Victorian veterinarian and farmer Dr Elle Moyle has been named as one of the three finalists for the 2020 Zanda McDonald award.
Last month she flew to Wellington, New Zealand, where the five shortlisted candidates were interviewed by the judging panel from the Platinum Primary Producers group.
The PPP create the award in honour of Queensland cattle producer Zanda McDonald, who died following a farm accident on his family's property near Cloncurry in 2013.
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For the past three years Dr Moyle has been the district veterinarian with Victoria's Department of Agriculture, based in Hamilton in the state's Western District.
She graduated as a vet in 2014 from Charles Sturt University and worked in Adelaide, North Queensland and overseas before joining the department.
Dr Moyle also has her own farm and is involved in running the Pathfinder Angus stud which is owned by her family.
She hopes being involved with the award will help her become a future leader in her chosen industry.
"I'd love to be involved in the future of agriculture, whether that means providing insight in an area I know about, or something else," she said.
"I'm just in the early stages of my farming career, but looking at every opportunity that I can get."
Dr Moyle said during the last judging round, each candidate had to front a nine member panel made up of past winners, PPP group members and Mr McDonald's wife Julie,and based on the questions asked of them it was clear the panel had done their research.
"They'd certainly made a few calls and verified everyone's application," she said.
An added bonus was meeting the other four candidates.
"We had plenty of time to mingle and network with the other applicants who are all doing great things in agriculture," she said.
The two other finalists are from New Zealand.
Jack Raharuhi is based at Westport on New Zealand's South Island, and is the manager of the Buller Complex for Pamu Farms NZ, which is also known as Landcorp.
He oversees three dairy farms and is part of a dairy support and a machine syndicate.
In 2016 he won a West Coast environmental award for milk suppliers and the Ahuwhenua Young Maori Dairy Farmer title.
James Robertson is a business graduate and trade strategist with Fonterra, but grew up on the family farm in the Waikato region on the North Island.
He has a passion for sustainable food production and engaging youth in the primary sector, and was awarded the 2019 New Zealand young farmer of the year award.
The final judging for the award will be held in Christchurch next March.
The publisher of this masthead, Australian Community Media, is a major sponsor of the Zanda McDonald award.
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