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JIS News

Deidre Hudson, 2006 National Farm Queen, will be using her one-year reign to encourage more youth participation in agriculture.
“My personal goal during my tenure is to get more young people involved in agriculture and for them to recognize it for the business that it is,” she told JIS News.
The 23 year-old representative of Kingston and St. Andrew bested a field of eight contestants to win the crown at the coronation show held in Kingston last month.
A researcher at the Caribbean Agriculture Research and Development Institute (CARDI), Miss Hudson told JIS News that it was while working on a manual for farmers that she was encouraged by members of the Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS) to enter the contest. “I had a wonderful time during the contest,” she said.
“It was fun, but it was also about empowering women,” she added.
Continuing, she noted that, “the contest met my expectations on providing more information than what I had on all aspects of agriculture, the business side of it, the science behind it, everything.”
Although Miss Hudson has not had formal training in agriculture, she said that she learnt a lot about farming from her father, who has a coffee farm, and her mother, who owns a small landscaping business.
Miss Hudson’s prizes included airline tickets to Canada and the Caribbean, $45,000 in cash and gift baskets. She has already performed her first duty as queen by representing Jamaica at the Royal Agricultural Show in Calgary, Canada.
Second place runner up, Appolonia Davidson, received $35,000 and gift baskets, while Yanique Davidson, who placed third, received $25,000 and a trophy. Miss Davidson and Miss McKenzie were also awarded the titles of Miss Extension and Communication and Miss Science and Technology respectively, reflecting the areas of focus of the Ministry of Agriculture and Lands.
Miss Davidson will fulfill her duty of contributing to ‘The Agriculturalist’ magazine and other media in the area of science and technology and Yanique Davidson will also be required to contribute a column in every publication of the magazine.
The three ladies will play an integral part in the Denbigh Agricultural and Industrial Show, by accompanying Prime Minister, Portia Simpson and Governor General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Professor Kenneth Hall, during their tour of the show. They will also be available to patrons for questions and photo opportunities and will be assisting with activities during Youth in Agriculture Day on Saturday, August 5.
Janet Pullen, National Coordinator for the Farm Queen Competition, told JIS News that the ladies would occupy the Farm Queen booth, which will carry information on all aspects of the Farm Queen competition.
The first Farm Queen competition took place in 1964, and is one of the longest running competitions on the island.
The 2006 Denbigh Agricultural and Industrial Show will be held in May Pen, Clarendon from August 5 to August 7.