WILL Ryan from Dumbalk is the 2015 Agricultural Student of the Year.
The honour was presented to Will at the Kondinin Group-ABC Rural Australian Farmer of the Year Awards in Sydney on Wednesday, September 9.
Will, who dairy farms in Dumbalk with his family, is studying a Masters of Agribusiness and working with the Australian Fodder Industry Association.
The award recognises Will as a strong leader in the dairy industry.
In 2014 William was selected by the Gardiner Foundation to accompany the former Victorian Agriculture Minister Peter Walsh on a trade mission to China to understand the dairy value and where the opportunities lie for Australian products into the Chinese market.
After completing his Bachelor degree of Agriculture and Technologies in 2014, Will identified a need to continue pursuing education, which led to his enrolment in a Masters of Agribusiness.
Will is building his experience in the industry as the Industry Development Officer at the Australian Fodder Industry Association, but his studies have given him a high level of understanding across agriculture and dairy supply chains.
Speaking before the announcement of the winners, Will said it was an honour to be nominated.
“There are three others who have been nominated and I’ve had a chance to read up on what they’re doing and it’s all very exciting stuff,” he said.
“It’s a privilege to be up against them.
“It’s excellent to see the level of professionalism in young people who are involved in the industry.”
Will said there are a lot of different opportunities available to young people in agriculture so it was pleasing to see such high calibre students coming through.
Will said there was “a bright future in agriculture” and it’s being led by some highly driven young professionals in the field who are encouraging and lifting “productivity and prosperity in the agricultural sector, rural and regional areas as new innovations and methods are adapted into rural enterprises”.
Rural Bank, which sponsors the award, congratulated Will.
“Rural Bank believes in a bright future for Australian agriculture, and this seems certain if the calibre of the young people participating in this year’s awards is anything to go by,” Rural Bank General Manager Sales and Business Development, Andrew Smith said.
“Every student that entered has an inspiring story to tell, and should be congratulated for their commitment to their studies and for their obvious passion for agriculture.
“Will has emerged as another outstanding young industry leader and a great example for other young farmers.”