Judges were again overwhelmed by the number and quality of entrants and subsequently decided to award a one-off runner-up award to Murdoch University third-year veterinary student Candice Gelmi of Waterloo.
The winners were announced last Wednesday at the Blackwood Murray Grey and KDM Angus on-property field day, hosted by stud principals and scholarship benefactors Milton and Emma Moore.
Mr Crane is in his third year of a Bachelor of Agribusiness-Farm Management degree at Muresk Institute.
The Blackwood bursary means he will receive $2500 a year in each successful study year for the duration of his course up to a maximum of $10,000.
Ms Gelmi will receive a one-off payment of $1250.
Judges representative Farm Weekly general manager Trevor Emery said the quality of the applicants had been outstanding.
³Our field of 30 was of an even higher calibre than the 32 applicants last year and as a result we named eight finalists this year as against six in 2006,² Mr Emery said.
³It is interesting to note that Gavin nominated last year but was not selected as a finalist and I have to commend him for reapplying and for the growth and maturity he displayed.²
Mr Crane said he was keen to reapply as a measure of support for the generosity and initiative of the sponsors.
He said he still had something to offer having achieved more in the rural community and had grown a lot as a person in the past 12 months.
³Going through the application process last year and meeting other applicants gave me a greater insight into what was required,² Mr Crane said.
³I was happy just to make the finals this year but to win was a real shock and a big honour.
³I know how passionate, committed and talented the other applicants are and I think agriculture has a bright future with the sort of people who are coming through this scholarship.²
Mr Crane¹s achievements include vice presidency of the WA Federation of Rural Youth, chairman of the organising committee for the national Young Farmer of the Year award in 2006 and 2007 and being one of only four WA members of the national Youth Round Table in Canberra.
The Youth Roundtable identified six key topics for discussion and investigation including cultural identity, stronger families and stronger youth, rural development, mental health, general health, and youth empowerment.
Ms Gelmi was similarly appreciative of the opportunity to participate in the scholarship, which is sponsored by Milton and Emma Moore, AWB Landmark, WAFarmers and Farm Weekly.
³It was a great honour and privilege to be named as a finalist and runner-up against such a high calibre field of entrants,² she said.
³Participating in the scholarship allowed me to meet others with similar backgrounds and interests and to network with people pursuing varied career paths in the agricultural sector.
³The written application gave me the opportunity to express opinions on issues I believe to be of great importance to today¹s agricultural industry.
³As a finalist the selection process provided invaluable experience in public communication.²
Scholarship judges were Milton and Emma Moore, Landmark sales and operations manager Renay van der Meulen, WAFarmers chief executive officer Doug Parker, Farm Weekly general manager Trevor Emery and sales manager Wendy Gould.