Marsh Rural Ambassador 2016 - Justin Matthews.
Photo credit Andrea Crothers.
Marsh Rural Ambassador 2016 - Justin Matthews. Photo credit Andrea Crothers.

Students and graduates from the University of Queensland’s School of Agriculture and Food Sciences have dominated the Marsh Rural Ambassador Awards announced this month at the Brisbane Ekka.

The awards recognise men and women aged 20 to 30 who have a strong commitment to the rural industries and an involvement and passion for the Agricultural Show movement.

Bachelor of Applied Sciences final year student Justin Matthews, who is completing an external major in animal production, was announced as the Marsh Rural Ambassador 2016.

“I am humbled to receive this award given all finalists were so qualified,” he said.

Justin represented the Nanango Show Society, South Burnett sub-chapter.

His experience with agricultural shows ranges from showing led steers and Australian stock horses to judging prime cattle, stewarding, and competing in herdsman and team challenges.

Bachelor of Agricultural Science graduate Toby Worley was runner up and Bachelor of Agricultural Science (Honours) graduate Kaila Ridgway won the Community Spirit Award.

Toby, of Boonah Show Society, represented the West Moreton Brisbane Valley sub-chapter while Kaila represented the Cairns Show Society, North Queensland sub-chapter.

Toby is chief steward of the Ute show at Boonah, steward of farm produce at Boonah and Esk, and the junior vice-president at Esk.

Kaila studied agronomy science and is now involved with local grower groups including the Atherton Tablelands Avocado Growers Association, of which she is the secretary.

The 10 finalists also included Bachelor of Agricultural Science graduate Lauren Trenkner, representing Brookfield Show Society, South-East Queensland sub-chapter.  Lauren is currently completing a PhD with The University of Queensland and CSIRO Agricultural Flagship.

The Head of the School of Agriculture and Food Sciences, Professor Neal Menzies, congratulated the students and graduates on their achievements.

“It’s a wonderful effort and highlights the importance of our young students and graduates to the future of rural and regional Australia, particularly within the agricultural show movement,” he said.

See the Queensland Country Life story: http://www.queenslandcountrylife.com.au/story/4061632/2016-rural-ambassador-finalists-announced/

Media: Justin Matthews: 0427885501 or justin.matthews@uq.net.au or mobile 0427 885 501.

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