The Young Agricultural Professionals Network (YAPN) was established in March 2017 by Rural Youth and Tasmanian Women in Agriculture.  YAPN was developed with the purpose of “building networks within industry through conversation and education” & provide like minded young agricultural professionals the opportunity to discuss and unravel the issues specific to their demographic and/or career.

The group is a networking and personal development group for young agricultural professionals from 18-35 year olds.

YAPN holds 6 formal events a year across the State on relevant topics such as Agtech, Finance, Communications and Negotiation.  With regular informal networking events in local areas.

Members are made up of students, advisors, government, accountants, farmers, bankers, fisherman, foresters, retail and manufacturing.

The purpose of the group is to connect like minded individuals that share the same passion - Agriculture.  The platform to develop networks and conversations through education and development opportunities was created to connect those young people in the industry that might feel isolated due to the nature of their careers and the segmentation of the industry.  The group is set up to allow for business connections to be made, identifying education and development opportunities and personal growth through network expansion.

If you are interested you can join up as a member at or follow us on twitter @YoungAgNetwork or Facebook. 

2017 is our first year and we welcome suggestions on events and discussion groups that the network desires to ensure we deliver the best outcomes to our members and the industry.



George Gatenby


George graduated from the University of Tasmania with a Bachelor of Agriculture in 2006 and University of Melbourne in 2012 with a Graduate Diploma of Agribusiness. George currently owns and manages their family farm at Cressy, focused on Merino wool and seed production. Prior to farming he worked 2 years at Tasmanian Alkaloids and spent 7 years in Victoria, 2 years as a Farm manager and the remainder in Agribusiness at ANZ. He is on the Executive of the Campbell Town Show committee and is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.


Emma Egan


Emma is a driven and enthusiastic individual who is currently based in Penguin, Tasmania with RM Consulting Group as a Consultant. Emma has been with RMCG for 2 years, gaining a broad range of skills and experience in project work and consultancy with a focus on agricultural and horticultural industries. Her work has ranged from working on projects for Meat and Livestock Australia and Horticulture Innovation Australia, to undertaking bushfire loss assessments for class actions and waste water customer audits.

Emma graduated from an Advanced Diploma of Agriculture and Diploma of Agronomy from Longerenong College and is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Agricultural Business Management at Charles Sturt University.

She has a strong interest in all aspects of livestock production with a focus on livestock data management and analysis, where she hopes to further establish her work in the future. She looks forward to continuing to work with agriculture and broader industries towards an exciting and sustainable future.

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Sam Wedgwood


Sam Wedgwood is originally from South-West New South Wales, where his family had a mixed farm, consisting mainly of sheep, cattle and a small amount of cropping. After extensive world travel and work experience in a variety of fields, it was this background that led him to tertiary studies in agriculture. Sam studied a Bachelor of Agriculture, with a major in agricultural systems at the University of Tasmania in Hobart. Sam now works for the Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association (TFGA), the State's peak farming body, as its Senior Policy Advisor. The TFGA advocates for its members on the local, and national stage. Sam has now been in Tasmania since 2011 and is looking forward to making the most of the many opportunities that agriculture has to offer.


Simone Salter


Currently working with the City of Hobart as an Environmental Health Officer. Simone is responsible for assessing risk and developing, regulating, enforcing and monitoring legislation and regulations governing public health for both the built and natural environment.

Simone holds a Bachelor of Health Science (Environmental Health) and a Master’s in Business Administration both through the University of Tasmania.

She is currently involved with the Huon Agricultural Show, Royal Agricultural Society of Tasmania and the Tasmanian Agricultural Shows holding various roles and duties ranging from promotions through to functions and a secretarial role.

Simone is a previous Rural Youth Tasmania State President and held this term for two years. She is currently the secretary for her local Rural Youth Club, Kingborough Huon Rural Youth. She has previously been lucky enough to represent Rural Youth Tasmania at the Marcus Oldham Rural Leadership Program and in South Korea.

I became involved in agriculture, when I joined Rural Youth Tasmania some 9 -10 years ago and look forward to continuing to get young people involved in agriculture into the future.

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Joshua Taylor


Josh began his working life in Hospitality doing just about everything from steward through to running his own kitchen. As the father of three young children he made the decision to transition to Agriculture as he believe it would benefit his family in the long term.

This move saw him work as a Junior and Senior Farm Hand through to Safety Officer and Assistant Manager (2IC) on a variety of Australian and Internationally operated corporate farms.

To achieve all of the above he has lived in the Hunter Valley, NSW Central Coast, King Island, Elizabeth Town and Launceston.

Josh has been a member of Rural Youth since late 2015, he has held various senior roles at a club, region and state level. In addition he has undertaken roles at Agfest and he is a delegate to TFGA’s Dairy Council. Josh is always happy to share his knowledge and regularly mentors and supports younger/less experienced members in a variety of ways.

He is particularly interested in practical education delivery and building the capacity of young people as they are finding their feet within the sector.


Ashley Evans


Ashley joined YAPN from the beginning as the founder of the group. As State President of Rural Youth and Vice Chair of Tasmanian Women in Agriculture, she along with others in each organisation saw the opportunity to create a network for young professionals in Tasmanian agriculture.

She has worked in practical roles across numerous industries and completed vocational training before undertaking a Bachelor of Agriculture through the University of Tasmania. Since graduating, Ashley has worked as a Project Officer for RM Consulting Group and is now working as a teacher at Jordan River Learning Federation Senior School Farm. She teaches both VET Certificate II in Agriculture and VET Certificate II in Horticulture, whilst undertaking a Master of Teaching, majoring in agriculture.

Ashley takes a hands-on approach to encouraging students to pursue a career path in the agriculture industry. As well as her role as current State President of Rural Youth, Ashley is also involved in facilitating other programs for students, including Discover Agriculture.

Belinda Hazell

Advisory - Tasmanian Women in Agriculture

Belinda has over 25 years’ experience in the agribusiness sector, with skills extending through and across supply chains. As a principal consultant for Optimum Standard, Belinda is a system thinker and works with clients to deliver management system solutions and find opportunities for efficiency and growth. Her passion is making systems work and evolve into real business assets. Belinda has extensive knowledge of the primary industry sector having worked with the family agribusiness enterprises in intensive horticulture, cattle, sheep meat and wool production. She is about to graduate from the University of Tasmania with a MBA specialising in Agricultural Innovation. She is a proud mother of three daughters, Acting Chair of Tasmanian Women in Agriculture, Chair of Freshcare Limited and a Director with the Fresh Produce Safety Centre. In 2014 Tasmanian Women in Agriculture recognised her contribution as a recipient of the Outstanding Contributor to Agriculture Award. In 2016, she was recognised as a Corporate and Private Award Tasmanian finalist in the Telstra Business Women’s Awards.

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Lee Campbell


Lee grew up in Henty, Southern New South Wales, where his family runs a mixed farm consisting of cropping and sheep. Post Schooling, Lee studied Agriculture Science at Charles Sturt University in Wagga Wagga, with Agribusiness as a specialised stream.

Upon completion of studies Lee commenced work with NAB Agribusiness in Albury as part of the graduate program; and moved to Hobart shortly thereafter into a permanent position.

Lee has worked with NAB since 2008; and has been an Agribusiness Manager since 2014.

Lee’s role consists of managing the banking relationship of a wide variety of client’s within Southern Tasmania, across the entire primary production sector. Given Tasmania’s diversity, this means a variety of clients from broadacre, aquaculture, horticulture, and everything else in between.