Neither 2015 ADAMA Young Agronomist of the Year, Courtney Piesse from Elders Kojonup, nor current title holder, Daniel Hillebrand of YP AG Kadina, thought they had the form to take out Australia’s premier award for agronomists aged thirty or under.
Rural and farming folk are typically humble, of course, and that’s certainly the case with both Courtney and Daniel. Up against a quality field of fellow young agronomists, many of whom they knew professionally, it is their nature to think other nominees were better rated than they were to win.
“One of the great moments you experience when running an award program like ADAMA Young Agronomist of the Year is making the phone calls once the adjudication is finalised to break the news to the winner and runners-up,” ADAMA general manager of marketing Adam Phelan said.
“I’ve had the pleasure twice now, but I suspect twice is enough to now accurately predict the response I’ll get from the 2017 winner.
“It will go something like, ‘Really? You sure?’, then silence, possibly followed by a mild, mumbled expletive and an expression of disbelief.
“But once that’s passed, they’ve settled into the title a little and planning has gotten underway for the overseas study tour which goes with it, the simple advice that follows would seem a further extension of that natural humility – you’ve got to be in it to win it, they’ll both tell you.
“They are correct, of course. Both Courtney and Daniel were deserving and did win the award in their respective years, but had they not nominated or been nominated by somebody else, they would not have been on the long-list, let alone the short,” he said.
Nominations for ADAMA Young Agronomist of the Year 2017 are now open, and will close on 31 December 2017. Following the close, all nominees will be asked to complete a questionnaire to confirm their entry. Answers to the questionnaire will be assessed to narrow the field to a Top 10 who will then be interviewed and independently assessed prior to the announcement of the winner and runners-up early in 2018.
To nominate for the Award, or to nominate an agronomist aged under thirty who you think has what it takes to be named ADAMA Young Agronomist of the Year 2017, visit adama.com and click the ‘Young Agronomist of the Year Award’ link on the ADAMA homepage.
Nominees must be aged 30 or under as at 1 August 2017 to be eligible to enter.
Each of the Top 10 finalists for the Award will win a GoPro. Along with the professional recognition, the ADAMA Young Agronomist of the Year 2017 and two runners-up will get to experience an overseas agronomy study tour in 2018.
ADAMA has added sponsorship of the ADAMA Chris Lehmann Trust Young Cotton Achiever Award of the Australian Cotton Industry Awards, as well as a scholarship to a student of the Longrenong College in Victoria to its ADAMA Young Achiever Awards Program this year.
“Our awards program allows ADAMA to recognise and encourage young people working or looking to follow a career in agriculture or agri-business, and that’s a wonderful thing to be able to do,” Mr Phelan said.
“I’d strongly encourage anybody who knows of a fine young agronomist to not leave it up to them to self-nominate for ADAMA Young Agronomist of the Year, but to jump onto adama.com and do it for them.
“Whether they win or not, a little encouragement can be enormously beneficial for a young person, and a welcome boost as they embark on a career in agriculture,” he said.
Visit adama.com for more information on the ADAMA Young Agronomist of the Year Award or the ADAMA Young Achiever Awards Program.
For information please contact:
Scott Harlum, Campaign & Brand Manager
p: +61 2 9431 7812 or firstname.lastname@example.org
(This article appeared originally in the August 2017 issue of Rural Business Magazine)