For 20 years the National Rural Ambassador program has aimed to provide young people with an opportunity to promote rural Australia; and to discover and recognise the next generation of young rural leaders.

The 2021 national finals will be held at the 2022 Sydney Royal Easter Show after this year’s Royal Queensland Show, The Ekka, was cancelled due to COVID uncertainty. 

The Agricultural Shows Australia Rural Ambassador National Finals competition is the culmination of a series of competitions which take place each year throughout Australia. Local shows applicants proceed through to regional level, then state-based competitions and ultimately to the national finals.

As we eagerly await Sydney Royal 2022, we caught up with each of the National Rural Ambassador finalists to  celebrate their enduring commitment to their communities and learn a little more about them.

Grace Calder, Creswick VIC

Hailing from ‘spud and spa country’, Grace Calder may not have any family connection to agriculture but it certainly hasn’t stopped the 28-year-old from achieving her goals. 

Growing up in a peri-urban background, Grace began helping her high school agriculture teacher establish a school stud. In year 12 she started her own stud and went on to complete a Bachelor of Agricultural Science/Bachelor of Business. 

She now works in communications and training in animal welfare with Agriculture Victoria and has recently purchased a farm with her partner, where the couple is working on growing their sheep stud. 

Grace is a member of the RASV Youth Advisory Committee, Victorian Sheep Show Committee, and the Ballarat Agricultural and Pastoral Society. She’s  judged, stewarded and facilitated sheep and youth competitions at shows across Victoria – competing with her sheep at up to 10 shows a year since her stud was established in 2010.

After being named the Runner-Up Victorian Rural Ambassador in 2013, she decided to ‘give it another crack’ and is very grateful she did.