Natural Evolution Founders Rob and Krista Watkins with daughters Kate and Kira. Krista is a finalist in the Rural Women's Awards.
Natural Evolution Founders Rob and Krista Watkins with daughters Kate and Kira. Krista is a finalist in the Rural Women's Awards. Contributed

Queensland Rural Women's Award finalists announced

AN organic farmer, rural advocate and photographer, banana industry entrepreneur and agriculture workplace innovator are among the finalist for this years AgriFutures Rural Women's Award.

Minister for Agricultural Industry Development Mark Furner congratulated the finalists of the award during Queensland Women's Week.

"The AgriFutures Rural Women's Award acknowledges the essential role that women play in developing rural industries, businesses and communities,” Mr Furner said.

"The award aims to support and inspire the next generation of female leaders across Australia and I'm delighted to announce the Queensland finalists for the 2018 edition.

"The finalists, who were chosen from a highly competitive field, exemplify the breadth and depth of the talent and dedication of the women working in Queensland agriculture.

"They include an agri-employment specialist from the Lockyer Valley, an organic farming consultant from Central Queensland, a rural photographer from Townsville and an agricultural entrepreneur from the Tablelands.

"I wish each of them well in the next stage of the Award and look forward to announcing the winner at a reception in Brisbane on March 22.”

Mr Furner said the Queensland winner will receive a $10,000 bursary to support their project.

"The recipient will partake in a programme of professional development, leadership support and networking opportunities,” he said.

The 2018 Queensland finalists are:

Janne Dipple, founder of FarmReady Pty Ltd, Morton Vale

Sonia Ghiggioli, organic farmer, wine maker, and artisanal cheese maker, Agnes Water

Fiona Lake, agricultural photographer and owner of a rural advocacy business, Hermit Park

Krista Watkins, co-founder and Managing Director of Natural Evolutions Food, Walkamin.

State and territory winners will compete for the Australian Rural Women's Award title on September 12, with the national winner receiving an additional $10,000 to contribute to her project.



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