Tasmanian Rural Women’s Award winners announced

SEEDING IDEAS: Heather Cosgriff speaking with Nick Taylor at the 2016 SFS Annual Spring field day in the SFS Focus Site small plot trials at Pisa Estate, Cressy.

SEEDING IDEAS: Heather Cosgriff speaking with Nick Taylor at the 2016 SFS Annual Spring field day in the SFS Focus Site small plot trials at Pisa Estate, Cressy.

Derwent Valley beef producer Rebecca Lynd has taken out the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation Rural Women’s Award for Tasmania.

WINNING PROJECT: Tasmanian Rural Women's Award winner Rebecca Lynd with Primary Industries and Water Minister Jeremy Rockliff. Picture: DPIPWE

WINNING PROJECT: Tasmanian Rural Women's Award winner Rebecca Lynd with Primary Industries and Water Minister Jeremy Rockliff. Picture: DPIPWE

Ms Lynd is the co-owner and operator of Big River Highland Beef, producing Scottish Highland beef for local restaurants and consumers since 2010.

“I was inspired by a previous winner, but waited until I had a project worthy to put my hand up for,” Ms Lynd said.

“We farm off the grid already and want to close the loop of paddock to plate. I want to change the process as well,” she said.

Her prize was a $10,000 bursary, which Ms Lynd will use for a study trip to USA to research a selection of best-practice, small-scale, on-farm cattle slaughter facilities.

“I hope to do this by the end of this year and want to get started on the project in the next 18 months to two years,” she said.

Big River Highland Beef was developed without traditional farming ties after Ms Lynd researched farming techniques, innovation, marketing opportunities and land management.

This follows on from her recent work developing a feasibility study into ‘on-farm’ slaughter and butchering facilities.

Her aim is to improve processing options for small scale livestock producers who want to farm quality produce for restaurants.

Heather Cosgriff’s idea to set up a research and development program for Tasmania’s pasture seed industry won the Latrobe manager an encouragement award.

Ms Cosgriff was presented with the Tasmanian encouragement award and a $1000 training bursary from Tasmanian Women in Agriculture to implement her idea.

She works at TP Jones’ Latrobe branch and is committed to strengthening agricultural productivity in the state.

“I want to create a research and development program in Tasmania for seed production. I’m involved with the Tasmanian Seed Industry Group and have been working on this idea for two years,” Ms Cosgriff said.

“Lots of industries have dedicated bodies, but [the pasture seed industry] has no body to do research and development here,” she said.

Ms Cosgriff plans to use her bursary to establish a research trial site in the state, with a view to encouraging international experts from the seed industry to share their knowledge with Tasmanians.

As the Tasmanian winner, Ms Lynd will join fellow state and territory winners in contention for the National Rural Women’s Award, which will be announced at a celebratory dinner in Canberra in September. 

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