For the first time in the award’s five-year history, not one but two young Australian agriculturalists have been crowned as winners of the 2019 Zanda McDonald Award.
Queenslander Shannon Landmark, 27, and Luke Evans, 28, from the Northern Territory will share this prestigious badge of honour, which seeks to recognise young professionals in the primary sector from Australia and New Zealand.
Landmark is a trained vet, and the coordinator of the Northern Genomics Project at the University of Queensland. Her work focusses on improving genetic selection and reproductive technology, andsees her working with beef producers, beef extension officers from state governments, consultants and vets, and university researchers and scientists.
Evans, 28, is the Station Manager of Cleveland Agriculture, based at Rockhampton Downs Station, a 450,000-hectare beef property in Tennant Creek Northern Territory. He not only runs this significant operation, but also mentors’ youth, and provides on-the-job training and employment opportunities at the property.
Richard Rains, Chairman of the Zanda McDonald Award, says“The judges were faced with a very tough decision when it came to singling out one winner, as both Shannon and Luke are carving out their own distinct and different paths in their careers. However, we just couldn’t separate the two on their leadership qualities, determination and spirit,”
We felt that both would get immense value from the prize, particularly the tailored mentoring package, which will provide them with a great insight into some of the best agriculture farms and companies in the industry. We’re committed to recognising and supporting talented young individuals in the ag sector, and this prize package will really help take both of their careers to the next level.”
Landmark and Evans were initially shortlisted with four other candidates, with interviews held in Brisbane last October. Following these interviews, they were named as finalists alongside kiwi Grant McNaughton, 34, Managing Director of McNaughton Farms, a 6300-hectare sheep and beef operation in Oamaru, North Otago NZ.
The award, sponsored by Allflex, Pilatus, CBRE Agribusiness, Zoetis, MDH and Rabobank, was presented last night in Port Douglas at the annual Platinum Primary Producers (PPP)Gala Dinner. This was part of the group’s annual PPP Conference, a group comprising of 150 influential agri-business men and women from across Australasia, of which Zanda McDonald was a foundation member.
Landmark and Evans will each receive a prize package which includes a trans-Tasman mentoring trip to farming operations and businesses from within the PPP network, $1,000 cash, a place on Rabobank's Farm Managers Program, and membership to the PPP Group. The pair will each travel by a Pilatus PC-12 aircraft to parts of their Australian mentoring trips, enabling them to reach diverse and remote farming operations.