- Esperance-based grain and sheep farmer takes out 2019 AgriFutures Rural Women's Award for WA
- AgriFutures WA Rural Women's Award acknowledges and supports the vital role women play in rural industries, businesses and communities
Esperance-based grains and sheep farmer Belinda Lay was announced as the Western Australian winner of the prestigious 2019 AgriFutures Rural Women's Award at an awards ceremony held in Perth last night.
The McGowan Government supports the awards, which provide a platform to inspire rural and regional women and develop skills to benefit their industries and communities.
Ms Lay, who is based on a grain and sheep farm, received a $10,000 business development award to help progress her project to monitor sheep through the use of specially designed collars that will transform the use of technological data for on-farm animal welfare outcomes.
The sheep collars will track data such as the animal's heart rate, temperature and GPS location and when an animal shows unusual statistics, particularly during lambing, Ms Lay will be notified via mobile phone and can attend to its needs.
Ms Lay aims to change the way technology and livestock, which has been focused on manual handling, are viewed.
Access to alumni networks and professional development opportunities, including Curtin University's highly regarded intensive entrepreneurial training, Ignition program, are other features of the award.
Ms Lay won from an outstanding field of four finalists:
- Kambalda-based information technology service provider Leah Boucher;
- Geraldton lupin-grower and value-add business owner Tanya Kitto, changing the view of lupins as food; and
- Denmark-based economist Juliet Grist, developing community engagement to achieve collective impacts.
Ms Lay follows in the footsteps of 2018 Rural Women's Award runner-up and WA award winner Darrylin Gordon, of Halls Creek, who focused on developing a holistic on-station community training program for land management and cattle production.
The WA Rural Women's Award is supported by Westpac, the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, CBH Group, Curtin University and Rural, Regional and Remote Women's (RRR) Network of WA.
Comments attributed to Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan:
"Congratulations to all four Rural Women's Award finalists for their contribution and commitment to agribusiness and rural and regional communities in Western Australia.
"Belinda's project shows the innovation that our farmers are driving in regional WA, applying new technologies to produce better outcomes for both productivity and animal welfare.
"Recognition as a recipient of the 2019 WA Rural Women's Award celebrates and empowers Belinda as one of WA's brightest, most innovative women involved in agriculture.
"It's important to celebrate the social, economic and community achievements of women, and the Rural Women's Award provides a unique opportunity to promote women in leadership positions and build their capacity."
Minister's office - 6552 6200