Applications for the 2022 Award have now closed.  Thank you to all who applied.  The Award Interviews and presentation will take place in February 2022. If you are interested in applying next time, register here.


If you are making a difference in agriculture, are passionate about what you’re doing and keen to further develop your skills, you should apply for the Zanda McDonald Award.  This is an Award that recognises determined and passionate young Kiwis and Aussies and it could help take your career in ag to the next level, faster than you could possibly imagine. 


Who was Zanda McDonald?

Zanda McDonald was a prominent identity in the Australian beef and livestock industry and was proud to be a farmer who worked tirelessly to encourage young people to work in the industry that he loved. He died in April 2013 at the age of 41, following a tragic accident on his Queensland cattle property.


Zanda was a foundation member of the Platinum Primary Producer (PPP) Group, which was formed in 2005 and comprised a handful of like-minded farmers who came together to spin yarns and solve a few industry problems. As part of his role in the  group, Zanda led a number of initiatives to promote his industry to the next generation. 


In 2014, in honour of Zanda, the Zanda McDonald Award was launched.  


The group has now evolved into a collective of over 150 of Australasia's top rural leaders and this impressive network of top industry mentors throughout Australasia is accessible to Award finalists and winners.


The Award recognises young people working in the primary industry sectors in New Zealand and Australia and supports their future career development. 


The prize package is significant and provides the winner with opportunities that money just can’t buy.  This is an impressive personal development package that puts the winner in the passenger seat with some of the biggest and best agriculture operators in Australasia.  

The winner will be awarded with:

  • The Zanda McDonald Award trophy and certificate.

  • A fully personalised mentoring trip across both Australia and New Zealand, spending time with leaders and mentors across all areas of the primary sector. This trip is 100% tailored to the Award recipient's desired areas of interest and growth.

  • All travel and accommodation expenses for the mentoring trip, including flights on a private jet, ensuring access to remote and varied locations in style and comfort!

  • A personalised education or training package, up to the value of $10,000*.

  • A one-on-one visit from an industry mentor to spend a day at the Award recipient's place of work.

  • A full day tailored media training session.

  • A one year position on the Zanda McDonald Award Advisory Group. This includes being a judge of the following year's Award.

* The aim is to provide the Award recipient with further education that is in line with their future development and personal growth. Therefore the education and/or training package is not restricted to a set list of options, but is subject to mutual agreement by the award recipient and judging panel (and subject to acceptance into the desired training/course) . Up to $10,000 AU is available to put towards these costs, including all travel and accommodation expenses. Any costs exceeding $10,000 will be at the winners' own expense.

Who can apply?

The award is open to individuals

  • aged 21 - 35 years old 

  • who are residents of either Australia or New Zealand

  • working in agribusiness in Australia or New Zealand

  • living in either Australia or New Zealand.

Applicants must not be related to any person involved in the award scheme. Applicants must read, understand and agree to the terms and conditions associated with entering this award.

When can I apply?

Applications for the the Award open each year from 1 - 31 August (close at 5pm NZ time, no late applications accepted).

Should I apply?

Past finalists and winners of the award have come from a variety of agricultural backgrounds: vets, cattle station managers, livestock consultants, beef, sheep and/or dairy farmers, self-employed agri-entrepreneurs.  Applicants (and past finalists and winners) have also included those who've worked in the agribusiness corporate sector, such as Fonterra, Pamu Farms, Baker Ag in NZ; and LambPro, QLD Depart. of Agriculture in Australia, 


Regardless of where they all work and live, what all of our finalists and winners share is the drive to succeed, to make a difference within their industry and to make the most of the opportunities presented to them along the way. If this sounds like you, then why not take the leap and apply?

Applicants must display a passion and a desire to improve their industry. The award winner must be prepared to represent the Zanda McDonald Award as an ambassador during their term. For example, they may be invited to represent the award at industry events, field days, or industry conferences.


Previous Winners of the award are:

  • 2015 Emma Black from Queensland, Australia.

  • 2016 Dean Rabbidge from Southland, NZ 

  • 2017 Morgan Easton, hailing from Canterbury, NZ

  • 2018 Thomas Macdonald from Taupo, NZ 

  • 2019 joint winners Luke Evans from the Northern Territory and Shannon Landmark from Queensland, Australia 

  • 2020 Jack Raharuhi, from Westport, NZ. 

  • 2021 joint winners Rozzie O'Reilly from Australia and Sam Vivian-Greer from NZ. Due to Covid-19 and border closures in 2020, the Award had two recipients from either side of the Tasman.

  • 2022 to be announced, and there will be a winner from each side of the Tasman 


•    Applications are open from 1 August  until 31 August each year (close at 5pm NZ time, no late entries)

•    Finalists will be announced in the third week of September 

•    2022 Finalists will be invited to attend an interview in February 2022 (postponed from Nov 2021)

•    2022 Award winners will be announced in February 2022 (postponed from Nov 2021)

For any questions about the application or the award process, please contact


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