THE launch of the Australian feedlot industry’s official history during the BeefEx conference on the Gold Coast last week provided a perfect fundraising opportunity for grainfed supply chain stakeholders.
The 200-page, richly illustrated coffee-table style book, “Grainfed: the History of the Australian feedlot industry,” was officially launched by Australian Lot Feeders Association president Don Mackay during the opening stages of BeefEx last Wednesday.
On Thursday night a gift-boxed copy signed by past presidents and author, Beef Central’s Jon Condon, was auctioned for charity as part of BeefEx’s traditional fundraising activity.
Graincorp chief executive and chairman Don Taylor, from Warra on Queensland’s Darling Downs, paid an astonishing $8500 for the book, beating off a torrid challenge from Sandalwood feedlot’s Kev Roberts. President Don Mackay rekindled some of his long-lost agency skills to act as auctioneer.
The charity recipient was the School of St Judes in East Africa. Just hours earlier, conference delegates heard an inspirational account from the school’s founder, Gemma Sissia, who travelled from country NSW to Uganda to volunteer as a teacher, and later raised enough funds to invest in the education of children, building a school in one of Africa’s poorest regions.
Another long-standing BeefEx tradition is the auction of a Condamine Bell, traditionally used to alert delegates that the next conference session is about to start. Each BeefEx, the cow-bell is auctioned during a dinner to raise funds for the Careflight charity, which services the interests of people in remote rural and regional Australia.
XF Enterprises’ Hollis Klett has a collection of three or four of the charity bells back in Texas, while at BeefEx 2012 the bell went to Indonesian lotfeeder, Dicky Adiwoso. This year’s bell made $5300 when knocked down to Mort & Co Lotfeeders’ Charlie Mort.
In total the two auction items raised close to $14,000 for worthy charities.
While an accurate stocktake is still being taken by the ALFA secretariat this morning, after a busy conference week, the “Grainfed” history book sold like hotcakes during the three days of BeefEx last week.
President Don Mackay estimated that total sales were now around 700. Some larger corporate stakeholders have bought the books by the box-full, recognising its potential as a quality corporate gift for grainfed customers and clients around the world.
The book would also make an ideal Christmas gift, for anybody who has had a connection with the Australian lotfeeding industry.
A thank you from the author
Given that there was no formal opportunity to thank contributors to the development of “Grainfed” during BeefEx, the author would like to take the opportunity to place on the public record his appreciation for the generous support provides by a number of grainfed industry stakeholders:
- Stockyard’s Robin Hart, who provided tireless project management, guidance and research support for the development of the manuscript and its delivery in published form over the past two years.
- Former ALFA executive director Bob Coombs for developing an original account of the earliest years of Australian lotfeeding, which provided a valuable and well-researched basis on which to build the broader manuscript.
- Former ALFA executive director Rob Sewell, and joint program R&D manager Des Rinehart, who participated in frequent planning and progress meetings to help guide the process
- Brisbane creative agency Generator and its key personnel Derek Tan, Chris Mackie and Ashley Oostdyck, for their creative flair and enthusiastic approach in the layout, design and editing phases
- My business partner in Beef Central, James Nason, for shouldering more than his share of the load in our daily publishing commitments during the development of the book;
- Lastly, my wife Cath and family, for their support and personal time sacrifices made during the lengthy manuscript writing, editing and production phases of the book.
To these and other stakeholders who provided enthusiastic support and information for the project, the grainfed beef industry and I thank you.
- Stakeholders wishing to purchase one or more copies of “Grainfed: A history of the Australian feedlot industry” can access an online order page here. Cost is $60, or $80 in gift-boxed form.