Late last month, Kayla Starkey, 20, representing Mount Pleasant Show, was announced the 2016 Central Districts Shows Rural Ambassador.
The presentations were made at the Balhannah Hotel, at the Central Districts Shows Association presentation lunch held on Sunday, May 15, after judging in the morning.
The award for 16 to 19 year olds, the Young Rural Ambassador, was presented to Tahlia Lockwood, 17, from Mount Barker Show.
Fifty people attended the presentations at the CDSA lunch, with representatives from the six shows of the Association, namely Mannum, Mount Pleasant, Angaston, Tanunda, Mount Barker, and Uraidla and Summertown Shows.
Special guests on the day were association president Mrs Rosie Schultz of Uraidla, 2015 CDSA Rural Ambassador Damien Liebelt and 2015 CDSA Young Rural Ambassador Emmeline Vivian.
Judges of the Rural Ambassadors were Julie Peter of the Uraidla and Crafers Hotels, Jeremy Schutz, Rural Ambassador state winner from Pinnaroo, Kahlia Jenke, Young Rural Ambassador state winner from Eudunda, Ben Hopkins of Uraidla, Anita DaCosta community manager of social media company “Yelp” in Adelaide, and Rex Liebelt, Southern Country Shows Association secretary.
Judging the Laucke CWA Scone competition was Lenswood Primary School principal Leah Kennewell, also convenor of cookery at Uraidla and Summertown Show.
The judges all agreed it was a very difficult decision, with only one point separating many of the candidates.
The Rural Ambassadors received their prizes, sponsored by PIRSA and the Agricultural Societies Council of SA “SA Country Shows”.
Uraidla and Summertown Show president Damien Liebelt and 2015 Young Rural Ambassador Emmeline Vivian conducted the presentations and the live interview portion of the ambassador judging.
Mount Pleasant Show’s Jacqueline Lintern also provided much assistance in the setup of the day.
Kayla and Tahlia are now both state finalists representing their association up against entrants from Eyre Peninsula, Yorke Peninsula, Northern Districts, Southern, Murray Lands and South East and Border Shows, at the Royal Adelaide Show later this year.
Kayla has been involved in country shows from a very young age.
She lives on a rural property outside of Mount Pleasant and breeds Polwarth and Merino sheep.
Kayla is a steward of the sheep section at Mount Pleasant Show and is also assistant convener of the wool section at Mannum Show.
Kayla plays tennis for Mount Pleasant and table tennis for Birdwood.
Runner-up Rural Ambassador was Russell Wotton, 27, from Uraidla and Summertown Show.
Russell is currently a school teacher at Mount Compass, and is treasurer at the Uraidla Show and Hills Cricket Association.
Russell is also a Hills Football League Umpire, volunteers at Uraidla Districts Football Club and plays for Basket Range Cricket Club.
He has been competing in his local show most of his life and more recently has helped the Uraidla and Summertown Show through a revitalisation process, including the move to a November date in 2017.
Young Rural Ambassador went to Tahlia Lockwood, 17, who hopes to work on or run a sheep or cattle property, and would also like to be an agricultural teacher.
Tahlia is involved with her school Suffolk, Merino and steer show teams and has been a member of the CFS for six years.
Runner-up Young Rural Ambassador went to Joel Driver, 18, who represented Uraidla and Summertown Show.
He started volunteering at the show in 2012 and has been helping with setup, pack up and helping out on show day ever since.
In the future Joel hopes to pursue further study in the biological sciences while continuing his voluntary involvement in ecological research and education.
Other Rural Ambassador entrants were Lachlan Grossman representing Angaston Show, Cassandra Barker representing Mount Pleasant Show, and Kylie Wachtel representing Mannum Show.