Rural Ambassador Award

The Rural Ambassador Award is open to males and females, 20 to 30 years of age who have a strong commitment to the rural industries and an involvement and passion for the Agricultural Show movement.

The aim of the Rural Ambassador Award is to highlight the importance of young people in rural and regional Queensland, in particular those associated with the Agricultural Show movement. The award identifies those people actively involved in their local Show, who have a sound knowledge of current rural issues affecting their local areas, Queensland and Australia and have a strong affiliation with agriculture.

The award seeks young people who symbolise the rural spirit - people with vitality who are forward thinking and with a passion for the land and local agricultural shows.

The competition is run on four levels - The local Show winner progresses to a Sub-Chamber final where the winner competes in the State Final held during the Royal Queensland Show (EKKA). The winner of the State Final then competes at the National Final held at a State Royal Show. This is a national competition, but with New Zealand joining us in 2008 it has expanded to international status.

This is a wonderful opportunity for young people wishing to enhance their confidence and meet other young people with the same interests.

For more information on previous Rural Ambassador Awards and other details please visit the Queensland Shows website.

2015 Rural Ambassador Kylie Hopkins

Kylie Hopkins is a Technical Officer at the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries in Rockhampton.

Kylie completed her Bachelor of Science (Botany) at the University of Queensland in 2008, before graduating with Class I Honours in Science (Plant Science) in 2009. She worked in horticulture and irrigation research at the Central Queensland University from 2010 to 2012.

In 2012, Kylie was appointed as the technical officer on the High Output Forages project which aimed to determine the key drivers of profitability of, and benchmark the forage, animal and economic performance of forage options in the Fitzroy region. At the conclusion of the forage project, Kylie became a member of the Grazing BMP team. Her role involves delivering the industry-lead, Grazing BMP program to the graziers in the Fitzroy NRM region.

Outside of work, Kylie and her partner breed Anglo Nubian dairy goats. They exhibit their goats at agricultural shows around Queensland.

In 2015 Kylie was named the Rockhampton Show Rural Ambassador, before winning the central Queensland final and competing at the Royal Brisbane Show’s state finals. At the state finals she was awarded the South Australian exchange prize for which she attended Royal Adelaide show as a spokesperson for the Qld Rural Ambassador program.

After returning home from Adelaide, Kylie was voted onto the Rockhampton Show Management Committee and was elected the Central Queensland Shows Junior Vice President.

2015 was Kylie and her partner’s most successful year of breeding and showing their Anglo Nubians, winning 5 championships at the Brisbane Royal Show, and winning the trifecta of the Dairy Goat Society of Australia’s Qld Branch awards for Dairy Doe, Kid and Sire of the year.

Her most exciting news to date is that she has been asked to officially open the Callide Valley Show in May.

At the moment Kylie is busy preparing to exhibit and display her goats at 6 central Queensland shows, as well as her work on the Rockhampton Show Society, which involves coordinating a large agricultural education display at the show.

When asked to sum up her experience as the Rockhampton and Central Queensland Rural Ambassador, Kylie said,

"I am proud. I am proud to have represented Rockhampton Show and my beloved Central Queensland region, but most of all I am proud to have represented my niche industry and young women working in science and agriculture.

I have had the most empowering experience and I am so appreciative to all who have been involved along the way.

This program has taught me a lot about the present day challenges of the Agricultural Show movement, but also how the next generation are fighting the good fight to promote these wonderful community events.

Ag shows play an absolutely vital role in rural communities, by creating an incredibly unique environment which supports not only agriculture, but every facet of rural life.

I have met so many like-minded young people who come from all areas of agriculture and are involved in Ag shows at every level. I am confident that the future of these special events is in good hands and I am very proud to be a part of it."