WA's Wes vying for coveted Zanda award

03 Feb, 2016 01:00 AM
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Precision SoilTech technical manager and AgConnectWA committee member Wes Lefroy is a finalist in the prestigious Zanda McDonald award.
It will be really interesting to learn more about other industries outside of my own
Precision SoilTech technical manager and AgConnectWA committee member Wes Lefroy is a finalist in the prestigious Zanda McDonald award.

WA agriculture will get a chance to take centre stage through Precision SoilTech technical manager and AgConnectWA committee member Wes Lefroy who is one of three finalists for the 2016 Zanda McDonald Award.

Mr Lefroy is a finalist alongside New Zealand dairy, beef and sheep farmer Dean Rabbidge and agricultural and environmental consultant Erica van Reenen.

The three are invited to attend the Platinum Primary Producers' (PPP) conference in Wellington, New Zealand, in March, where the award winner will be announced.

Mr Lefroy said it was a fantastic opportunity for him to develop his leadership skills and continue to expand his networks, while promoting the positive work of WA's agriculture industry.

"I don't really see this as an opportunity to win an award," he said.

"I see it as more of a chance for personal development and training opportunities and creating networks, while being an ambassador for the WA and Australian ag industry but also for Zanda's legacy.

"It will be really interesting to learn more about other industries outside of my own, such as pastoral and dairy. I'm really looking forward to seeing what I can learn from these industries and bring back into the broad acre industry.

"A lot of great work is happening in the ag window in WA. I am really looking forward to sharing some of the positive stuff coming out of WA with an eastern States and NZ-dominated audience."

Mr Lefroy, placed in the top six in Brisbane last year, and was selected in the top three last month.

"I am off to New Zealand for the PPP conference in March," he said.

"Going to the conference will be an amazing opportunity. The PPP group is made up of 130 leading farmers from across Australasia, so to be able to mix, network and chat with them for three days in another country and learn about New Zealand agriculture will be amazing."

Mr Lefroy, a farmer's son from Milling, said opportunities such as the Zanda McDonald award could help other young people in the industry.

"There are plenty of great opportunities out there at the moment," he said.

"Continuing to inject new ideas and skills into the industry is the key for long-term sustainability."

The award recognises agriculture's future leaders and helps them to develop their career potential, and was established in memory of Alexander "Zanda" McDonald who, alongside his father and uncle, ran McDonald Holdings (MDH) until his death in April 2013.

Mr McDonald was a key figure in the Australian cattle industry and was a foundation member of the PPP Group.

The winner will receive a trophy and certificate, a tailored mentoring package valued at $20,000 designed to further their career and leadership abilities, a place on the Rabobank Farm Manager's Program worth $7,000, and $1,000 in prize money.

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Mr Lefroy said he is eager to learn and very excited about the possibility of attending the farm manager's program.

"It is a leading training opportunity and is a highly regarded course for training very successful farm managers," Mr Lefroy said.

"The members of the PPP are the top echelon of primary producers in Australasia and having access to these producers and visiting their operations as part of the mentoring package will be an invaluable experience."

The 2016 judging panel comprises PPP chairman Shane McManaway, Emily Crofoot, Castlepoint Station, NZ, Julie McDonald, MDH's head of finance, Consolidated Pastoral Company chief executive officer Troy Setter, Victorian sheep farmer Charlie de Fegely, and Pat Gunston, Allflex Australia.

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FarmWeekly
Jacinta Bolsenbroek

Jacinta Bolsenbroek

is a senior journalist at Farm Weekly

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