Thursday, February 22, 2024

Zanda McDonald short list is up

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Ten young agri professionals from Aus and NZ make the cut.
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Australasia’s agricultural badge of honour, the Zanda McDonald Award, has announced a short list of 10 young professionals from Australia and New Zealand for the 2024 award.

The award recognises future leaders working in agriculture and provides a prize package centred on tailored mentoring and education. Next year marks its 10th anniversary. 

The short list of 10 – five from Australia and five from NZ – have been selected for their leadership skills, passion and the contribution they’re making in the primary sector.

The NZ finalists are:

• Carla Muller, 31, agricultural economist and principal consultant for Perrin Ag and former director of NZIPIM, from Whakatane;

• Jordi Hoult, 29, vet and senior adviser at the Ministry for Primary Industries, from Manawatū; 

• Nancy Crawshaw, 27, extension officer for Angus Australia from Nuhaka, northern Hawke’s Bay;

• Richard Dawkins, 34, sheep and beef farmer and vice-president of Marlborough Federated Farmers, from Blenheim; and

• Tim Dangen, 31, beef farmer in Muriwai West Auckland, and 2022 recipient of the FMG Young Farmer of the Year Award.

The Australian finalists are:

• Caitlin McConnel, 33, agribusiness lawyer at Clayton Utz, chair of the Future Farmer Network and farmer based in Queensland;

• Nick Dunsdon, 33, manager of Coban Pastoral Co and Rural Property Agent at GDL based in Queensland;

• Sam Fryer, 33, regional area manager for the Queensland Rural and Industry Development Authority and founder of the A Place To Call Home  podcast, a guide to agricultural land ownership;

• Tessa Chartres, 32, general manager business development for Murray Irrigation Ltd, based in New South Wales; and

• Xavier McCluskey, 29, processing specialist for Greenstock, based in Tamworth, NSW.

 Award chair Shane McManaway said the judges were elated with the calibre of the latest crop of applicants.

“It’s wonderful that this award has been helping grow future leaders in agriculture for a decade now,” he said.

 The shortlisted applicants will be interviewed next month, with three finalists selected from each country. They will head to Queenstown in March 2024 for the Zanda McDonald Award Impact Summit, where an Australian and a NZ winner will be crowned.

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