Harvey’s Jess Andony was awarded a Western Australian Young Achiever Award at a gala ceremony in Perth on Friday.
The 24-year-old was recognised for her contribution to research and development in the WA dairy industry, her commitment to coordinating disaster relief for dairy farmers in the wake of the 2016 Waroona/Harvey bushfires, volunteer work with young people in agriculture and her work in establishing the WA Young Dairy Farmer of the Year Awards.
Ms Andony said she was surprised and humbled by the recognition.
“It does feel good, I did get a lot of recognition through the fires and it’s always nice to have that, although that’s not what you do it for,” she said.
Ms Andony grew up on a dairy farm in Harvey and graduated with an honours degree in animal science from Murdoch University.
She started full time employment with Western Dairy, one of Dairy Australia’s eight regional development programs, in 2015.
In the aftermath of last year’s bushfires, Ms Andony organised the delivery of feed and supplies to affected dairy farmers and established a database to help coordinate the relief effort.
“I just started calling a whole bunch of people to find out who was affected,” she said.
“We’d lost half our farm, and so I was trying to help Mum and Dad but then there were so many other farms that needed help as well.
“We just jumped in and did it because it needed to be done.”
As the WA young dairy network coordinator, she is passionate about engaging with young people and encouraging them to take up opportunities to further their agricultural career.
“I fully support anything that encourages young people to be involved in agriculture,” she said.
“If I can inspire someone else to give agriculture a go then that’s something that I love.”