THREE finalists from Australia and New Zealand have been named for the 2018 Zanda McDonald Award, which recognises agriculture’s most innovative young professionals from both sides of the Tasman.
Janet Reddan, 33, a former agronomist now cattle producer, is from Roma, Queensland, and with husband Donald and their three children owns and manages aspects of the families breeding, backgrounding and feedlotting business.
Janet is a Cattle Board Director for AgForce Southern Inland Queensland, and Chair of the Research and Development subcommittee.
She is an advocate for best practice animal welfare, having been involved in the Future Farmers Network Young Beef Producers Forum.
Two kiwis have also been named as finalists.
Lisa Kendall, 25, hails from Auckland, and is owner/operator of Nurture Farming Ltd, a business she established to provide agricultural services to people in and around her home city.
She was a grand finalist in the 2017 FMG Young Farmer of the Year, and took out the People’s Choice Award, the AgriGrowth Challenge and the Community Footprint Award.
Lisa plays an active role in schools, encouraging urban students to consider the career opportunities in agriculture. She is also vice-chair of the Franklin Young Farmers Club.
Thomas MacDonald, 24, is the business manager of Spring Sheep Milk Company, based in the Waikato.
He runs the farm development, farm operations and on-farm research for the NZ sheep dairy organisation, and is involved in shaping the future direction of the sheep milk industry.
Thomas has a Masters of Management (First Class Honours), has four papers published, and is a past Sir Donald Llewellin scholar.
Richard Rains, award chair and member of the Platinum Primary Producers (PPP) – the Australasian networking group behind the award – says all three are outstanding in their fields, and already display a number of great leadership qualities.
“As judges, we were very impressed with the ways in which Janet, Thomas and Lisa demonstrated their passion and desire to make their mark in agriculture.
“All three are carving unique and exciting paths in the primary industry, and we can’t wait to see what the future holds for each of them.”
The three finalists will attend the PPP Conference in Taupo in March, where the 2018 winner will be announced, receiving a prize package to the tune of $50,000.
The Zanda McDonald Award, now in its fourth year, was set up as a tribute to the enormous contribution the late Cloncurry cattle producer made to agri-business.
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 mateship and respect for one of agriculture’s natural leaders.
The PPP Group is a collective of over 130 of Australasia’s most influential rural leaders, representing over 12 million hectares (28pc) of farmland across the two countries and over 20 million livestock units.
The award is open to passionate and determined individuals under the age of 35 years who are currently working in the agri-business sectors of either Australia or New Zealand, and who demonstrate natural leadership ability.