AgriFutures Rural Women’s Acceleration Grant has announced its seven women recipients for 2023 

The innovators; Alice Bennett, Thea Walker, Nadine Holgate, Emma Goodall, Leanne Kruss, Kate Webster, and Sarah McCarthy, will each receive funds of up to $7000 for professional development, taking their ideas from dreams to reality.

The AgriFutures Rural Women’s Acceleration Grant was launched in 2021, and aims to nurture the skills of women who are involved in Australia’s rural industries, businesses, and communities. Each applicant must submit an idea, cause, or vision which will drive innovation in agriculture across the country. 

John Harvey, Managing Director of AgriFutures Australia, says “we are thrilled to be offering these seven rural women the leadership and development opportunities they need to make real and tangible impacts in their industries and communities.”

“The AgriFutures Rural Women’s Acceleration Grant is an important program as it provides a vehicle for women across the nation to realise their potential. It will nurture the development of new and exciting ideas, and we encourage the successful applicants to apply for the AgriFutures Rural Women’s Award in the future.”



Meet the recipients 

All of the Grant recipients were chosen for their impressive vision and commitment to developing rural communities. This includes Emma Goodall, a successful commercial agronomist. Her pitch involved establishing agronomically efficient pastures for the equine industry, a goal which could soon be actualised. 

“Being awarded the grant will quite literally ‘accelerate’ the opportunity to pursue an idea that is on the ‘to do list’, but until now lacked a real timeline,” says Emma

Similarly, passionate ice-cream extraordinaire Thea Walker used her skills to create a sustainable ice-cream using the mis-shaped avocados from her family’s avocado farm. Thanks to the grant, she aims to turn her ice-cream into a commercial business, encouraging collaboration with farmers and reducing food waste. 

Just another example of innovation and creativity, Kate Webster’s pitch was inspired by her concerns around children’s lack of knowledge of where their food comes from. She designed a full educational plan which can be used in classrooms across the country.

“I hope the program reaches students from all walks of life and aids in growing future generations’ understanding of the importance of agriculture.”

From Australian fibre apparel, to a brain injury summit, health chats, and medication delivered via drone, these women are excellent examples of what can be achieved with enough drive and passion. 



What comes next?

AgriFutures has always been interested in investing in research and innovation to strengthen rural industries in Australia. They focus on emerging businesses with a high potential for development, as well as responding to the specific needs of the Australian agricultural sector. This grant is among several of their projects which aims to foster these values, and drive positive change in regional communities. And the recipients are sure to do just that.

Supported by the grant, these women will be participating in several learning and development opportunities over the course of 2023. Through these programs, they will be equipped with the tools and knowledge needed to transform their ambitious projects into real agricultural schemes. 


Alice Bennett, one of the grant recipients


Thanks to the program, AgriFutures is ensuring that rural industries continue to prosper, and communities are given the chance to make a difference. For those wanting to apply for the 2024 AgriFutures Rural Women’s Acceleration Grant, applications will open in September 2023.

Keen to learn more about Australia’s agricultural sector? Click here.