An impressive group of ladies made judging a very tough task in the Zone 4 final of The Land Sydney Royal AgShows NSW Young Woman competition last Saturday.
Hosted by Tamworth Pastoral and Agricultural Show Society, 15 young ladies all vied for the two spots available to compete at Sydney Royal for the Young Woman sash.
After each young woman received a 15 minute interview, a formal lunch, and an onstage interview, the judges selected Armidale's Katie Williams and Walgett's Emily Barton as the two winners.
Katie, 24, lives in Uralla and is a farmhand and livestock sales assistant. She was an avid horse rider before a serious car accident forced her to put this aside while she continued her rehabilitation.
Volunteering at a number of community clubs, Katie is heavily involved with her local Returned Services League and local Rural Fire Service.
She is third generation on the family mixed farming enterprise and she plans to continue the legacy of her father and grandfather while adapting modern agricultural technologies to increase productivity and profitability.
Katie said being announced as one of the winners was a big surprise.
"I had a top three who I thought may go through and I wasn't one of them," she said.
"It really was a big surprise for me.
"To be selected out of such a group of impressive young women is a real honour.
"I look forward to competing in Sydney, representing Armidale and the zone, and making them proud."
The other entrant to go through, Emily Barton, 23, works as livestock manager on the family property, Derima, at Collarenebri.
Emily also does contract stock work and is looking to grow this business.
She studied a Bachelor of Agribusiness (Economics) at the University of New England and is very passionate about the livestock industry.
Emily's passion for horses has led to her involvement in the Collarenebri Jockey Club and she was a regular competitor in a range of horse disciplines including campdrafting, polocrosse, and eventing.
She is also involved in the local Rural Fire Service and is secretary of the Moongulla Bore Scheme Group.
Emily has set herself the goal of aiming to brand 1000 calves within four years through expanding the family operation and further developing their land.
She was excited to be heading to Sydney.
"I don't really know what to expect, but I can't wait," she said.
"It's been an absolute honour to be here and I must thank the Walgett Show Society for sending me and giving me the opportunity to meet so many amazing women.
"It's been unreal.
"I can't believe I'm standing here.
"It's an honour to follow in the footsteps of Lizzie Weber who was a finalist two years ago and I just can't wait for the experience."