Three diverse and inspirational young agribusiness leaders have been selected from across Australasia as finalists for the 2018 Zanda McDonald Award.
The award, regarded as a prestigious badge of honour for the industry, recognises agriculture's most innovative young professionals from both sides of the Tasman.
Lisa Kendall, 25, hails from Auckland, and is owner/operator of Nuture Farming Ltd, a business she established to provide agricultural services to people in and around her home city. She was a Grand Finalist in the 2017 FMG Young Farmer of the Year, and took out the Peoples Choice Award, the AgriGrowth Challenge and the Community Footprint Award. Kendall plays an active role in schools, encouraging urban students to consider the career opportunities in agriculture. She is also vice-chair of the Franklin Young Farmers Club.
Thomas MacDonald, 24, is the Business Manager of Spring Sheep Milk Company, based in the Waikato. He runs the farm development, farm operations and on-farm research for the NZ sheep dairy organisation, and is involved in shaping the future direction of the sheep milk industry.
Macdonald has a Masters of Management (First Class Honours), has four papers published, and is a past Sir Donald Llewellin scholar.
Janet Reddan, 33, a former agronomist now cattle producer, is from Roma, Queensland, and with husband Donald and their three children owns and manages aspects of the families breeding, backgrounding and feedlotting business. Reddan is a Cattle Board Director for AgForce Southern Inland Queensland, and Chair of the Research and Development subcommittee. She is an advocate for best practice animal welfare, having been involved in the Future Farmers Network Young Beef Producers Forum.
The three finalists were selected from a shortlist of seven applicants, who were interviewed recently in Auckland by a panel of eight judges. Shane McManaway, award judge and chairman of the Platinum Primary Producers (PPP) – the Australasian networking group behind the award – says it was a tough job for the judges getting down to the final three, but he was confident that they’ve selected some great future leaders. “It is extremely heartening to see what incredible achievements are taking place by the under 35s in agriculture. Lisa, Thomas and Janet all display vision, leadership, and a true passion for agribusiness. We all came away from the interviews inspired by what they’re achieving, and the opportunities they present for the future of our industry."
The Zanda McDonald Award, now in its fourth year, was set up as a tribute to the enormous contribution McDonald made to agri-business. The three finalists will attend the PPP Conference in Taupo in March, where the 2018 winner will be announced, receiving a prize package to the tune of $50,000.
A huge thanks to our sponsors Allflex, Rabobank and Pilatus for their support.