Agriculture’s young leaders in New Zealand are being urged to step forward and apply for the 2016 Zanda McDonald Award.
Open to agri-business professionals with natural leadership skills from across New Zealand and Australia, the award comes with a $30,000 prize package comprising; an overseas mentoring trip, a place on Rabobank’s Farm Manager’s Programme and $1,000 cash.
Applicants aged 35 or younger and currently in paid employment in agriculture have until Friday 30th October 2015 to submit their entries.
The substantial prize package aims to help the winner further their career by opening up networks and opportunities. Organisers says they anticipate healthy competition.
Shane McManaway, Chairman of the Platinum Primary Producers (PPP), the group behind the award scheme, comments: “This is a fabulous award for young individuals in agri-business who not only feel passionate and driven about what they do, but who also have a natural ability to lead others and make an impact on the agri landscape.
“We know there are many very talented young men and women out there. We encourage them to apply for this prestigious award and take advantage of all the opportunities it creates.
This year the Zanda McDonald Award was awarded to 27 year old Emma Hegarty – a Beef Extension Office from Queensland, Australia.
Emma is the inaugural winner and will take up a 10 day mentoring trip to New Zealand later this month. She will spend time with members of the PPP Group from Landcorp Farming, Allflex, Rabobank, Shanghai Pengxin and NZ Merino. She will also visit two Wairarpa properties – the iconic Castlepoint Station and Spring Valley Enterprises in Masterton.
Later in the year Emma will head to Queensland-based MDH Pty Ltd, one of Australia’s largest beef cattle operations, to be mentored by the McDonald family.
Emma says winning the award has been like being given the key to unlocking her future.
“I am honoured to be the first winner of this award. Having the opportunity to be mentored by some of the most experienced and respected people within the agricultural industries in New Zealand and Australia is one of the best opportunities available to someone developing their career in agriculture. I would strongly encourage anyone eligible to apply for this life changing experience.”
Zanda McDonald was a prominent identity in the Australian beef and livestock industry and a foundation member of the PPP Group. He died in April 2013 at the age of 41, following a tragic accident on his Queensland cattle property. Launched in 2014 by the Platinum Primary Producers (PPP) Group, this award was born out of mate-ship and respect for one of agriculture’s natural leaders.
The PPP Group is a collective of over 130 of Australasia’s top, rural movers and shakers, representing over 12 million hectares (28%) of farmland across the two countries and over 20 million livestock units.