Allister finalist for rural award

By Country News

Finley’s Allister Clarke has been announced as a finalist for the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW 2020 Rural Achiever Award.

The RAA is a state-based leadership program that brings together future young leaders aged between 20 and 29 years who are making a significant contribution to their local community.

Mr Clarke completed his Bachelor of Science in Agriculture last year, and is reaching the end of the first year of his PhD studies on predicting rice whole grain yield.

The Finley High School graduate appreciated the nomination and is hoping he can influence other leaders to help young rural community members reach their potential.

‘‘There is a good spread of leaders from across NSW (announced as finalists), which provides different perspectives on common agricultural issues, so when we collaborate it can help us think of a range of potential solutions,’’ he said.

‘‘Even though I'm based in Sydney, being a finalist gives me the chance to reach rural NSW communities that I might otherwise never have visited.

‘‘I'm looking forward to the mentoring program, as it’s exciting to get to work with leaders in the ag industry.’’

Mr Clarke said although he is in the process of finishing a PhD, this additional study is not a prerequisite for the RAS rural achiever program.

‘‘I believe it’s important young rural Australians recognise that they can help shape the Australian agriculture future from their individual experiences and knowledge,’’ he said.

The 2020 overall rural achiever will be announced at the Sydney Royal Easter Show in April next year, following an eight-day all-expenses-paid behind-the-scenes experience.

The other RAS 2020 future leaders are:

Josie Clarke, Bellimbopinni NSW: Coming from a multi-generational family of farmers, Josie is driven by the desire to see agricultural Australia receive the assistance and support it needs. Josie is studying a Bachelor of Science, majoring in Plant Science and Biology.

Mitchell Dwyer, Cowra NSW: Working as an Agronomist, Michael has benefited from some outstanding agricultural mentors throughout his Bachelor of Agricultural Science and work experience. Michael strives to pay this forward and become an effective leader himself.

Sally Gavin, Cumnock NSW: Sally has followed an amazing career path, from her Bachelor of Animal Science to working in agricultural sales and now livestock nutrition. Sally wants to inspire the next generation and continue to support others within the agricultural industry.

Kory Graham, Sutton Forrest NSW: Kory is an assistant farm manager and a keen competitor, taking advantage of everything that comes his way, to learn and broaden his knowledge. Raised in the city, Kory has thrown himself into the regional way of life.

Dione Howard, Milbrulong NSW: A veterinarian from Wagga Wagga, Dione works with local primary producers, helping them manage the health and wellbeing of their livestock, while immersing herself in agriculture leadership, educational and ambassador programs.

Ryan McParland, Jamberoo NSW: Finding a passion for local agricultural Shows, Ryan played a founding role in his local Show Society’s Youth in Ag group and is working to build a community group for the South Coast and Tablelands, all while studying his Bachelor of Engineering (Hons).

Siobhan Smith, Armidale NSW: Studying a Bachelor of Agriculture/Business and inspired by the era of agricultural innovation she is witnessing, Siobhan believes this is the most exciting time to be a young woman in agriculture and hopes to inspire other women to get involved.