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Young QLD and NT stakeholders share Australasian agribusiness award

Beef Central, 24/05/2019

Shannon Landmark, 27, and Luke Evans, 28, have jointly shared the 2019 Zanda McDonald Award.

QUEENSLANDER Shannon Landmark, 27, and Luke Evans, 28, from the Northern Territory have jointly shared the 2019 Zanda McDonald Award, announced on Thursday.

For the first time in the award’s five-year history, two young Australian livestock industry stakeholders have been crowned as winners of the award, which seeks to recognise young professionals in the primary industry sector from Australia and New Zealand.

Shannon Landmark is a trained vet, and coordinates the Northern Genomics Project at the University of Queensland, focusing on improving genetic selection and reproductive technology, working with beef producers, state government beef extension officers, consultants and vets, as well as university researchers and scientists.

Luke Evans, 28, is the manager of Cleveland Agriculture’s Rockhampton Downs Station, a 450,000ha beef breeding property east of Tennant Creek in the Northern Territory. He not only runs this significant operation, but also mentors’ youth, and provides on-the-job training and employment opportunities at the property.

Chairman of the Zanda McDonald Award, Richard Rains, said the judges were faced with a tough decision when it came to singling out one winner, as both Shannon and Luke were carving out their own distinct and different paths in their careers.

“We just couldn’t separate the two on their leadership qualities, determination and spirit,” he said.

“We felt that both would get immense value from the prize, particularly the tailored mentoring package, which will provide them with a great insight into some of the best agricultural farming enterprises and companies in the industry,” Mr Rains said.

“We’re committed to recognising and supporting talented young individuals in the ag sector, and this prize package will really help take both of their careers to the next level.”

The winning pair were initially shortlisted with four other candidates, with interviews held in Brisbane in October. Following these interviews, they were named as finalists alongside kiwi Grant McNaughton, 34, managing director of McNaughton Farms, a 6300ha sheep and beef operation near Oamaru, North Otago NZ.

The award, sponsored by Allflex, Pilatus, CBRE Agribusiness, Zoetis, MDH and Rabobank, was presented on Thursday in Port Douglas at the annual Platinum Primary Producers  Gala Dinner. The dinner and awards were a part of the annual conference of the PPP group, a collective comprising of 150 influential agri-business people from across Australasia, of which Zanda McDonald was a foundation member.

This year’s winners will each receive a prize package which includes a trans-Tasman mentoring trip to farming operations and businesses from within the PPP network, $1000 cash, a place on Rabobank’s Farm Managers Program and membership to the PPP Group. The pair will each travel by a Pilatus PC-12 aircraft to parts of their Australian mentoring trips, enabling them to reach diverse and remote farming operations.

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