Bangalow businesswoman Tracey Knowland, pictured,  is a finalist in the national Rural Women’s Award after being named the New South Wales winner.

Tracey and her husband Stuart, both in their 40s, operate a wholesale production nursery supplying premium advanced trees and shrubs to the landscape and development industry across Australia.

The nursery, established in 2002, is located on their 14 hectare farm at Brooklet near Bangalow.

“Along with the business side of the nursery, Tracey is responsible for acres of mowing, works with Stuart in developing new Australian tree selections (with hopes for the export industry) and is on the organising committee of the Bangalow Business Women’s group,” an entry on the NSW Department of Primary Industries website says.

“Tracey juggles this with a family of three teenage children, Ashley, Brodie and Lily, and an eBay Store called Treasures Ink, which is also run from the farm.

“Through this sideline internet business, Tracey imports and sells antique etchings, engravings and maps sourced from around the globe.”

All State winners for the RIRDC Rural Women’s Award  have now been finalised and judging is under way for the selection of a national winner, to be announced at a dinner in Canberra on May 27.

The Rural Women’s Award is an initiative of the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation (RIRDC) in partnership with State and Territory government departments of agriculture and primary industries.

The Award provides a bursary of $10,000 for each of the seven State and Territory winners to help them achieve their vision for their industry and enhance their skills and capacity to contribute to agriculture, natural resource management and rural Australia.

The Award also offers all State and Territory winners and runners-up a chance to attend the Australian Institute of Company Directors’ course.

The State and Territory winners are:

  • New South Wales – Tracey Knowland, a nursery owner and plant breeder from Brooklet, near Bangalow.
  • Victoria – Lisa Mahon, an organic herb producer from Dunolly in central Victoria.
  • Queensland – Ros Smerdon, a horticulturalist from the Glasshouse Mountains.
  • Western Australia – Maggie Edmonds, an olive producer from Gingin, north of Perth.
  • South Australia – Domenica Latorre, a rural training and development specialist from the Riverland.
  • Tasmania – Jeanette Fisher, a dairy farmer and calf rearer from Sheffield.
  • Northern Territory – Norma Higgins, a mango and timber grower from Katherine.

UPDATE (May 28): Ros Smerdon, an avocado grower from the Glasshouse Mountains in Queensland, has been named the Australian RIRDC Rural Women’s Award winner for 2008.

Mrs Smerdon was named the winner at a gala dinner held in Parliament House in Canberra last night.  West Australian olive and protea grower Maggie Edmonds, from Gin Gin was named runner-up.