Rural Women’s Award now open for women in agriculture

Rural Women’s Award and Acceleration Grant now open for women in agriculture


One of Australia’s most prestigious agriculture awards, The AgriFutures Rural Women’s Award, is now open for nominations.

The Award empowers and celebrates the inclusive and courageous leadership of women working in Australia’s rural and emerging industries, businesses, and communities with each state awarding one winner. 

The AgriFutures Rural Women’s Award has seen over 300 brilliant women develop innovative projects which contribute to Australia’s prosperous agricultural future. 

Last year’s National Finalists’ projects included programs which empowered Indigenous communities and improved rural resilience, food security production systems, programs that brought STEM to remote communities, cattle industry solutions and profitable pathways for dairy farmers.

The Rural Women’s Award has revised the criteria for 2022 – it now requires applicants to have an existing project, business or program which falls into a Community, Collaboration or Commercial category. 

John Harvey, the Managing Director of AgriFutures Australia said the Rural Women’s Award is a core initiative and wants to make sure that those working towards the same vision are identified, celebrated and empowered. 

“As an organisation dedicated to the long-term prosperity of our rural and emerging industries, we know there are so many rural women doing amazing things in their industries and communities and we want to hear from them. If you know someone who is actively contributing to rural and regional Australia, tap them on the shoulder,” he urges.

“We hear time and time again, that it is often the friendly encouragement from someone else, that gets applicants over the line to apply.” 

Each state and territory winner will receive a $15,000 bursary given by Platinum Sponsor Westpac, and access to professional development opportunities and national Alumni networks.

This year, a new program has been developed to foster growth and development in women involved in Australia’s rural and emerging industries. 

The New AgriFutures Rural Women’s Acceleration Grant will run separately to the Rural Women’s Award, though organisers are hoping it will complement the process and provide a leadership and development opportunity for women who feel they are not yet ready to apply for the Award.

Seven Australian women will be selected for the learning and development bursary of $7,000 to enable them to bring their idea to life. 

The AgriFutures Rural Women’s Acceleration Grant encourages innovation and problem solving. It aims to attract women who have an idea that benefits rural or emerging industries. 

The idea must have a community, collaboration or commercial focus and align to the values of the Grant.

“We are thrilled to be launching the AgriFutures Rural Women’s Acceleration Grant, equipping rural women with the tools they need to make a real and tangible impacts in their industry and community,” Harvey said. 

“The Rural Women’s Acceleration Grant is an important program as it provides a vehicle for emerging leaders across the nation to realise their potential. It will nurture the development of new and exciting ideas, with successful applicants encouraged to apply for the Rural Women’s Award in the future.”

Applications for the AgriFutures Rural Women’s Award and the new AgriFutures Rural Women’s Acceleration Grant are now open and close on Friday, 8 October 2021. 

Apply for the Award here, and the Grant here.

Image: 2020 Agrifutures Rural Women’s Award South Australia Winner, Stephanie Schmidt, founder of ACT for Ag.

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