THE 2013 Royal Adelaide Show was extra special for Samantha Neumann, the youngest councillor in the history of the Royal Agricultural & Horticultural Society of SA.
The member of the society's agribusiness committee was appointed to the role earlier this year when she was only 23.
"With the other sections, such as beef cattle, there's a natural succession in place," Samantha said.
"But because the agribusiness committee is non-competitive, there's no real natural progression, so the committee members decided they needed a succession plan in place."
The committee voted to have a fresh perspective for the section, which runs the Old Ram Shed, Taste SA and Farm Expo Pavilions.
"Everyone on the committee has been so enthusiastic and welcoming to me," Samantha said.
Samantha, 24, grew up on her family's sheep and wheat farm in the Barossa Valley and has a long history of being involved with shows.
Her parents, Neil and Jan, are long-time exhibitors, and have always been involved in the community, including their local show at Angaston.
"My parents are really community-minded people, who are involved with a lot of organisations," Samantha said.
"When you see that, it's not difficult to want to be involved yourself."
Apart from exhibiting and convening the Angaston Show, Samantha started showing beef cattle from the Doering family's Walmona stud at Truro when she was at high school.
She credits her knowledge to experiences gained at shows.
"The friends you make through shows, you might only see them once a year, but they're friends for life," she said.
"You all end up as one big show family."
Samantha was runner-up in the 2012 SA Country Shows Rural Ambassador program, and won a trip to New Zealand, funded by PIRSA.
"When I came back I was notified I had been accepted as a councillor," she said.
"It was great timing, because I had come back with real excitement about the future of the agribusiness industry."
Samantha works for Elders in Adelaide as part of the national livestock team, and is studying a commerce degree by correspondence.
Before joining Elders she worked for a real estate firm in the Barossa Valley.
"While it was a great experience, it confirmed for me that working in agriculture was where I wanted to be," she said.
"Agriculture is what I'm passionate about."
Samantha said Elders had been supportive of her new role as councillor.
On the society's 175th anniversary next year, she said there were big plans in the making.
* Full report in Stock Journal, September 12 issue, 2013.