Young ag professionals vie for top rural award

YOUNG agricultural professionals from country NSW were interviewed in Tamworth yesterday to become finalists in the 2013 Royal Agricultural Society (RAS) of NSW Rural Achiever of the Year.

From 30 applicants across NSW, 24 have been shortlisted.

Four of the finalists are from the Tamworth region, with Candice Eyles from Westpac Agribusiness in Tamworth, Dwayne Schubert, a Landmark agronomist from Gunnedah, and Felicity McLeod and Joanna Newton from Armidale, both representing the University of New England.

The interviews will see the applicants whittled down to a final eight who will be taken on a nine-day professional development workshop that includes behind the scenes of the Royal Easter Show, a cocktail reception at Government House, tours of The Land newspaper office and Parliament House, as well as $2000 in cash.

RAS general manager of agriculture George Davey said the award enhanced the opportunity for rural achievers to become future leaders in their chosen fields and their communities.

“These young people are passionate about rural NSW and the agricultural industry. The program encourages these rural achievers to develop their networks of industry stakeholders and with the other young people who share a passion for agriculture,“ Mr Davey said.

One of the final eight will be chosen to represent NSW as the Rural Achiever of the Year at the end of the Royal Easter Show. This year that person was Prue Capp.

“The rural achiever award provided me with unique opportunities to network with likeminded people and opened my eyes to the enormous scale of an event like the Sydney Show,” Ms Capp said.

Ms Eyles said she was very excited to have made it this far and was happy with how the interview went ysterday.

“I know some people who have entered before and seen the benefits and rewards that can come from it, both in my career and personally,” Ms Eyles said.

Gunnedah finalist Dwayne Schubert said the event offered a great networking opportunity, and was something he has always wanted to do.ll be individual interviews with all 24 finalists and a final public speaking challenge before the NSW representative is chosen.

The final eight will be announced in The Land on Friday December 7.

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