ADAMA Australia announces Young Agronomist of the Year winners

KIRSTY Smith from Albany, WA has been crowned ADAMA Young Agronomist of the Year for 2017-18.

Runner up for this year’s award is Emma Ayliffe from Griffith, NSW.

Michelle Egan from Shepparton, VIC has also been awarded the inaugural ADAMA Young Agronomist of the Year Rising Star Award, a category introduced for the first time to recognise the highest rated nominee aged 25 or under at 1 August 2017.

“The calibre of applications was once again exceptionally high, so our winners should feel incredibly proud of their achievements,” said ADAMA Australia’s chief executive officer, Darrin Hines.

ADAMA Australia’s general manager for marketing, Adam Phelan said: “We were overwhelmed by the effort and enthusiasm of all our entrants which made the judging process very challenging,”

“The level of innovative thinking and drive demonstrated by our three finalists really does show that the future of Australian agriculture is in safe hands, and I’m sure they’ll achieve amazing things throughout the next stages of their careers.”

When asked how it feels to win the competition, Kirsty said: “I hold some of the previous winners of this competition in high esteem, so to be considered up there with the other winners is pretty humbling. I guess it’s been a nice way to learn that I’m ticking the right boxes and on the right track,” she said.

“I don’t see myself as different to any other agronomists, but as a female in this role it sometimes feels like I have to work that little bit harder; this competition has been a wonderful reward for everything that I’ve done up until now.”

All three winners win an overseas study tour in early 2019 in recognition of their achievements. This will be a great opportunity to learn from industry experts across the globe and gather ideas and inspiration to bring back to their roles in Australia.

To find out more about this year’s winners, check out their profiles below.

(This article appeared in the September 2018 Issue of Rural Business Magazine)