A TRUE ambassador for connecting regional and city communities through food, InterGrain chief executive Tress Walmsley has won this year's Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation's (RIRDC) Rural Women's Award.
Her 'Oodles of Noodles' project, has won her the major State Government award, including a $10,000 bursary towards her project.
Agriculture and Food Minister Ken Baston presented the award to Ms Walmsley at a ceremony in Perth last night.
Ms Walmsley has built a career in the grains industry, starting as an agronomist at the Department of Agriculture and Food before moving into grain commercialisation.
She initiated a project to capitalise on WA's best kept secret - that WA farmers have an exclusive advantage to grow premium wheat for Udon noodles.
'Oodles of noodles' aims to increase the demand for Noodle wheat, by encouraging consumer interest in Udon noodles, which will ultimately support local growers.
"One of our best kept secrets is that WA farmers have an exclusive advantage to grow wheat for Udon noodles," Ms Walmsley said.
"If the demand for growing Noodle wheat increases, our WA grain growers will reap the benefits."
Mr Baston said the award panel considered each applicant's project and its leadership potential for future development of the individual and members of their industry.
"The panel agreed that Ms Walmsley's 'paddock to plate' project showed the value of developing a commodity to a product and the transferability of this concept to other niche products across Australia," he said.
"It is important that we recognise the contribution women make to primary industries and communities in WA."
Ms Walmsley will be interviewed by a national selection panel in the running for the Australian RIRDC Rural Women's Award, to be announced in Canberra in September.
The other State finalists Karen Chappel, Julianne Hill and Leonie Noble each received a $1000 bursary.