Two exceptionally bright young advocates of agriculture - Rubey Williams and Lisa Horner - are heading to Sydney Royal Show having won Zone Two of The Land Sydney Royal AgShows NSW Young Woman Competition.
Zone competition host Camden Show Society's members were thrilled when it was announced their very own Rubey Williams was among the two chosen zone winners.
Rubey, an alpaca farmer, wowed the judges with her knowledge of animal husbandry, her region's show, and her eloquence on stage at the gala dinner at historic Gledswood Homestead and Winery.
Lisa, a keen horticulturalist, rose enthusiast, sportswoman and debater, represents Nowra Show Society.
Rubey, 22, Pheasants Nest, is co-owner and director of Coolawarra and Storybook Alpacas, said to be the largest and most commercial alpaca farm in NSW with 1500 head that produce fleece and go into the domestic and live export markets. The business also grows Babydoll Southdown sheep and Speckle Park cattle.
She has recently become the youngest alpaca judge at local shows in Australia, is a wool classer, is studying a Bachelor of Agricultural Business Management at Charles Sturt University and is a co-owner of the family's cafe in Berrima.
Rubey has an impeccable Sydney Royal resume that began aged two. Besides showing and judging alpacas, she has been a District Exhibit judge of alpaca fleece, has received a Royal Agricultural Society Foundation rural scholarship, and organises the alpaca section of the Little Hands on the Land initiative. She is also a current editor of the NSW DPI Alpaca books.
Lisa, 21, Nowra, has completed a Bachelor of Science degree majoring in ecology and conservation biology at the University of Wollongong with distinction. She is studying a Diploma of Sustainable Living at the University of Tasmania.
Her goal for this year is begin an Honours project in vermiculture (worm farming) on an industrial scale.
Lisa founded the Nowra High School Rose Team in 2018 to encourage students to farm roses and enter them in the Nowra Show. She has volunteered at a nearby public school to help establish a garden club to again encourage students to grow food to enter into the Nowra Show.
A keen participant in the pavilion competitions, Lisa won first prize last year with a tromboncino (a type of squash).
"I strive to raise awareness about the importance of purchasing Australian grown produce to support local farmers," she said.
"I understand that a major challenge faced by the AgShows NSW is increasing youth engagement..."
Such is her passion, Lisa said with all the money and resources in the world to boost show engagement, she would have her show society host a free paddock-to-plate event to demonstrate to everyone in Nowra the importance of locally grown food.
Judging throughout the day was held at the historic Camden Valley Inn.
The 11 Zone 2 finalists were: Rubey Williams, Camden; Sheridan Telfer, Minto; Lucinda Harvey, Penrith; Rose Lewis, Blacktown; Alexa Talbot, Frenchs Forest; Brooke Chandler, Hawkesbury; Samantha Larter, Moss Vale; Alana Newhouse, Albion Park; Erin Weir, Kiama; Lisa Horner, Nowra, and Brittany Anderson, Milton.
The winners were announced by AgShows NSW secretary David Peters. Judges were AgShows NSW director Tanja Branson, The Land's features editor Robyn Ainsworth, and Phil Lemieux, PSC Insurance Brokers.