Tablelander is Qld Rural Woman 2018

Innovative green banana use gives Krista Watkins the edge in Rural Women's Award

Krista Watkins, husband Rob and their daughters Kira and Kate, pictured outside their Natural Evolution factory at Walkamin on the Atherton Tablelands. Photo - Lea Coglan.

Krista Watkins, husband Rob and their daughters Kira and Kate, pictured outside their Natural Evolution factory at Walkamin on the Atherton Tablelands. Photo - Lea Coglan.

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Krista Watkins from Walkamin is the 2018 recipient of the Queensland Rural Women’s Award.

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Krista Watkins from Walkamin is the 2018 recipient of the Queensland Rural Women’s Award.

Minister for Agricultural Industry Development Mark Furner congratulated Ms Watkins on receiving the Queensland AgriFutures Rural Women’s Award at a presentation in Brisbane on Thursday.

“The AgriFutures Rural Women’s Award acknowledges the essential role that women play in developing rural industries, businesses and communities,” Minister Furner said.

“Ms Watkins has been a pillar in the Walkamin community running her Natural Evolution Foods company, finding innovative uses for otherwise wasted green bananas. Products include green banana flour and a range of skin care treatments.

“Her passion, drive and enthusiasm sets a great example for women in rural and regional communities and I congratulate Krista on being selected for the 2018 Queensland Rural Women’s Award.”

Krista plans to use the $10,000 bursary to apply her expertise to a new food waste project, specifically with sweet potato varieties and finding ways of utilising unsaleable produce.

Minister Furner said the AgriFutures Rural Women’s Award aimed to inspire the next generation of female leaders across Australia.

“This year’s four finalists have demonstrated how women are improving Queensland’s rural communities, and each of their projects was a fantastic reflection of the work being done.”

The other Queensland finalists were Fiona Lake from Hermit Park, Janne Dipple from Morton Vale, and Sonia Ghiggioli from Agnes Water.

Ms Watkins will now compete with other state and territory winners for the Australian Rural Women’s Award title on September 12, with the national winner receiving an additional $10,000 to contribute to her project.

The Department of Agriculture and Fisheries coordinates the award each year on behalf of AgriFutures Australia.

Westpac Agribusiness, ABC Radio, RM Williams Outback Magazine, and Fairfax Agriculture Media support the award.

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