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On the Land

24 May, 2022

Rural ambassadors entrants step up

THE Queensland Rural Ambassador Awards are alive and well on the Tablelands, with six local entrants lining up to contest this year’s competition, four of whom will contest the Young Rural Ambassador division.

By Sally Turley

Kelly Muller and Rebecca Payne of Millaa Millaa and Catherine English and Naomi Godfrey of Malanda all keen to be young Rural Ambassador participants. Photos: HIDE AND HORNS PHOTOGRAPHY

Recognised as the preeminent rural and agricultural leadership program for young men and women aged between 20 and 30, the three-tiered awards program has been run by Queensland Ag Shows since 2003. The contest provides a platform for young people to promote Queensland, agriculture, rural communities and show societies, while providing an avenue for local communities and Ag Shows to recognise, celebrate and develop their future leaders.

The program is designed to help entrants grow, network, develop their skills and realise their ambitions, giving them the confidence to return to their communities and industries and assume leadership positions. Each entrant must demonstrate an enduring commitment to and involvement in their communities and local shows. The winner of the local competition will go on to compete at sub-chamber level and then, if chosen, against the 10 other state finalists at next year’s Royal Brisbane Show. 

Alyssa Kidd, from Ravenshoe, and Rikki Payne, of Millaa Millaa, will be going head to head in the main section of the competition. Both possess a demonstrated passion for livestock and the show arena. Currently 20 years of age, Alyssa graduated school as dux of her year and has worked as a library assistant, sales assistant and relief milker before beginning her current position of veterinary nurse/receptionist at Tableland Veterinary Service. She started showing dairy and beef cattle with the Ravenshoe State School’s “Raschoda” stud and has represented North Queensland on numerous occasions for Prime and Stud Beef Parading, Judging and Dairy Parading. Alyssa now lives with her husband Russell on their Upper Barron block, where her artificial insemination training helps her improve their Murray Grey herd through genetic selection. She loves how shows highlight local industries and bring the community together and dreams of eventually becoming a stud beef cattle judge. 

Rikki is a 22-year-old swimming instructor from misty Millaa Millaa, who became fascinated with cattle at a young age and has spent more than 10 years participating in leading and exhibiting beef and dairy cattle and goats in the show ring. Starting in the dairy section, Rikki worked at honing her skills with Malanda High School and Harrisville studs and participated in multiple young cattle judging schools and competitions during her school years as well as organising local charity events. She exhibited meat goats and cattle at multiple shows throughout Far North Queensland. After high school she became more involved in the behind the scenes work of Malanda Show and is now an active Show Ball committee volunteer in the office and on the bar. In the Young Rural Ambassadors section, two entrants from Millaa Millaa and two from Malanda will be vying for the title to be announced at the Malanda Show on 24 June. 

Kelly Muller is a Grade 10 student at Malanda High School. She comes from a rural background involved initially in dairy farming and now beef cattle on her family’s property at Millaa Millaa. She has been an avid pavilion contributor for many years, exhibiting her crafts, culinary work and produce. She has a passion for all things agricultural and after school, she plans to study agronomy, as well as experience outback life, working as a governess or in a contract mustering camp. 

Naomi Godfrey, former show princess and Malanda Year 10 student, has grown up around cattle through her family’s business, Godfrey’s Transport, and her involvement in dairy and beef educational camps from five years of age. Naomi is a keen parader in the beef ring and takes great pride in her technique and work ethic. She has successfully paraded her own commercial and stud cattle at Malanda Show and started work on a dairy farm early last year. She currently works at Eacham Stockfeeds, Malanda, and her passion for animal productivity through nutrition has her committed to achieving a degree in agronomy. 

Catherine English is 18 years old and her family have been exhibiting cattle at Malanda Show since 1905. Catherine has been working in her family’s dairy farm and is an active volunteer in the community and particularly for the Malanda Show and its affiliated events. She has achieved certificates in Rural Operations, Hospitality and Tourism and Information, Digital Media and Technology. Catherine is also a member of the Queensland Ag Shows Next Generation Committee. 

Rebecca Payne is an 18-yearold Millaa Millaa local, who is currently working on a dairy farm in her home town and assists her employers with the exhibition of their stud animals at Malanda Show. She has attended every educational dairy camp from 2012- 2022, and was appointed camp leader this year. Rebecca has a specific interest in the selection processes for breeding beef and dairy cattle, pasture management and nutrition on-farm and plans to work hard to establish her own successful property in the future.

Rural Ambassador entrants, Rikki Payne of Millaa Millaa and Alyssa Kidd of Malanda are working hard to promote the beef and dairy industries in the region. Photos: HIDE AND HORNS PHOTOGRAPHY

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