Tress Walmsley, best known for her ‘oodles of noodles’ project, has won a major State Government award in recognition of her advocacy for rural industries and communities.
Agriculture and Food Minister Ken Baston tonight awarded Ms Walmsley the 2015 Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation (RIRDC) Rural Women’s Award for Western Australia at a ceremony in Perth.
Ms Walmsley, now chief executive officer of InterGrain, has built a career in the grains industry, starting as an agronomist at the Department of Agriculture and Food, Western Australia (DAFWA) before moving into grains commercialisation.
She initiated a project to capitalise on WA’s best kept secret – that Western Australian farmers have an exclusive advantage to grow premium wheat for Udon noodles.
‘Oodles of noodles’ aims to increase the demand for noodle wheat, by encouraging consumer interest in Udon noodles, which will ultimately support local growers.
Mr Baston said the award panel considered each applicant’s project and its leadership potential for future development of the individual and members of their industry.
“The panel agreed that Ms Walmsley’s ‘paddock to plate’ project showed the value of developing a commodity to a product and the transferability of this concept to other niche products across Australia,” he said.
“It is important that we recognise the contribution women make to primary industries and communities in WA.”
As the Western Australian winner, Ms Walmsley won a $10,000 bursary to help develop her project. State finalists Karen Chappel, Julianne Hill and Leonie Noble each received a $1,000 bursary.
Tress Walmsley will be interviewed by a national selection panel in the running for the Australian RIRDC Rural Women’s Award, to be announced in Canberra in September.