Rebecca Lynd from the Derwent Valley has been announced by the Hon Jeremy Rockliff MP, Minister for Primary Industries and Water, as the 2017 Rural Woman of the Year for Tasmania. The Encouragement Award has gone to Heather Cosgriff from Deloraine.
Rural Women's Award 2017 winner Rebecca Lynd with the Minister for Primary Industries and Water, Jeremy Rockliff, MP
Rebecca Lynd (2017 Tasmanian Rural Woman of the Year)
Rebecca is the owner and operator of Big River Highland Beef, a beef enterprise producing Scottish Highland beef for local restaurants and consumers. Rebecca does not have a farming background and developed the business without the ties of traditional agricultural practices requiring research into farming techniques, innovation, marketing opportunities and land management. Currently the only commercial producer of Scottish Highland beef in Tasmania, Rebecca is now nationally successful and is regularly approached for interviews, articles and advice from the Tasmanian Scottish Highland Society. In 2014, Rebecca was awarded a Sprout Producer Program scholarship, a one year accreditation for small and start-up Tasmanian producers that involves educational units, field days and mentoring.
Rebecca is a co-founder of a local growers market, Big River Growers Market, aimed at getting local produce out of people’s backyards and into the community. Rebecca has been a guest speaker at the Slow Food Hobart AGM and has organised and hosted educational farm tours in the Derwent Valley. Recently, Rebecca was accepted into the national E-Leaders program delivered by the National Rural Women’s Coalition. The program provides connections to other rural leaders, growers and has an emphasis on sustainability and management planning. Through the program Rebecca developed a feasibility study into ‘on-farm slaughter and butchering facilities' with the ultimate aim of improving processing options for small scale livestock producers seeking to produce quality product for restaurants.
Rebecca’s project involves a study tour to the USA to research a selection of best practice small-scale, on-farm cattle slaughter facilities. This will involve meeting with farmers, business operators, slaughtermen and butchers to gain an understanding of the contemporary issues and practices associated with small-scale, independently owned and/or community supported slaughter facilities with a major focus on animal welfare, WH&S/ risk management, compliance with regulations, energy use, waste management and consumer needs.
Heather Cosgriff (2017 Tasmanian Encouragement Award)
Heather’s project aims to establish a central trial site, or 'in-field learning centre' for the Tasmanian pasture seed industry. The project would involve replicated small plot trials. Trials will test current standard vs potential new inputs and crop management ideas for annual and perennial ryegrass including 'ground truth' crop input strategies, such as Plant Growth Regulator regimes, nitrogen fertiliser timing and lock up date for Tasmanian conditions. Experienced seed production agronomists would be engaged to aid in trial design and agronomy management. The site and information generated from it would be available to all seed industry members to be used as a growth stage training centre, for field walks and industry days.
(The Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation Rural Women's Award is supported nationally by Westpac, ABC Rural Radio and Fairfax Agricultural Media. The Tasmanian Award is supported by the Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment.)