Year in review - National Farm Queen 2015
It's not your normal pageant; the focus isn't beauty of face or body. Instead, it highlights the often overlooked intellectual side of the agricultural sector. Established by the Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS) in 1963 with the main aim being to recognise women farmers, the National Farm Queen Competition continues to shine a light on the work of women in the field. Last year, Peta-Gaye Stewart from St Mary walked away with the National Farm Queen title. Stewart, reflecting on her reign said that the year has been a very impactful and fulfilling one as it has opened many doors for her.
"I was given the opportunity to visit the Delaware State University, so I'm really looking forward to that trip and to represent Jamaica very well," Stewart said.
Stewart gave commendations to Nutramix and the Jamaica Agricultural Society for affording her the opportunity of having a tremendous year and for unearthing and developing such a wonderful competition. She said, JAS partnering with Nutramix has really elevated the profile of the National Farm Queen competition, giving the competition much more publicity than it had before.
As her main prize, Stewart got a full scholarship to the College of Agriculture, Science and Education (CASE) where she's currently a full-time student. Unfortunately, she wasn't able to complete her national project because of her involvement in school.
"I did not get to implement my project. It's called the Idle Hands, Idle Lands Initiative Empowering Youth Through Agriculture. Creating a rural reality."
Her project seeks to empower people through agriculture especially those who are unattached - not attending an institution or working.
"There are a lot of people who are unemployed, so it really seeks to engage these people.That is one of the opportunities the farm queen competition allows for."
Stewart said, it made her aware of the contributions that she can make and provided her with a platform where she could empower other youth through agriculture and encourage them to pursue agriculture.
Now that her reign is coming to an end, Stewart has charged other private sector organisations to take a page out of Nutramix's book.
Peta-Gaye's reign will hand over her crown to the 2016 National Farm Queen on Saturday, July 30 at the Denbigh showground, May Pen, Clarendon.