THE Australian Wagyu Association has appointed beef industry executive and meat quality specialist Dr Matthew McDonagh as its new chief executive officer.
He replaces retiring CEO Graham Truscott.
AWA president Peter Gilmour said Dr McDonagh, 45, had shown himself to be an outstanding executive, including his work in key senior roles within the University of New England, Meat & Livestock Australia and NSW DPI where he had demonstrated leadership and commercial capability.
“We are delighted to have a leader of Matt’s calibre in our CEO role, to continue the highly successful development of the Association and the Wagyu beef industry undertaken by our retiring CEO,” Mr Gilmour said.
The AWA’s year-long selection process unearthed both national and international candidates eager to participate in the extraordinary Wagyu industry growth phase, he said.
“Matt brings passion to Australia’s beef industry and has accepted the exciting opportunity to lead one of the pivotal organisations that will shape the future of the Australian beef industry,” Mr Gilmour said.
Dr McDonagh believes the Wagyu breed has the potential to provide step-change in profitability and value to the beef industry.
“Clearly the Wagyu breed, through the AWA, plays a key role in transforming the Australian beef industry and I am keen to provide leadership to continue that change,” he said.
Mr Gilmour said Dr McDonagh brought a strong familiarity with the Wagyu breed and a detailed, exceptional understanding of what was required to deliver a high level of business performance for the AWA and its member services.
Retiring CEO Graham Truscott said the selection process produced some outstanding talent, highlighting Wagyu’s leading position in the premium beef industry.
“Dr McDonagh has a broad experience with the science behind meat quality, production management, nutrition, breeding and genetics through his research and on-farm R&D executive management background,” Mr Truscott said. “Through his roles with a range of organisations, including serving as general manager of on-farm R&D with MLA, he has an exceptional understanding of the red meat industries’ value chain and the opportunities to innovate and transform Australian beef production.”
“Matt’s high-calibre research career in the both Victorian and NSW Department of Primary Industries plus two years as a ruminant nutritionist with the US Department of Agriculture has resulted in several international patents, plus executive level management experience and a history of high impact achievements at this level,” Mr Truscott said.
Dr McDonagh will take up the appointment from April 3, with support from Mr Truscott to 30 June. He will attend the 2017 Wagyu conference in Albury, NSW, from May 1 to 5 where he looks forward to meeting members.