New CEO appointed for Herefords Australia; big changes afoot within Brangus breed

Beef Central, 09/02/2021

HEREFORDS Australia has made a high-profile appointment to fill the vacancy left following the recent resignation of general manager, Andrew Donoghue.

Appointed recently as the breed’s new chief executive officer was former Meat & Livestock Australia executive team-member, Lisa Sharp.

Ms Sharp has held executive, marketing and communication leadership roles across several public, private, and not-for-profit organisations, most recently serving five years with MLA as chief marketing and insights officer.

Lisa Sharp speaking at an industry conference during her term with MLA

Here, she worked across multiple business units and locations to deliver marketing initiatives designed to grow global demand for Australian red meat and communication initiatives designed to strengthen member awareness of MLA programs and adoption of resources.

Ms Sharp became well-known within the red meat industry, speaking as an MLA representative at producer gatherings across the country on consumer trends and related topics.

She recently completed a strategic marketing plan for Herefords Australia, now being adopted.

Prior to working at MLA, Ms Sharp worked with several leading food and beverage companies including SPC Ardmona, Uncle Tobys, Kraft Foods and Coca Cola Amatil, and held executive positions with SPC Ardmona, PZ Cussons and Novartis Consumer Health.

Chair of Herefords Australia, Trish Worth, said it was Ms Sharp’s combination of general management and red meat marketing experience that impressed the board.

“Her appointment acknowledges the importance of marketing and promotion to our members.  With the national beef herd rebuild underway, now is the time to promote the benefits of Herefords to commercial producers and others in the supply chain,” Ms Worth said.

“With several research projects also completed, it’s time to promote the productivity and profitability advantages of Herefords and communication activities that support adoption of research,” Ms Worth said.

“Lisa has an end-to-end perspective of the beef value chain. It is through understanding what is valued by the various participants and applying this to our programs, that Herefords Australia will be well placed to strengthen engagement with members, commercial producers, and R&D service providers.”

Andrew Donoghue

Ms Sharp’s experience in strategy development and supporting stakeholder consultation was also a key consideration for the board. She worked on the last two, five-year strategic plans for MLA, and will lead the development of Herefords Australia strategic plan and annual business plans.

Mrs Worth also thanked outgoing Herefords Australia general manager Andrew Donoghue for his service.

“Under Andrew’s leadership, we saw the successful completion of several important research projects, the launch of Hereford Live, and important changes to the Herefords Australia constitution and governance framework,” she said.

Mr Donoghue has taken up a new position ‘within the meat and livestock industry,’ but he told Beef Central he was unable to disclose details until March. When questioned about the move, he said it would be an Armidale-based role with an “international company looking to consolidate its operations in Australia.”

Keep a look-out for Andrew Donoghue’s new role in an upcoming People on the Move column on Beef Central.

Lisa Sharp starts in her new role with Herefords Australia on February 22.


Big changes within Brangus Association

Meanwhile, there are some big changes happening within the Australian Brangus Cattle Association (ABCA).

ABCA president Brad Saunders said the association will transition to an independent office, and work towards introducing Ultrablack cattle onto the ABCA Breedplan database.

Mr Saunders said the transition to a more autonomous office arrangement would allow the ABCA to build on the growth and success achieved by the breed over recent years.

Brad Saunders

The move takes place after 27 years with the Agricultural Business Research Institute’s Breed Secretariat Service, run out of the University of New England in Armidale, NSW.

“The decision to become more independent was made unanimously by the ABCA board after noting strong sustained growth within ABCA membership, outstanding results in stud and commercial arenas, a move to mostly online activity by members, and the effective operation of a ‘virtual’ office during the COVID-19 lockdowns last year,” Mr Saunders said.

“Our affiliation with ABRI’s ‘secretariat service’ since 1994 has played an important role and has seen our association through almost three decades of change and growth. Their support and guidance has been appreciated by the ABCA and our members, and we look forward to maintaining a strong ongoing relationship in other ABRI fields, including BreedPlan and TBTS.

Tessa Pearson

Current ABCA executive officer Tessa Pearson will remain with the association, continuing her present duties in the new office arrangement. Ms Pearson brings an outstanding knowledge and experience with the ABCA Membership and Association, along with a strong background with other breed associations.

She was already well-recognised by ABCA members and has a passion for helping to foster the growth of Brangus in Australia, Mr Saunders said.

Mr Saunders assured ABCA members that there would be no real change in the service members receive, with the ABCA office already operating ‘virtually’ for many months.

“This step is a natural one, and will ensure the ABCA office can respond better to new opportunities and challenges. We plan to make the ABCA office actually more available to members, with a ‘pop-up’ office operating at events such as Beef 2021, field days and ABCA Sale events.”

Brangus herdbook welcomes Ultrablack breeders

Mr Saunders also welcomed the decision by the ABCA board to allow Ultrablack cattle onto the Herdbook as a big step forward for the association and its members.

Under the changes, Australian Brangus will still be recognised as 25pc to 75pc Brahman content, with Ultrablacks documented in the ABCA Herd Book as animals with 5-24pc Brahman content.

Mr Saunders said the move reflected the number of Brangus breeders who already ran Ultrablack cattle in their herds. A new section will be created within the ABCA database allowing a specific registration status for these animals, making it easier for those adding Ultrablacks to their registered breeding programs, or bringing Brangus across to their Ultrablack herd.

The addition of Ultrablacks to the ABCA Herdbook will be finalised and rolled-out later this year.

The announcements came after ABCA’s successful second annual Brangus Youth Camp held at the Biloela Showgrounds last week. This event saw 73 young beef enthusiasts gather from as far afield as Melbourne, Capella and Stanage Bay. Aged between 5 and 17, the youngsters spent three days at the Biloela Showgrounds learning about bovine structure, soundness, reproduction, care and showing.

“The enthusiasm and energy in our next generation of Brangus breeders is inspiring – and we are proud to build on the outstanding foundations set by the generations before us,” Mr Saunders said. “Australian Brangus is looking towards an exciting future.”


Sources: Herefords Australia, ABCA.





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  1. Paul+D.+Butler, 10/02/2021

    Difference between an Ultrablack and a Brangus?

    In Australian terms, Brangus carry anywhere from 25pc to 75pc Bos Indicus, while Ultrablacks can carry 5-25pc Indicus. Not sure if the same applies overseas. Editor

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