WA Youth Cattle Handlers Camp chairman and Brunswick Junction dairy farmer Lachlan Fry, 24, is the owner-operator Brownes Dairy Young Dairy Farmer of the Year.
Farm hand for Peter and Grant Evans at Busselton, Brentin Matthews, 27, is the employee Brownes Dairy Young Dairy Farmer of the Year.
Brownes Dairy managing director Tony Girgis announced them as inaugural winners of the awards at the WAFarmers dairy industry dinner at Bunbury following Dairy Innovation Day on Thursday last week.
Mr Girgis said he was so impressed with the "calibre of the candidates and their ideas for the dairy industry" that he decided Brownes would sponsor a second round of the awards.
"The dairy industry is facing some difficult challenges globally and locally," Mr Brown said.
"We all know challenges are part of our everyday life, whether you are running a business or a dairy farm or whatever.
"But it does not mean that you can't overcome them by innovation, out-of-the-box thinking and adaption.
"We hope to encourage some of the younger guns in the industry to adopt some of these innovation techniques and latest thinking to face today's and tomorrow's challenges in the dairy industry."
WAFarmers dairy section president Phil Depiazzi was also impressed.
"I was fortunate to sit on the selection panel which interviewed 10 of the 12 nominations and I was very impressed, there really were some tremendous presentations," Mr Depiazzi said.
"There are some young people who have a great future in our dairy industry and who have the potential to go a long way, and not just on the farm but beyond the farm gate as well and becoming great contributors."
Candidates made written and spoken presentations on what they saw as impediments to growth of the WA dairy industry.
The winners were selected from six finalists after being interviewed on topics ranging from farm management to global market issues.
Each received a $2500 cash prize from Brownes.
Mr Fry grew up on a 400-cow farm at Benger and after leaving school became a farm hand on a smaller property leased by his parents at Brunswick Junction, milking 130 registered Holstein, Jersey and Brown Swiss cows.
He obtained a Certificate III in Agriculture and studied for a Bachelor's degree in commerce, majoring in management, before winning the Semex-Holstein Australia Youth Fellowship Award and spending six months in Canada.
After completing his degree, Mr Fry returned to the family farm in 2014 and he and younger brother Corbin have taken over running Katandra Farming from parents Don and Lorelle.
"The cattle side of it is a big passion of mine," Mr Fry told guests at the dinner.
He described the Brownes Dairy Young Dairy Farmer of the Year award process as "a great privilege and a great opportunity".
"The thing that I enjoyed about it was you get to meet and enjoy fellowship with young dairy farmers, I think that was the highlight for me,'' he said.
"Hopefully we can go on and be successful and prosperous because I think that's what it's all about - it's certainly a great industry to be part of."
Mr Matthews, who is responsible for day-to-day management of the Evans' 850 milker herd, worked in the dairy industry in New Zealand for five years before he and wife Nakita came to Australia two years ago.
He started with the Evans a week after he arrived.
"I'm very pleased with the outcome, being involved in this competition has taught me many new skills and will be a great asset to my future," he said.
"Winning this award had given me a great confidence boost.
"I'm looking forward to getting more training underway."
Mr Matthews, who has NZ certificates in agriculture, said he would put his prize money towards obtaining a diploma in agriculture.
At the dinner Mr Depiazzi also announced two new dairy projects that WAFarmers will fund with profits from the sale of WAFarmers First milk.
The first were new scholarships worth $1000 each for students attending WA College of Agriculture Harvey and Denmark.
"We will be targeting young people who intend to be involved in the dairy industry and obviously achieve high marks and are good students within those colleges," Mr Depiazzi said.
The second will be a dairy industry ambassador initiative to promote the dairy industry pavilion at the Perth Royal Show.
"We are looking at promoting our industry, educating the public about our industry and certainly promoting the career paths and opportunities that exist," Mr Depiazzi said.
He said the dairy ambassador would work with 10 young dairy people at the show.