RAS and NZYF Young Rural Achiever 2011

Posted by on 2 July 2011 | Comments

Otago/Southland New Zealand Young Farmer Cath Lyall won the 2011 Young Rural Achiever Award at the Royal Agriculture Society (RAS) Annual Conference in Hamilton on 25 June 2011.

Competing against representatives from two other regions, Cath faced tough competition with the interviewing process involving a call back for as the Judges struggled with choosing the best person for the job of representing New Zealand at the 2011 Adelaide Royal Show inSouth Australia later this year.

Erica van Reneen and Lisa Chapman were worthy componants with the marking separating the three competitors being extremely close.  All three competitors were interviewed in a conversational hour long grilling then spoke to an audience of more than 100 on the set topic of "What is love?" - which resulted in funny, touching and genuine speeches expressing the competitors personal view of "What is love?".

The Judges, Sara Russell Manager, NZYF, Christine Fernyhough, farmer Castlehill and Mick Lester, RAS Past President, were impressed with the calibre of the three competitors and had no clear winner until after the speeches were given. 

Cath Lyall was chosen because she embodied values and goals that reflected that the Judges believed to be the spirit of a Young Rural Achiever - community minded, driven and independant. 

Cath will represent New Zealand at the 2011 Adelaide Royal Show later this year in the Rural Ambassdor competition against State representatives from across Australia.

The selection for the Young Rural Achiever starts with the young person sending in their applicaiton and CV to date.  A regional committee of three is made up of a representative from the RAS, one from NZYF plus another industry related professional.  The selection process includes review of the submitted CV, a short presentation about themselves and an interview.  At the National level the process is simlar but the emphasis on industry knowledge, international relations and leadership is increased during the interview and the presentation is given on a set topic to an auidence of RAS conference goers.