AGRIBUSINESS

2023 Zanda McDonald Award finalists announced

SIX passionate young professionals from Australia and New Zealand have been announced as the finalists for the 2023 Zanda McDonald Award.

Staff writer
The 2023 Australian and Zealand finalists announced for the Zanda McDonald Award. Image by Zanda McDonald Award.

The 2023 Australian and Zealand finalists announced for the Zanda McDonald Award. Image by Zanda McDonald Award.

The six talented finalists, three from Australia and three from New Zealand, have been selected for their passion for the industry, strong leadership skills, and the contributions they're making to the primary sector.

The Award was introduced in 2014, in honour of Zanda McDonald, who was a prominent identity in the Australian beef and livestock industry, who passed away in 2013, following a tragic accident on his Queensland cattle property.

Zanda was a foundation member of a trans-Tasman agricultural networking group, which was formed in 2005, bringing together like-minded farmers. He also led a number of initiatives to promote his industry to the next generation.

The Award recognises young people working in the primary industry sector in New Zealand and Australia and supports their future career development.

Zanda McDonald Award chairman, Richard Rains, said the judges were thrilled with the variety and calibre of applicants for this year's award, from across the broader agricultural spectrum.

"Going through the applications is always such an exciting process for us, as we get to see the level of passion and talent that lies within our next generation of agricultural leaders," he said.

"It's been a tough job narrowing this year's applicants down to just six individuals, but we're delighted with the capabilities of those we've selected.

"The absolute highlight is being able to provide our finalists with unparalleled opportunities to learn, network, experience and grow," Rains said.

Of the finalists, one winner from each country will be selected at the Zanda McDonald Award Impact Summit, in March 2023 in Brisbane.

The winners will each receive a personal development package, including a fully personalised mentoring trip in both countries, $10,000 worth of tailored education or training, media coaching, and other mentoring and industry opportunities.

The New Zealand finalists are:
- Harriet Bremner, 33. Author and health, safety and wellbeing advocate for Rural New Zealand and farmer at Jericho Station, Southland
- Jacques Reinhardt, 34. Station manager at Castlepoint Station, Wairarapa
- Monica Schwass, 31. Future Farming manager at The NZ Merino Company, based in Christchurch.

The Australian finalists are:
- Charles Vaughan, 29. Queensland Operations Coordinator/Group Veterinarian for Australian Cattle Enterprises and director of Charles Vaughan Veterinary Services Pty Ltd
- Mitch Highett, 33. Founder and managing director of farm management company Bullseye Agriculture, from Orange, New South Wales
- Sarah Groat, 34. Development Officer for government Agtech program ‘Farms of the Future', for the Department of Primary Industries, who lives on the family farm near Rankin's Springs, NSW.

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