Australia's National Rural Ambassador for 2023 is Perth-based poultry fancier Reece Jerrett.
He was announced the winner in the National Rural Ambassador Award, hosted by Agricultural Shows Australia, in Tasmania, last week.
For more than 20 years, this program has sought to discover the next generation of rural leaders who are passionate about representing their shows, their communities and agriculture.
Mr Jerrett, 23, Mundijong, was the youngest competitor in the field.
He is best known as a passionate poultry exhibitor and advocate for peri-urban agriculture.
Serving as the president of the Western Australian Poultry Association, he often engages in volunteering at poultry clubs and agricultural societies when he's not breeding and exhibiting his own poultry and waterfowl.
"I can't wait to go around Australia and listen to the different agricultural communities and experience the way they run their show societies," Mr Jerrett said.
"I look forward to networking and championing the importance of local food security within Australia, and promoting the reduction of food miles."
Based in Mundiong, Mr Jerrett drew attention to the expanding urban sprawl as a threat to agricultural exhibitions.
"These effects on agricultural properties are felt right through different areas of the community, by impacting local food security, a decrease in exhibitors and volunteers in agricultural societies and the long term impact of young people leaving agricultural businesses all together," he said.
Agricultural Shows Australia chairman Rob Wilson heads up the peak body that oversees 572 agricultural shows in Australia which attract six million visitors annually and contribute nearly $1billion to the national economy.
He said the award provided a forum for young people to express their views through education and experience, and develop closer links with like-minded representatives from around the State and across Australia.
Runner up is Victoria's Rural Ambassador Alexandra Pattinson, 29, Inverloch.
She has served as a committee member of the Foster and District Agricultural and Pastoral Society since 2018.
Ms Pattinson initiated a Young Farmers Challenge, is a part of the Melbourne Royal Emerging Leaders Committee, and has a long history of participating in shows - her personal best being a winning tomato chutney and a second-place finish in the chocolate cake category using her nan's recipe.
"The opportunity to be Rural Ambassador for Victoria has been so valuable for me - I have been able to highlight my show, my community and my region on a State-wide scale," Ms Pattinson said.
"The chance to continue this at national level and to the rest of the country is thrilling."
The National Finals of the Agricultural Shows Australia Rural Ambassador competition are the apex of a series of annual contests across Australia.
Entrants from local exhibitions progress to regional and State-level competitions before reaching the national stage.
The national championships rotate locations each year, with this year's event hosted by Tasmanian Ag Shows at the Royal Launceston Show.
WA representatives also placed in the beef cattle and the alpaca judging.
Sam Lynch, Capel, was third in the beef cattle judging, while Mia Hancock, Perth, was third in the alpaca judging.
Mr Lynch, who is 17, was introduced to junior judging in year 10, but with a longer history in parading.
Ms Hancock was introduced to alpacas during a school presentation five years ago and she quickly delved deep into the world of alpacas, from judging to handling.
She stressed the competition's value in networking and learning.
"I own alpacas now, and my goal is to establish a prominent stud in the industry," Ms Hancock said.
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