A passion for country shows and agriculture has seen Caitlin Heppner from Nuriootpa named the 2018 Young Rural Ambassador state winner.
The 20-year-old professional wool classer, who was representing the Central shows region, was chosen from an outstanding field of finalists at a dinner at the Adelaide Showground on Friday night.,
As part of her prize, she will spend two days at the Royal Adelaide Show in September gaining a behind the scenes look at the state’s largest annual event, with the older age group Rural Ambassador finalists.
Caitlin works across SA and western NSW for EP Shearing and recently had a career highlight classing a more than 500 bale pastoral woolclip.
She is the 2017 National Merino Fleece Young Judges champion and used her experience to introduce a new fleece junior judging competition at Mount Pleasant Show earlier this year.
Royal Adelaide Show venue manager Jason Hemingway, who spoke on behalf of the judging panel, said it had been a difficult decision determining a winner and runner-up.
“This is my fifth year judging this competition and it is quickly becoming my favourite day here working at the society,” he said.
“I am just amazed at the number and quality of young adults and their desire to promote rural SA through their involvement with their local communities.”
The 2018 runner-up was Franke Agenberg from Marananga in the Barossa Valley, who was representing Gawler Show.
The 18-year-old is studying a Bachelor of Electrical and Mechatronic Engineering at the University of SA and is really interested in developing cost-effective solar power to lessen the burden of power prices on rural people.
Caitlin has big shoes to fill as the state winner, with 2017 Young Rural Ambassador Lachy Johnson from Mundulla travelling 11,000 kilometres to 20 country shows in the 2017/18 season.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.