Harriet Bremner has a long list of must dos after being named co-winner of the Australasia’s coveted agricultural award, the Zanda McDonald Award.
But among the first was to steal a two-day honeymoon with husband Ed Pinckney in Mooloolabar, on Queenland’s Sunshine Coast, before getting back to work.
“I’m allowed two days and it’s back to the farm on Monday,” says Bremner (33).
The Southland farmer, children’s author and health and safety advocate for agriculture was named joint winner of the award, which recognises exceptional young professionals in the primary sector. Farm management company owner Mitch Highett (33), from Orange NSW, was the other recipient.
Both received their awards at a ceremony in Brisbane on March 15.
“I still can’t believe it, to be fair,” Bremner said.
“A lot of people applied for the award and being part of this whole thing is a prize in itself. It’s the cherry on top to have won and I’m completely blown away.”
Recently married, Bremner and Pinckney farm Jericho Station, a 1400ha property at Manapouri.
Zanda McDonald Award chairman Richard Rains says Bremner and Highett were deserving winners.
“As judges we were really impressed with the impacts they’re making in their respective careers.
“Whilst they’re carving out quite different paths, they both possess many of the same qualities, including a strong sense of leadership, determination and spirit.
“We’re excited to see what the future holds for them both, and helping them on their journeys.”
Bremner and Highett’s prize packages include a tailored mentoring trip in both countries and $10,000 worth of education or training of their choice. The pair will travel by a private Pilatus jet to parts of their mentoring trips, enabling them to reach diverse and remote agricultural enterprises.
Bremner said she had yet to decide how she would use the prize money.
“There are so many opportunities out there. I want to create my mentoring trip around Australia and New Zealand and see what comes from that. I want to broaden my horizons, get a feel for what’s out there and then work on making that decision.”
However, Bremner believes one of the main benefits of the award would be being part of the “Zanda McDonald family” and being able to tap into the wealth of knowledge from those involved.
Being at the awards ceremony had reinforced to her that there was a positive outlook for the agriculture sector.
“I can’t get over how kind everybody is and how positive they are about the future of agriculture. One of things to look at is the challenges the sector is facing, and how we can turn it into a positive and see it as an opportunity.
“We’ve definitely got challenges. But like anything in life you can choose to make it a negative or go ‘how are we going to turn this around and make an opportunity out of it.”