Hancock appoints George Scott as GM; Whyalla manager as feedlots head

Jon Condon, 27/10/2017

GINA Rinehart’s Hancock Prospecting has appointed experienced large-scale cattle operations manager George Scott as its new general manager for agriculture operations.

George Scott

Mr Scott, who is serving his second term as a Meat & Livestock Australia director, has extensive northern pastoral operating experience including, having previously held senior management roles with Georgina Pastoral Co and Stanbroke.

While in those roles, he demonstrated a strong ability to integrate a growing property portfolio into a cohesive business capable of delivering results in productivity, animal welfare and staff safety.

Hancock Prospecting said Mr Scott will work closely with Hancock’s station managers to optimise the performance of these operations with a continuous improvement and change philosophy.

He will report to recently appointed joint Hancock/Kidman chief executive, David Larkin, who has oversight over both businesses. Yet to be appointed is a new CEO for the separate Kidman pastoral business, following the departure of long-standing chief executive Greg Campbell in May.

In another important appointment, the general manager of NH Foods Whyalla feedlot near Texas in southern Queensland, Chris Fenwicke, has been appointed as Hancock’s general manager of feedlots, livestock procurement and logistics.

Chris Fenwicke

Mr Fenwicke is one of Australia’s most experienced feedlot operations managers, having managed Whyalla – Australia’s single largest feedlot facility at 55,000 head – for the past ten years or more (see Beef Central’s earlier Top 25 Feedlots feature).

At Whyalla he has been responsible for the strategic management of a supply chain involving 175,000 head of cattle each year.  Prior to joining Nippon Meat Packers Australia, he worked for Australian Country Choice managing its feedlots, including being responsible for the design, construction and refurbishment of the facilities.

Hancock earlier this year bought the 9000-head Maydan feedlot near Warwick in southern Queensland, where most of its Wagyu cattle are fed.

Mr Fenwicke will take responsibility for Hancock’s existing feedlot operations and will play a key role in developing the supply chain for Hancock’s plan to export live cattle to China. Beef Central understands that will include oversight of the construction of the new feedlot to be constructed by Hancock’s joint venture in China, scheduled to accept cattle some time in 2019.

The Hancock agricultural portfolio is going through a period of significant growth and development, both through acquisitions and continuing internal development. With the recent acquisition of Willeroo, the total Hancock beef herd (including Kidman) has increased to more than 330,000 head, second only to AA Co and Consolidated Pastoral Co in size.

“The appointments of messrs Scott and Fenwicke have been based on needing to better manage this growing and changing business, to be able to adapt with the changing nature of agribusiness, especially through the use of practical technology, and to ensure the whole business is dedicated to Hancock’s philosophy of improving cattle care and welfare on its stations,” the company said.

Company head Gina Rinehart said Hancock agriculture had grown significantly over a short period, but was targeting further improvements and aiming to remain competitive in global markets.

“This has led to the need to increase the level of and the need for a management team that is more forward thinking. I recognise that old-style management needs to change. The addition of George and Chris to the executive team will increase the strength and depth of our agricultural team, to help lead this new changing and challenging direction,” she said in a short statement.

Progress in search for new AA Co, NAPCo chief executives

In other pastoral company senior management news, Beef Central can confirm that former Australian Agricultural Co managing director Jason Strong has left the company.

During the global recruitment process designed to find a replacement, acting chief executive is CFO, Hugh Killen.

There’s been a widely circulating industry rumour that former JBS Australia chief executive, Iain Mars was the likely appointment to the position. His skill-set would have fitted closely with AA Co’s stated ideal of moving from being a cattle/beef producer to a ‘global luxury branded beef purveyor.’

Mr Mars has confirmed to Beef Central that he is not a candidate for the position.

Meanwhile, a global search continues to find a new chief executive officer for the North Australian Pastoral Co, following the departure of Stephen Thompson recently. Current acting CEO is chief operating officer, Geoff Cornford. 




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  1. Ewan Mackenzie, 28/10/2017

    Congratulations Chris on your new appointment, I hope you enjoy your new role with a very progressive company, all the best

  2. Narda Grover, 27/10/2017

    Congratulations George on your appointment as GM,

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