Royal Agricultural Society elects first woman head in 158 years

2009-10-29 00:00

FOLLOWING the annual general meeting of the Royal Agricultural Society (Ras) held at the Royal Showgrounds yesterday, Dr Iona Stewart was elec­ted the society’s first female president in 158 years.

“Having enjoyed a long association with the Ras, Dr Stewart — a highly respected agriculturist and scientist — brings a wealth of experience, not only to the Royal Show, but to the overall mix of activities with which the society is involved,” said CEO Terry Strachan in a statement.

Dr Stewart, who holds both an M.Sc and PhD in animal science, was schooled at St Mary’s in Waverly, Johannesburg, and received her tertiary education at the University of Natal. Thereafter she continued with post-graduate studies at the Universities of Michigan and Utah in the United States.

Apart from being a farmer in her own right and a respected breeder of Ngunis, Dr Stewart was employed by the then Natal Parks Board, now Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife, and served as a scientist at Cedara from 1985 to 2004. She was married to the late Greg Stewart, an acknowledged agricultural academic in his own right and has a married son and daughter.

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