Rural Ambassador Awards

Queensland’s Premier Programme For Future Leaders

men and women aged between 20 and 30. Run by Queensland Ag Shows since 2003, the Queensland Rural Ambassador Awards allow 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 future leaders.

Entrants participate in a program that is designed to help them grow, network, develop their skills and hone their ambitions, giving them the confidence to return to their communities and industries and assume leadership positions. One attribute the finalists have in common is an enduring commitment to and involvement in their communities. Most have grown up with ag shows in their blood and are significant contributors to their local shows.

The Queensland Rural Ambassador Awards bring together eleven finalists annually who represent eleven regions across the state (Burnett, Central Highlands, Central North West, Central Queensland, Darling Downs, Near North Coast, North Queensland, South Burnett, South East Queensland, South West Queensland, and West Moreton & Brisbane Valley) for an unforgettable and formative state final experience at the Ekka (aka Royal Queensland Show). 

What’s the process?

The selection process requires entrants to have won at a local competition followed by their sub-chamber competition to qualify for the state program. The Queensland Rural Ambassador Awards brings together 11 sub-chamber finalists annually.

Over four days at the Queensland Rural Ambassador Awards State Final, the 11 Queensland finalists enjoy tours with Agforce, Australian Country Choice, Ekka behind-the-scenes, camel farming and dairy operations; dine with dignitaries and leaders from parliament, industry and the council of the royal show; meet with media and sponsors, and speak in the main ring in front of tens of thousands of Ekka Patrons. The winner then competes in the National Rural Ambassador final hosted by Agricultural Shows of Australia, as the Queensland Rural Ambassador.

What’s involved at a local level?

The local experience is uniquely different at each Local Show from year to year and is reflective of hte fianlist’s experiennce and interest within their local Ag Show and Agricultural Interests. 

Comfirm your interest by contacting your local show and if you are not sure who to contact, reach out to the state committee and we will assist you to put you in touch with your local show

Partners Of The Queensland Rural Ambassador Awards

We are proud to partner with like-minded companies and organisations who share a passion for celebrating young rural leaders and the success of regional Queensland and its agricultural industries. 

Over the years, our Queensland Rural Ambassador Awards partners have successfully activated their sponsorship through:

  • Conducting tours of their facilities
  • Offering memberships to entrants
  • Speaking at our events to entrants
  • Presenting on panels to entrants
  • Leveraging our social media channels
  • Cross promoting their own competitions
  • Attending our functions to meet entrants
  • Creating content on their involvement

Queensland Ag Shows is open to all of these activities and more to ensure partnerships provide an excellent return on investment for your organisation. 

Learn how you can partner with us here.

Gold Sponsors

  • Australian Country Choice 
  • Australian Beef Holdings 
  • RNA
  • RM Williams

Silver Sponsors

  • AgForce Queensland
  • Shepherdson & Boyd
  • John & Estelle Drynan & Family
  • Robertson Family Farming
  • Showmens Guild of Australasia 
  • Senator Susan McDonald 
  • AgHR
  • Gin Gin Community Bank Bendigo Branch

Bronze Sponsors

  • Hannas Department Store 
  • Sandstream and Etching
  • Annexe Apartments 
  • Rydges Fortitude Valley 
  • Richard Smith Photography
  • Rohan Birt Plumbing & Drainage
  • Royal On The Park
  • Sally Prosser

2021 FINALISTS

L-R
Teri Sommerfield, Jasmine Firmin, Ashleigh Chapman, Shelby Naughton, Lawrence Sehmish-Lahey, Ashton Solli, Georgia Rodgers, Jessica Kirk, Emily Larkin

2021 Winners Profile: Teri Sommerfield

Teri is an active member within the Charleville community being involved with a number of committees which highlight the arts and agriculture, including the Charleville Show.

A rural contractor, small enterprise owner and part time barista. Teri is also studying a Masters of Ethics and Legal Studies. Teri’s main interest in agriculture is business advocacy and highlighting the community benefits derived from agriculture. She believes that agriculture is the key economic driver in most regional Queensland centres, and yet it is one of the most widely misunderstood.

As the Queensland Rural Ambassador winner, Teri aspires to encourage the younger generation to engage with issues which face agricultural industries in rural and regional Queensland.

2021 Queensland Rural Ambassador Runner Up – Georgia Rodgers

Hailing from the Scenic Rim town of Beaudesert, Georgia gained a place in the Elders graduate agronomist program after obtaining a Bachelor of Agriculture from Central Queensland University. With a keen interest in agronomy and animal nutrition, Georgia strives to use her skills to assist farmers with implementing regenerative practices to improve their businesses. Away from work Georgia enjoys sewing, crafts, cooking and gardening.

Georgia is also involved with the Beaudesert Show, assisting in judging the pastures and field section of the show and conducting a session in the AgEd information day for local school students prior to the show.

Georgia entered the Queensland Rural Ambassador Awards to develop her interpersonal skills and build professional networks which she believes will assist her agronomy career.

2021 Queensland Rural Ambassador Community Spirit Recipient – Lawrence Sehmish-Lahey

Lawrence’s Rural Ambassador journey began in his hometown of Goondiwindi on the Darling Downs and he was overjoyed to bring home the 2021 Queensland Rural Ambassador Community Spirit Award.  After joining his high school show team he developed a passion for exhibiting cattle. This broadened his exposure of shows which sparked his interest in the greater show movement.

Since finishing school Lawrence has completed his dual degree in Agribusiness/Applied Science, majoring in Animal Production from the University of Queensland and is now awaiting results after submitting his Masters thesis exploring weather variability within feedlots.  All throughout Uni Lawrence balanced study with exhibiting cattle. If not competing or exhibiting he could often be found volunteering and stewarding anywhere around our Southern Queensland shows if not running a section himself, hence the Community Spirit award is fitting for Lawrence as he actively involves himself wherever he goes. 

Lawrence looks forward to the 2022 show season meeting and helping out our hardworking show organisers while encouraging others and particularly the younger generation to get involved in their local show also.