City kid takes agriculture by the horns
BEING a city kid, local shows were Melissa Schunemann's first introduction to agriculture.
Living in Ipswich with a pen of silky chickens and a vegetable patch in the back yard, Melissa heavily relied on her high school ag studies and local shows to develop her farming knowledge.
And if it wasn't for these shows, the 22-year-old believes she wouldn't be on the career pathway she is today.
Her passion for agriculture has led Melissa to studying agribusiness and sustainable agriculture at the University of Queensland at Gatton.
But her most noteworthy accolade is her recent title as Rural Ambassador for the Lowood Show Society.
She was awarded the title at the recent Lowood Show Ball and relished the opportunity to promote the upcoming annual event.
"I was really humbled that they thought I was good enough to promote the show society and also the local agricultural industry and rural communities," Melissa said.
The accolade came on the back of her success at last year's Marburg Show Ball where she was crowned Miss Show Girl.
Her love for agriculture and local shows are topics she is keen to pass on to the next generation of show goers, as well as encouraging them to get involved.
"If we lose our shows, a lot of kids like myself won't get that opportunity to learn about agriculture through their local shows," she said.
The Lowood Show will kick off on June 14, and Melissa is eagerly awaiting the horticulture section - her favourite section of the show.
"It's so interesting these people have put all their time and effort into nurturing plants from seed and produce these gorgeous products," she said.
"The potato, it's a simple vegetable, but when you think about everything that goes into growing it, the process becomes quite complicated."
Melissa will go on to compete at the West Moreton and Brisbane Valley Sub-Chamber final held in Lowood on July 13.