finalists Named
2018 RAS Rural Achiever Finalists Named
The Royal Agricultural Society of NSW (RAS) has named eight talented and rural-minded individuals across NSW as the 2018 RAS Rural Achievers.
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The RAS Rural Achiever Award is a state-wide leadership program run by the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW to recognise future young leaders (20-29 years of age) who are working hard to make a significant contribution to their community and to rural Australia.
The RAS Rural Achiever Award is a state-wide leadership program run by the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW to recognise future young leaders (20-29 years of age) who are working hard to make a significant contribution to their community and to rural Australia. The program promotes and facilitates unique agricultural industry networking opportunities with rural leaders and other likeminded individuals through RAS connections and functions during the Sydney Royal Easter Show.
The Akubra’s are being stitched and eight rural-minded individuals from across New South Wales are preparing to step-up as the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW (RAS) 2019 Rural Achievers. Now in its 30th year, the RAS Rural Achiever program has been recognising young people aged between 20 and 29 for three decades and highlights the importance of youth driven change within rural New South Wales.
The call has gone out today for young rural achievers in NSW to step forward as the need for their enthusiasm and leadership is as great as in living memory.
Two minutes and 40 seconds is all it takes to cook the perfect Wagyu steak. Carefully sliced to 10mm thickness and passing through the cooking chamber before resting for exactly two minutes, the steak was at its optimum flavour point. The fatty, marbled flesh tasted rich and gently sweet, with a lingering savoury taste. The judges only got a slither of wagyu, enough to give it a score but not enough to feel satisfied and full. That was lucky because they had to leave room in their bellies for the Grass Fed Beef and the Grain Fed Beef. Pleased by the very high standard of entries in the Sydney Royal Branded Beef , Branded Lamb and Branded Pork competitions, Chair of Judges George Ujvary was happy to welcome university student Sophie Ward for her first experience as a Sydney Royal judge. Sophie is currently finalising her Honours in Animal Science at Roseworthy College in South Australia and hopes to go on to complete her PHD in Sow Welfare. Sophie’s area of interest is the influence of the living conditions of pigs on the quality of the meat. “It was pretty incredible to taste such sweet flavoursome and tender pieces of pork,” said Sophie, “I would have loved to know about the living conditions from the entries afterwards, as well as the feed they were given as some of the flavours were just incredible.” Christmas dinner is looking good this year with such positive feedback from the Sydney Royal Branded Beef , Branded Lamb and Branded Pork competitions.
RAS Foundation Scholarships provide a financial helping hand to assist students achieve their education goals. Over the past seven years 371 Scholarships - for a total of $1,721,500 - have been awarded. Students with a passion for rural issues and a commitment to playing a part in shaping the future of rural and regional NSW are encouraged to apply. Thanks to the donations from our generous supporters, Rural Scholarships are open to students of any age and embrace a diverse range of tertiary or vocation education and training studies. Amongst the 64 recipients of the 2017 Rural Scholarship recipients are the following four outstanding applicants: Bridget Bennett - studying a Bachelor of Medical Radiation Science at the University of Newcastle. “In completing my course I wish to move back out to a rural area such as Orange, or even Dubbo (if a cancer clinic is approved and built before I've finished my course) to work as a fully qualified Radiation Therapist.” Thomas Tsang - studying a Bachelor of Medical Studies/Doctor of Medicine at the University of New South Wales. “There is always a divide between rural and urban healthcare, therefore I would like to contribute to narrowing this gap. Growing up in Taree, I understand the challenges a country town faces in getting fair and quality medical services. I am keen to return to regional/rural areas, to contribute to narrowing the gap between the rural and urban healthcare.” Tamara Heir - studying a Bachelor of Veterinary Biology/Bachelor of Veterinary Science at Charles Sturt University. “ I represent part of the future of science and agriculture in rural and regional NSW and this is a responsibility I do not take lightly. I am working my very hardest to study and learn all I can.” Katherine Reid - studying a Bachelor of Rural Science at the University of New England. “My reason for studying this course is to improve the standard and quality of production, to facilitate further research and learning into different methods of producing agricultural goods. I hope this degree can give me the skills to strengthen the industry.”
RAS Foundation Scholarships provide a financial helping hand to assist students achieve their education goals. Students with a passion for rural issues and a commitment to playing a part in shaping the future of rural and regional NSW are encouraged to apply. Scholarships are open to students of any age and embrace a diverse range of tertiary or vocation, education and training studies. Amongst the 64 Rural Scholarship recipients for 2017 are the following students… Ryley Wickham, 17-years-old, has travelled 240kms from his hometown of Goonoo Goonoo to study a Certificate IV Agriculture at Tocal College. Ryley believes the future of farming and the ability to maximise the potential of the land lies in innovative technology. Kelsea Boots, 23-years-old, has relocated from Camden to Orange in order to complete her Bachelor of Dental Science at Charles Sturt University. The urgent need for rural health practitioners drives Kelsea’s goal of establishing a flying dental service to provide essential oral care to remote areas of Australia. Samuel Scarlett, 20-years-old, has moved from Cooma to Charles Sturt University, Wagga Wagga in order to study a Bachelor of Animal Science (Honours). Samuel wants to keep the merino industry thriving by investigating the role of genetics and nutrition in wool. Anne Johnston, 21-years-old, has transferred 400kms from home in Moree to study at the University of New England, Armidale. Anne hopes her Bachelor of Education (K-12) will enable her to teach in a rural community and help to keep youth thriving in rural towns.
There are small choices we make in our day to days lives that can change the course of things to come. Some are as simple as purchasing a latte to get you through the next two hours of your lecture, and others are far more monumental. One of these choices was the decision to apply for the JB Fairfax Award for Rural Journalism. I submitted my application thinking there may not be much of chance of winning the scholarship but at least I’d given it my best shot. It was this small decision that quickly turned into one of the best experiences of my life to date. As a part of the scholarship, I travelled down to Sydney to participate in the Sydney Royal Easter Show internship program - a fast paced two-week glimpse into the world of media. With a healthy dose of nerves, I braved the city transport and found my way to Sydney Olympic Park, where I would spend the next fortnight working in and amongst the Show. As a third and final year journalism student, the opportunities the internship program offered were unlike any other work placement I could have dreamed of. Not only did the program enable me to complete a whole unit of my degree in just two weeks, it also encouraged me to create networks that will be invaluable for an entry level journalist like myself looking to apply for jobs in the coming year. Meeting John Fairfax was definitely one of the most valuable and defining moments of my time in Sydney. Working with an array of media outlets, from television and radio to print media, I was also able to gain immeasurable experience in the journalism field as well as enhance my writing and organisation skills through mentoring. The Royal Agricultural Society and the Cox Inall staff involved in the program were knowledgeable, patient, friendly and eager to get me involved in every aspect of the job. Each and every day at the Sydney Royal Easter Show brought something new, challenging and exciting, whether it was being a part of a live television broadcast or assisting in a photoshoot. Every morning I was eager to see what the day would bring, what skills I would learn and who I would meet. During my first week of interning, I was lucky enough to be assigned to work with the GWS Giants AFL team and help the team film for their online content. This was definitely a fun night of work, watching the players battle it out on the giant slide before braving the horror house. Hanging out with the team was something I never imagined would be on my job criteria, so I was absolutely stoked to have done it as a part of my internship. Another stand out moment was starring on Sunrise with my fellow intern, Cara who was in Australia as a part of her American study abroad program. This was her claim to Australian fame, and mine I should add, even if we were in the background. But my most memorable experience of the two weeks was definitely assisting the ABC crew film an episode of Australia Wide, a television program I have long adored. I was able to see how an episode was scripted, produced, filmed and presented. On top of this, I was able to meet the wonderful host, Yassmin Abdel-Magied. As a student from the regional town of Singleton, these experiences would never have been available in my hometown which is why the program was so valuable for me. If I hadn’t participated in the program, I would never have been able to gain such a significant level of experience in so many different fields of media at such an early stage in my career. Aside from the professional benefits of the program, it was a fantastic opportunity to meet like-minded people who share similar aspirations and goals. Through interning I have made life-long friendships with people from all across the state, and even as far as New York City. Having these friends definitely made the experience, and the long train trips, all the more memorable. The whole internship was an experience I will cherish for a long time, and I couldn’t recommend it enough to other university students considering work placement. I give my appreciation and thanks to everyone who played a part in making the JB Fairfax scholarship and Sydney Royal Easter Show internship program possible.
Every year, the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW (RAS) runs a state-wide youth leadership program to recognise future agricultural leaders. In 2015, the encouragement of an RAS Councilor took Airlie Trescowthick on a journey she’ll never forget. What attracted you to the Rural Achiever program? I was intrigued by the opportunity to learn about the RAS and to meet like-minded peers in the industry. I was so glad to be encouraged to apply and be chosen as one of eight finalists. How did the program affect you personally? The program was jam-packed and full of diverse, uplifting experiences had a huge impact on me. Throughout the program I gained an incredible amount of confidence in my ability to be an ambassador for our industry. The public speaking event in the Big Top Amphitheatre was a particular highlight. Each finalist had to prepare a talk on ‘How to market Australian agriculture to Australians’. It was wonderful to hear fellow Achievers speak with enthusiasm and, although it was nerve-wracking, it was a great opportunity to address a large audience about an issue I am passionate about. And from a career perspective? The spirit of generosity that you find in our community is embedded in the Rural Achiever program. So many people – industry experts, farming leaders, media personnel – were willing to help with my start-up, The Farm Table, from sharing advice and connecting me with others through to offers of continued support. Being an RAS Rural Achiever also opened up many opportunities for me to speak to the media about my business which I’m incredibly grateful for. What is The Farm Table? An online information portal ( www.thefarmtable.com.au ) developed to connect Australian farmers and the broader industry to independent, timely and relevant information. It was born out of my own need to up-skill and keep up-to-date with research and innovation in the industry. Essentially I’ve created a central online toolbox so time-poor primary producers can find what they need quickly and easily. Since the launch, I’ve had over 4,500 visitors to the site and 14,000 page views, which is incredibly exciting. Emails are coming in from people all over the country who love the site and have found it useful. Is the Farm Table your full-time job? I’m currently a business analyst with Paraway Pastoral, based in Orange. It’s a job that brings my analytics and consulting experience together with my love of livestock and farming. The Farm Table is something I enjoy doing in my spare time. What’s the biggest issue in Australian agriculture right now? A huge opportunity exists for Australia to supply products to meet the growing global demand for high-quality food and fibre. Ensuring our infrastructure and access to markets is improved will be vital if we’re going to get home-grown products to end users here and overseas more efficiently. Who inspires you? My dad and Lucinda Corrigan of Rennylea Pastoral Company (Holbrook, NSW). Both are generous with their time and knowledge. I am forever grateful for their support and mentorship. WORDS: Jennie Smiedt Article first appeared RAS Times October 2015