Katanning youngster Makaela Knapp named WoolProducers Raising the Baa Youth Ambassador

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Bob GarnantCountryman
Makaela Knapp on the farm.
Camera IconMakaela Knapp on the farm. Credit: Countryman

Katanning youngster Makaela Knapp has been given a “huge opportunity” after being appointed one of two WoolProducers Australia Raising the Baa Youth Ambassadors.

The 21-year-old works on her family’s Craigmore Merino stud and volunteers on the WAFarmers livestock council and as a member of AgConnectWA.

Ms Knapp said she was “absolutely honoured” to be appointed to the year-long role recently, alongside Victoria’s Erin Douglas.

“I’m also grateful to WoolProducers for the opportunity and their willingness to pass on knowledge to help shape the next generation of producers,” Ms Knapp said.

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“I cannot wait to see what the next year has in store.”

As part of the role, the pair will be given a unique insight into how WoolProducers policy cycle and board works with the aim of shaping future wool industry leaders.

WoolProducers Australia president Ed Storey said it was exciting to welcome the pair to the role.

“The Youth Ambassador position offers people aged 18 to 35 years the opportunity to learn and understand the policy cycle and how a board works,” he said.

“(This helps them) understand how policy is developed in the best interests of industry.”

With COVID-19 travel restrictions in place, Ms Douglas and Ms Knapp used Zoom to participate in WoolProducers’ animal health and welfare advisory committee and executive meetings this month.

Ms Douglas has had a passion for wool since she was 12 when she started working with her high school’s livestock show team.

She is still involved in judging and showing her stud Corridedales throughout Victoria.

“The opportunity will be invaluable experience throughout the following year, and beyond,” Ms Douglas said.

“It is an honour to sit amongst such successful, like-minded leaders and mentors of our industry and be a part of important present-day conversations.

“I look forward to making significant connections and contacts and learning along the way.”

Outgoing Youth Ambassador, Sam Wan, finished up in the role this month, and provided an overview of her time at as WoolProducers Youth Ambassador at the recent meetings.

Ms Wan, who is already very well known in the industry through her wool business specialist role with Elders and other industry initiatives, recapped her policy project on mulesing status and market trends.

“My time as the 2019-20 WoolProducers Youth Ambassador has been invaluable,” she said.

“I learn best by doing and by both attending committee and board meetings and working through the policy project the program has provided me with incredible insight to agri-politics, the fundamentals of policy development and the wool industry in Australia.”

Mr Storey said he was pleased to be able to offer this opportunity to young people in the industry.

“I am continued to be amazed at the quality of candidates that we receive each year,” he said.

“Sam, Erin and Makaela are wonderful examples of the depth of talent and passion we have in our industry.

“We look forward to working with Erin and Makaela during the next 12 months and beyond and we wish Sam all the very best in her future endeavours.”

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