WAFarmers congratulates AgConnectWA committee member Wes Lefroy, who was announced as a runner up for the 2016 Zanda McDonald Award overnight at the Platinum Primary Producers (PPP) Conference in Wellington, New Zealand.
Mr Lefroy, who works throughout the Wheatbelt as a Technical Manager with Precision SoilTech in addition to his AgConnectWA responsibilities, was joint-runner up with agricultural and environmental consultant Erica van Reenen, to winner Dean Rabbidge, a dairy and sheep farmer from New Zealand.
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 until his passing in April 2013. Mr McDonald was a key figure in the Australian cattle industry and was a foundation member of the PPP Group, the organisation behind the award.
Mr Lefroy said he was honoured to have been a finalist for the prestigious award, and recognised Dean’s achievements.
“Dean is a very deserved winner as he is making an incredible difference in New Zealand’s agriculture sector, but also as a committee member of NZ Young Farmers,” Mr Lefroy said.
“Spending the week in New Zealand with 130 of Australia’s and New Zealand’s top primary producers has been an incredible opportunity, and soaking up their experiences and their knowledge about the industry has been fantastic.
“Equally, they have been interested to hear about the challenges we are facing in Western Australia, and there are a lot of similarities. I have also been proud to share many of our success stories.
“Being able to visit also some of New Zealand’s leading farmers was an incredible experience, as I was able to listen to their stories and see their farms in operation.”
AgConnectWA President Kallum Blake said Mr Lefroy was an asset to the state’s agricultural industry on many levels, and was a worthy finalist.
“Applicants for the Zanda McDonald Award had to display strong leadership and visionary characteristics such as innovation, determination, and a desire to improve their industry, and Wes demonstrates all this and more in his capacity as AgConnectWA Secretary and in his role with Precision SoilTech,” Mr Blake said.
“He is a major driving force behind many of our new ventures, and we look forward to seeing him continue to develop into a great leader for WA agriculture.”
All media requests must be directed to WAFarmers Media and Communications Officer Melanie Dunn on (08) 9486 2100 or [email protected].