The Akubras are being stitched and eight rural-minded individuals from across NSW are preparing to step up as the Royal Agricultural Society (RAS) of NSW 2019 Rural Achievers.
Among them is Nyngan’s James Cleaver who has been recognised for his passion for agriculture, and desire to build successful farm business practices to support the future of the industry.
Mr Cleaver currently works as a Rural Support Worker for the Department of Primary Industries and said it’s a “great honour” to be named a Rural Achiever in the program’s 30th year.
The state-wide leadership program aims to foster advocacy in driven individuals, providing unique networking opportunities and the chance to represent NSW at the National Rural Ambassador Competition.
“I’m trying to be a sponge and soak up everything the program has to offer,” Mr Cleaver said.
“I want to learn as much as I can and hopefully put some of these key learnings into practice in the future.
“It also gives me the opportunity to see the inner workings of the RAS of NSW, which has been an influential force in the direction and development of Australian Ag since its foundation in 1822.”
For Mr Cleaver, agriculture is a dynamic industry which is continually adapting to sustain its future, demonstrated through the current state of drought.
“I find Agriculture exciting as there is constant change in the sector. One day we’ll be in drought the next day we’ll have flood or fire,” Mr Cleaver said.
“Then there is the variability of commodity prices and the growing need to find efficiencies in every step of the process to create profit.
“I am motivated by the way our industry meets these challenges and continues to innovate. Agriculture can be a tough gig at times, but it can be extremely rewarding.”
He believes that the current state of drought is a demonstration of the bridge between the farming and metropolitan communities, and that the Royal Easter Show is important to help show off the Agricultural industry.
“I think the current drought has shown us that there is a perceived lack of understanding between rural communities and our urban counterparts,” Mr Cleaver said.
“But there has also been great generosity shown by our city friends through various charities and services which shows they do care.
“The Royal Easter Show is a great vehicle to show off what we do as an industry and invite our city friends to learn more about Ag.
“If I get to have one or two beers at the Show Bar then I suppose that’s an added bonus.”
RAS Rural Achievers will receive a share in $17,000 prize money, complimentary one year RAS Membership, official Rural Achiever uniform and the chance to be selected to represent NSW at the National Rural Ambassador Competition at the Sydney Royal Easter Show next April.