Rushton claims state title

Stockport local wins State Rural Ambassador 2021

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The 2021 State Rural Ambassador dinner was hosted by SA Country Shows at Murray Bridge on Saturday night where Rebekah Rushton, Stockport local representing the central region, was crowned the winner.

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Rebekah Rushton, Stockport, was crowned the 2021 State Rural Ambassador on Saturday night at an event hosted by SA Country Shows at Murray Bridge.

Ms Rushton was overwhelmed with emotion after being selected.

"The award was something I have been working towards for a number of years now so it's a good feeling," she said.

"All six of us (competitors) were so heavily involved in our shows and heavily involved in our communities, any one of us could have been up there being crowned the winner today and I think even the judges will agree that it was a tough competition this year."

Ms Rushton had been involved with the Mount Pleasant show for seven years.

"I was their young rural ambassador in 2014 and went to a district level and now I've come back again through their rural ambassador award," she said.

"If you're thinking about doing the program - do it, don't think about it. The young rural ambassador program, when I went through it, changed my life and so did the state rural ambassador program.

"Every time I compete changes my life. I meet a different person, I talk to someone who has a different view on the industry or I make a different network and it has lead me to career paths."

Ms Rushton said her priority was trying to get country shows to appeal to the younger generation, whether through social media or tailored competitions.

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"I will try to involve more youth in local shows with the award I have won, we do not have enough young people involved in the industry," she said.

After speaking on her contributions towards two country shows - ambassador for Mount Pleasant and a contributor to Kapunda Show executive committee - as well as working as roustabout on Branson Farms, and running both a Limousin and Murray Grey cattle stud, Lokota Livestock, Ms Rushton, was presented the question, "When do you sleep?" by Voice Its Annabelle Homer.

The award is normally presented at the Royal Adelaide Show but after a hiatus in 2020, it was decided it would go ahead at a different venue.

Brody praises lifelong connections

Mundulla local, Brody Lock says he has made lifelong connections through his involvement with the Rural Ambassador program.

Representing the South East and Border region Brody spoke on his involvement with his local show despite being nervous.

"I wasn't expecting to get an award at all, to get runner up was pretty special," Mr Lock said.

"All the other finalists were very well spoken and had lots of things on their curriculum vitae as proven contributors to their community.

"I am hoping to get out there and help strengthen the communication between different shows and encourage more young people into agriculture and country shows."

Mr Lock recommends young people to get involved with their local show and look for opportunities to participate in programs like the Rural Ambassador program.

"The program gives you many opportunities to develop yourself and meet new people," he said.

"All the sponsors are helpful and want to supply competitors with everything we need."

The second runner up was Jake Rowe, Penola, representing the Penola Show.

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