Meet our 2019 NSW-ACT AgriFutures Rural Women's Award finalists

Finalists Karin Stark (Narromine), Lisa McFadyen (Condobolin), Ellen Downes (Canowindra) and Jo Palmer (The Rock). Photo Dave Smyth.
Finalists Karin Stark (Narromine), Lisa McFadyen (Condobolin), Ellen Downes (Canowindra) and Jo Palmer (The Rock). Photo Dave Smyth.

Renewable energy, succession planning, sustainable farming and empowering women are the reasons why they have become finalists.

But the 2019 NSW-ACT AgriFutures Rural Women's Award finalists also have one thing in common - they want to drive positive change in rural communities and primary industries.

This year's finalists are Ellen Downes from Canowindra, Lisa McFadyen from Condobolin, Jo Palmer from The Rock and Karin Stark from Narromine.

Agriculture and Western NSW Minister Adam Marshall said the four finalists were fantastic role models and a strong reminder that rural NSW was in "great hands".

Westpac Agribusiness, regional general manager for southern NSW, Sam Gaston said this year's finalists were opening doors to new possibilities and empowering other women along the way.

Ms Downes is using her own experience of forced succession to ensure farming families have the appropriate planning in place to ensure a thriving agriculture sector for generations to come.

Her project is to empower women to become more actively involved in farm businesses through involvement in AgEDGE, a not-for-profit company in which peer businesses share their experiences to support others.

Ms McFadyen is the founder and CEO of Secure Impact, a Rural Property and Agri Asset Marketplace for Australian farmers.

Committed to changing the perception around farm transition, her award project will provide farming families and businesses with resources, education and assistance to help them shift from a 'reactive' approach, to a proactive approach.

Jo Palmer is the founder and managing director of Pointer Remote Roles, an online business that facilitates remote work opportunities by connecting employers with suitable candidates, regardless of where they live.

Karin Stark is harnessing her passion for conserving the natural environment to raise awareness of the opportunities and benefits of renewable energy for sustainable agriculture.

The winner receives a $10,000 Westpac bursary to implement their ideas while the three finalists receive a $1,000 DPI Leadership Bursary.

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