Three young industry leaders line up for Australasian agribusiness award

Beef Central, 08/05/2019

THREE bright young livestock industry stakeholders from Australia and New Zealand will vie for the 2019 Zanda McDonald Award, being decided at the annual Platinum Primary Producers conference, being held later this month in Port Douglas, North Queensland.

The award is widely recognised as a badge of honour in the agriculture industry, recognising future leaders and innovative young professionals from both sides of the Tasman.

Luke Evans

The 2019 finalists include two young Australians and a New Zealander, who were described by judges as ‘diverse and equally impressive.’ This year’s finalists are Luke Evans, 28, from the Northern Territory, Shannon Landmark, 27 from Queensland, and Grant McNaughton from North Otago NZ.

Luke Evans is the station manager of Cleveland Agriculture, a 1200sq km cattle property near Tennant Creek in the Northern Territory. Along with running this significant operation, he mentors youth, and provides on-the-job training and employment opportunities at the property.

Shannon Landmark is a qualified vet, and the coordinator of the Northern Genomics Project at the University of Queensland. This role sees her working with beef producers, beef extension officers from state governments, university researchers and

Shannon Landmark

scientists, consultants and vets, to improve  genetic selection and reproductive technology.

Kiwi Grant McNaughton, 34, is managing director of McNaughton Farms, a 6300ha beef and sheep farm in Oamaru, North Otago. He lives on-farm with his wife and three young children, was a recipient of the Woolworths Agricultural Business Scholarship in 2016, and winner of the Young Farmer of Year in 2010.

The three finalists were selected from a shortlist of six applicants, who were interviewed late last year in Brisbane by a panel of nine judges.

This year’s winner will be announced during the Platinum Primary Producers conference on May 20-22.

Award judge and chairman of the PPP group, Shane McManaway

Grant McNaughton

– the Australasian networking group behind the award – said the task of choosing a winner was becoming more difficult each year, with the calibre of applicants continuing to impress and inspire the judges.

“It’s so inspiring to see what the next generation is achieving in agriculture. This year’s finalists are all intelligent and hardworking individuals, who are each making a positive impact on our industry in quite different ways,” he said.

The Zanda McDonald Award, now in its fifth year, was set up as a tribute to the enormous contribution the late North Queensland beef producer made to agri-business.

The three finalists will attend this year’s PPP Conference, with the winner receiving a tailored mentoring package in Australia and New Zealand, including travel on a chartered Pilatus PC12 aircraft. They will also receive a place on one of Rabobank’s Business Managers Programs, $1000 cash and membership to the PPP Group.


  • Applications for the 2020 Award will open from 1-30 August, targeted at individuals 35 years or younger, who live and work in the agribusiness sector in either Australia or NZ. Go to the PPP website for details.



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