GAWLER Show’s 2016 Rural Ambassador, Stefan Anesbury, has placed runner-up in this year’s state finals, with Kapunda Show’s Sarah Hazel awarded first place.
The pair were joint winners of the 2017 Northern Region finals, held in March, and were competing for the state title against five other Rural Ambassadors at last week’s Royal Adelaide Show.
Miss Hazel, 26, is currently working as an agricultural teacher in Orroroo in the Southern Flinders Ranges, but grew up on a fifth-generation family farm in Kapunda and remains actively involved with the Kapunda and Light Agricultural Show Society.
“I am truly honoured to represent such a motivated and passionate group of ambassadors, and the show societies of South Australia,” she said, following last Tuesday’s SA Country Shows Association dinner.
“Over the past three days at the Royal Adelaide Show, I’ve experienced a behind the scenes look, meeting so many people and getting an insight into the generational history of those involved.”
Mr Anesbury, 21, said his involvement with the Rural Ambassador program was “absolutely amazing”.
“The other rural ambassadors were all excellent people, and just seeing the different size of the Adelaide Show and seeing how it runs, and some of the people who make it possible, was an absolutely excellent experience,” he said.
“I would encourage anyone to get involved with it.”
This year marks the 20-year anniversary of the Rural Ambassador Award program, which is open to people aged between 20-30 years who are committed to their local show and community, and highlights the importance of youth in the agricultural show movement.
Rural Ambassador Award state co-ordinator and Mallala farmer Peter Angus said hundreds of young people have participated in the program at local show, association and state levels, making substantial contributions to their communities.
“Many are now connected through their careers, particularly in primary industries, and living in the same communities,” he said.
“The excitement and involvement this year’s award winners have, relating to education and agriculture, is commendable and does well to promote the importance of food and fibre from rural SA, and knowing where produce comes from.”
Miss Hazel, Mr Anesbury, and second runners-up Kate Fairlie (South East and Border region) will go on a two-week overseas study tour, next year, as their major prize.
Additionally, the group of SA finalists will attend the Sydney Royal Easter Show.