Sunday, April 21, 2024

Entries open for Zanda McDonald Award

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Top prize in Australasian agribusiness up for grabs.
New Zealand finalists Rhys Roberts (2022 winner), Olivia Weatherburn, Katie Vickers and Adam Thompson.
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Young agricultural professionals with passion and drive are being encouraged to apply for the most coveted prize of its kind in Australasian agribusiness.

The Zanda McDonald Award, open to Australian and New Zealand residents aged 21-35 working in agribusiness, provides unrivalled development opportunities for personal and professional growth.

One winner will be chosen from each country, with the successful recipients receiving a fully personalised education, training and mentoring package across both Australia and New Zealand, spending time with leaders across all areas of the primary sector.

“This award recognises and celebrates determined and passionate young Kiwis and Aussies with strong leadership skills, and the programme provides winners with opportunities that money simply cannot buy,” Zanda McDonald Award chair Richard Rains said.

“They will get face to face with some of the biggest and most successful agricultural operators in Australasia, to really elevate their thinking, and take their career in agriculture forward faster than they could imagine. Our previous winners have told us that the award is life-changing, through the ability to learn from successful leaders and peers, network, and experience things first hand as part of their mentoring programme. “If you are making a difference in agriculture, are passionate about what you are doing and are keen to further develop your skills, we strongly encourage you to apply.”

The programme is tailored to the recipient, designed to meet their desired areas of interest and growth. All travel and accommodation costs are covered, including flights by private plane to remote and varied locations.

Read: Three reasons to enter the Zanda McDonald Award

The 2022 Zanda McDonald recipients were Rhys Roberts from Westerfield, Mid Canterbury, CEO of Align Group, which operates eight farms and a market garden, and Charlie Perry, who manages his family-owned and operated wagyu beef farm at Gurya in northern New South Wales.

Roberts said: “An overwhelming highlight of winning the award is the mentoring trip. I’ve already drawn a huge amount of inspiration from the people I’ve spent time with, and I still have the Australian part of the trip to go. I just can’t recommend the award highly enough.”

The award is now in its ninth year. It was launched in 2014 in memory of Australian cattle industry leader Zanda McDonald, who died after a tragic accident at his Queensland farm in 2013.

The award programme reflects his values and passionate commitment to excellence in the agricultural industry and to promoting it to the next generation.

Applications open on Monday, August 1 and close on Wednesday, August 31.

For details of how to apply, click here.

While you’re here, watch Adam Thompson’s Bringing Native Bush Back to NZ Farmland On Farm Story below.

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