Did you know that this year we’re celebrating 20 years of the National Rural Ambassador Award? To celebrate, we’ve been catching up with the 19 individuals who have held the prestigious title since 2001.

Samuel Martin can still clearly remember the support he received from Royal Agricultural Society of New South Wales, the Agricultural Societies Council of New South Wales, friends and family when he won the national rural ambassador award in 2015. 

His now wife Jodie Martin was right by his side and Erica Halliday, once boss turned close friend and mentor, gave him plenty of encouragement to enter. Samuel recalls being ‘blown away’ when meeting the other representatives and learning about their contributions to their state’s agricultural movements. 

Judging at Burnie Show in Tasmania, attending Agribition in Canada, the Wagga Wagga ASC Ball, and the Rich Genoa cake judging at the Adelaide Royal were just a few of the many highlights for Samuel in his representative year. 

In 2015 Samuel was based at Walcha as a territory sales manager for Elders, He and Jodie were newlyweds, had started a small Shorthorn herd and were leasing their first property. Samuel was also heavily involved in the Walcha Show and the Sydney Royal Show. 

Today the couple still lives in Walcha but life’s even busier, with the addition of their three children. They run more than 200 stud cattle after purchasing Southcote Shorthorns from South Australia in 2017. Samuel is also the vice president of Shorthorn Beef as well as the Technical Director on the board.

Samuel’s still  just as passionate about pitching in with his local show as he is with Sydney Royal. 

“Over the subsequent years I have had the opportunity to judge, deliver education and announce at several royal and local shows,” Samuel said.

“Our show involvement has continued through judging beef cattle at several royal and local shows. We have remained heavily involved at the Walcha show as it continues to grow and evolve.

“I have had the opportunity to deliver keynote speeches, be a part of several advisory panels and deliver education opportunities. This has further developed into board appointments and the royal ambassador program provided an opportunity to network with like minded passionate people and further develop both personal and professional skills.”