2008 Runners Up

2008 New South Wales Runner-up - Louisa Kiely

Louisa Kiely is a superfine wool grower from Goolma. She is passionate about climate change issues and ensuring that farmers are included in the carbon trading debate.

Louisa believes that farmers have a critical and practical role to play in responding to global warming while continuing to generate valuable income by exchanging soil carbon credits to underwrite farm income which could offset emissions from methane and other greenhouse gases.

She co-founded the Carbon Coalition against Global Warming in 2006, to lobby government for the right of Australian landholders to trade the credits they earn by sequestering carbon in their soils on the emissions offset market.

Her project involved the establishment of SoilCentral.com, the world’s first website devoted to raising the profile of the benefits of increasing carbon in agricultural soils world wide, in an effort to restore family farms and save the planet.

2008 Victoria Runner-up - Lucy Mayes

Lucy Mayes is trained as a lawyer and social worker and works in economic development to support primary producers in her shire of Mount Alexander in seeking to grow their markets and supply-chain connectivity.

Lucy is active in her community and was heavily involved in The Food Project, which was aimed at education, advocacy and awareness in consumers of the origins of their food.

Lucy’s main passion is the development of young people to their maximum creative potential. Through her work she has seen first-hand the significant issue of rural communities losing their young people.

Her project was to explore existing rural youth development acitivies with a view to creating an Australia-wide rural youth leadership and mentoring program.

2008 Queensland Runner-up - Georgie Somerset

Georgie Somerset is a beef producer from Kingaroy. She was founding member of the Queensland Rural Women’s Network, was responsible for the agricultural portfolio on the National Council of Women in Queensland and Australia and sat on the National Rural Advisory Council.

At the time of the Award, Georgie had committed the previous two decades to ‘selling the bush’ to the urban population. She believes there is a new tide of interest and awareness of the importance of agriculture and the bush among urban consumers, who are actively seeking links with rural businesses and events.

Her ambition was to create Bushlinks, a web portal that would not only provide accurate information on Australian agriculture, but linked urban Australia with events and businesses in rural and regional Australia.

2008 South Australia Runner-up - Yvonne Smith

At the time of the Award, Yvonne Smith had been involved in the horticultural industry in South Australia as a grower and industry advocate for the previous 20 years.

She was the first woman Chair of Onions Australia, sat on the Industry Advisory Committee to Horticulture Australia and was actively involved in the SA Soil Conservation Council.

Her project involved a study tour of the onion growing regions in the San Joaquin Valley of California so she could examine the practicalities, barriers and benefits of drip irrigation, with the prospect of introducing drip irrigation into large scale broad acre production of onions in her regions and state.

She believed the outcomes of her project would be the assurance of the most efficient water-use for her industry and would also contribute to the certainty of water-flow for communities along the Murray River.

2008 Western Australia Runner-up - Audrey Bird

At the time of the Award, Audrey Bird was a farmer from the wheatbelt of Western Australia, a director of the family farm business and a leader within her industry as demonstrated through her role as President of the Facey Group.

Her vision ‘Growing Grower Groups’ was to utilise the existing grower group framework, such as the Facey Group, to identify how to value add to the membership of the group, by developing new products and services to better meet their needs.

Her project involved interstate travel to learn from other grower groups and groups outside agriculture, the opportunities, products and services they are offering their members.

2008 Tasmania Runner-up - Amabel Fulton

At the time of the Award, Amabel Fulton was Chief Executive of Rural Development Services and boasted some 20 years experience in sustainable agriculture and rural capacity building. She also sat on the Federal Government’s Regional Women’s Advisory Council.

Her company had been operating for eight years and provided services aimed at enhancing the capacity of rural people and organisations, including research and development, rural social research, business and people development both within Tasmania and nationally.

Amabel’s ambition was to develop a successful business-case for the formation of a national network of women training brokers. The network would provide local family farm businesses with opportunities to access training, support and assistance, while offering funding providers with a mechanism and a group of trainers to channel their products and services directly to their target audience. A pilot roll out of the model was being sponsored by Horticulture Australia.