A passion for educating young urban consumers about the value of Australian agriculture emerged as the central theme for participants in 2017’s NSW Rural Achiever Award.
The program, run by the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW, aims to recognise future young leaders between the age of 20-29 who are working hard to make a significant contribution to their local community, and to rural Australia.
The 2017 recipients of the Award are: Amy Walker, Hovell’s Creek; Ashley Norval, Bywong; Cameron Ward, Gunnedah; Elisabeth Munn, Leeton; Emily Clapham, Ilford; Jarrod Grabham, Kelso; Rebecca Cope, Narrabri; and Thomas Dewhurst, Cowra.
Each of 2017’s participants feel strongly about the future of farming and the need to support and educate a younger generation on the role of agriculture and the career opportunities it offers.
For Elisabeth Munn, president of the Leeton Show Society, attracting youth into agriculture in her community is a big issue.
“My main motivation for participating in the Rural Achiever Award is to be a role model, to encourage more young people to take an interest in agriculture, and to give back to their rural communities,” Elisabeth said.
“One way we’re already doing it is through our local shows by introducing new events that are interesting for young people and easy for them to get involved.”
For Amy Walker, merino sheep expert and station hand, it’s all about building resilient rural communities.
“I envisage a rural Australia where our metropolitan areas understand the importance of our farmers, and support them and their communities by buying local Australian produce.”
One of the eight participants in 2017’s Rural Achiever Award, Emily Clapham, was also nominated to be the NSW representative at the National Rural Ambassador Award to be held in late 2017.
Emily is working as a medical registrar in the Hunter New England local health district.
She has a strong interest in rural health and hopes to improve specialist care to those in rural and regional communities.
All participants will be provided with unique networking opportunities with rural leaders and other like-minded individuals through the Show family’s connections.
The aim of the program is to provide the recipients with the skills and opportunities to become future leaders in primary industry or their rural communities.