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RAS Rural Achiever Award

The Royal Agricultural Society of NSW' commitment to shape the future of Australian agriculture necessarily demands equal commitment to the future leaders of rural communities and agriculture. 

The RAS Rural Achiever Award is a state-wide leadership program run by the RAS 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, Committees and functions during the Sydney Royal Easter Show. This heightens the opportunity for participants to become future leaders in primary industries and the rural community.

Additional opportunities throughout the year include representing NSW at the National Rural Ambassador Award, and the chance to partake in an exchange program to the Royal Adelaide Show. As part of an ongoing alumni program, our hope is that Rural Achievers also become ambassadors for the RAS and the wider Show movement.

Proudly sponsored by

  • Akubra
  • R.M.Williams

Eight Rural Achievers are selected to receive an extensive eight-day program of events during the Sydney Royal Easter Show. Itinerary includes function at Government House, stewarding, behind-the-scenes look at the Show, dinners with respected agricultural industry leaders, plus:

  • A share in $17,000 prize money

  • A unique and extensive variety of networking opportunities with agricultural industry leaders and delegates.

  • A uniform provided by R.M.Williams & RAS embroidered Akubra

  • Complimentary 1 year RAS membership

  • Personalised Mentor Program with RAS representative for duration of 1 year.

  • Professional development sessions lead by respected industry professionals.

This year the program received an overwhelming amount applications, from young people who are just as passionate about the future of agriculture as we are.

Please join us in congratulating the 8, 2024 RAS Rural Achiever Award Finalists.

2024 RAS Rural Achiever

Grace Collins | Armidale

Uniting her passion for agriculture and working with young people, Grace currently works two school farms, supervising and assisting during agricultural shows and excursions as well as showing cattle on weekends throughout NSW. She is currently completing a Bachelor of Agriculture and aims to complete a Master of Teaching, as she sees the need for accurate and transparent education about farming practices to be taught in schools, both in urban and in rural areas
2024 Finalist

Grace Pearce | Queens Pinch

Grace is a qualified Artificial Insemination Technician who owns and operates ACE Genetics. Grace holds a Bachelor of Animal Science, majoring in Livestock Science and minoring in Livestock Production. Extremely passionate about her local community, Grace is an active Mullamuddy Bush Fire Brigade member and Vice President of the Gulgong and District Campdraft. Grace also takes great pride in her contribution to the family property, maintaining her late grandfather's superfine Merino sheep production legacy. One of Grace's most recent achievements was receiving the 2023 Mudgee Show Society Rural Ambassador Award.

2024 Finalist

Joel Maguire | Parkes

Holding both a Bachelor of Agriculture and Bachelor of Business with a major in Marketing, Joel has recently established Byng livestock as Co Principle, striving to provide reliable, consistent and profitable genetics to commercial producers, whilst also holding an animal health advisory role for AgriWest Rural. Through sharing his passion for the industry and involvement in youth and community events, Joel strives to educate all young people on the importance of agriculture. He is working hard to retain our young people within rural communities.
2024 Finalist

Shanelle Pescud | Ashtonfield

Shanelle has obtained numerous qualifications in leadership, digital media and marketing to support her impressive work in the not-for-profit sector. Shanelle is passionate about grassroots community engagement and utilises her skillset to bring innovative ideas to fruition while striving to maintain the relevance of NSW agricultural shows and societies. Shanelle is the current Newcastle A. H. & I Association Rural Achiever and a current member of multiple show societies across the Hunter Valley region, including her role as Director of the Maitland A H Show Society. As an advocate for the agricultural sector, Shanelle uses her platform to encourage her community, particularly school-aged children, to broaden their understanding of the industry and how it relates to their own lives in rural areas.
2024 Finalist

Sally Turner | Trundle

Sally holds a Bachelor of Agricultural Science and operates a sheep and cropping farm alongside her husband, while also working as the Natural Capital Advisor for Central West LLS. Sally runs her own business, The Rural Virtual Assistant, offering farm HR, admin and data management for farming businesses. In 2018, Sally founded “The Top Paddock”, a mental health support service that delivers tailored programs to rural communities to educate people on mental health and link those who need it to appropriate support services. Sally also volunteers with multiple community organisations, striving to make a difference in all aspects of her community.
2024 Finalist

Rebecca George | Nyngan

After completing a Bachelor of Criminology in 2018, Rebecca moved home to the family farm, where she unexpectedly developed a passion for agriculture. Rebecca made a spur-of-the-moment decision during the 2018 Nyngan show to compete in the Showgirl competition, which she would win. Through this competition Rebecca learnt the importance of local agricultural shows and discovered a network of people which she now considers her closest friends. Rebecca is now involved with the family business and works closely with her local show societies to ensure rural communities stay alive and connected.
2024 Finalist

Kathleen Webster | Muttama

With a dedication to providing young people with an agricultural education and other rising young leaders with opportunities, Kate is the coordinator of Youth Competitions for the Wagga Wagga Show Society. Kate also strives to break the mould for young mothers and encourage young women with children to continue striving for their goals and professional development. With a Bachelor of Agricultural Science with Honours and currently studying Diploma in Project Management, Kate is currently a project manager for MINTRAC, aiming to improve the skills of workers within the meat industry.
2024 Finalist

Emma Godsell | Young

As the current President of the Young Pastoral and Agricultural Association, Emma can share her passion for rural communities with thousands of people through the Young Show. When Emma is not using her Certificate 3 in Engineering Trade – Metal Fabrication to oversee the operations within her family’s transport company and carting anything that can be put on a truck, she is working hard to empower women in Agriculture at numerous public speaking forums and educational events. Emma’s hard work has been recognised throughout the years with titles such as 2022 Young Show Society Rural Ambassador and Southern NSW Student of the Year, Innovative Manufacturing, Robotics and Science 2019.

Keiley Noble announced as the 2023 R.M.Williams RAS Rural Achiever



After completing a double degree in Agriculture & Business, Keiley is now using her skills as a Policy Officer with the NSW Government,  working on drought policy and economic strategy, in addition to running a contracting and hay sales business with her husband. 

Growing up in a small rural town, Keiley is passionate about regional NSW and the AgShows movement and hopes to one day become an advocate for the agriculture industry and regional NSW.


Sophie boasts an impressive resume of involvement with the Agricultural Show movement, from stewarding and judging to organisation and leadership roles. Working as an Account Manager within the Agribusiness industry, Sophie is passionate about agricultural education and hopes to establish an education initiative for metropolitan primary school children where they can learn more about agricultural processes and ‘where things come from’. 

Working within the environmental sector, Bronte is passionate about protecting water resources and rehabilitating catchments and regional environments. Her goal is to help regional communities find a balance between infrastructure and the environment through the adoption of sustainable practices.  An enthusiastic horse competitor, Bronte has a long competition history with local Agricultural Shows, as well as getting involved with stewarding and judging.

After completing a Bachelor of Agriculture, majoring in plant production, Jed now works as an Agronomist, while also operating a mixed operation farm of sheep, cattle, and cropping, with his family. Jed is committed to developing his skills and network, and to utilising new technologies, to help provide rural communities with the knowledge and resources they need to thrive.

Therese established her own real estate agency in 2021, with plans to expand by incorporating additional services such as auctioneering and property valuation, with the added bonus of creating further job opportunities for locals. Therese also assists in the operations of her husband’s family farm, as well as her own family’s harvest contracting business, and takes pride in her involvement in local sporting teams and her local show.

As a part of the Royal Australian Air Force, Casey hopes to utilise her newfound leadership skills to work as a public affairs officer after completing her MBA. Growing up on a small cattle farm in Newcastle, Casey’s involvement in her local agriculture show has encouraged her to help other sectors connect with regional communities, which she plans to do through her work as a public affairs officer.

After completing a Bachelor of Business Management, Jerod has worked extensively in a variety of agricultural sectors as a Policy Officer and Government Relations Manager. Jerod is passionate about making life better for farmers and their communities. Jerod’s skills have also led him to the judging circuit, where he has competed in several state and national finals for RAS Young Judges competitions for Sheep & Fleece.

After completing her Bachelor degrees in both Secondary Teaching and Agriculture, Laura hopes to establish mobile teaching workshops and camps that offer both regional and remote, as well as city communities, exposure to hands-on, diverse and sustainable farming practices. Laura is also passionate about improving the quality and engagement of women in Agriculture and plans to complete her accreditation to become an Australian Alpaca Association judge. 

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