THE loss of a great Australian cattleman last year, taken well before time, has been marked with the launch of an important new Australasian agricultural award.
North Queensland beef producer Zanda McDonald was only 41 when he died tragically last April as a result of injuries sustained in an on-property accident, but his passing will leave an important legacy in the form of an annual award to be made in his memory.
Details were announced during the annual Platinum Primary Producers (PPP) agribusiness conference being held this week in Queenstown, New Zealand.
About 50 Australian beef, sheep and dairy industry stakeholders crossed the Tasman this week for the PPP program, joining a contingent of 70 like-minded individuals from across New Zealand’s livestock sectors. They range from practising farm managers to agribusiness professionals, supply chain managers and others. Livestock sector stakeholders are invited to join the PPP group on the basis of their strategic vision, and willingness to innovate and accept calculated risk in the progression of their businesses.
Hosted by New Zealand deer and beef farmer, Shane McManaway, who chairs the PPP group, this year’s Australian contingent includes representatives from Australian Country Choice, North Australian Pastoral Co, Lampro, Australian Agricultural Co, Nindooinbah, Rangers Valley Feedlot and Paraway Pastoral Co.
Against a general theme of Peaks & Valleys (representing the ups and downs farmers experience as well as the mountainous terrain of Queenstown), this year’s conference is debating and exploring a wide range of topics including food safety, succession planning, social media, trade opportunities, and how to raise the positive image of agriculture.
Australian keynote speeches are being delivered by former Meat & Livestock Australia chairman, Don Heatley, Australian Country Choice chief executive David Foote, and social media advocate Catherine Marriott.
Details of the inaugural Zanda McDonald award, which will be presented this time next year at the corresponding Australian-hosted annual PPP gathering, were provided to program members yesterday.
The award will recognise future agri-leaders from Australia and New Zealand. Full details regarding nominations and criteria will be provided on Beef Central in due course.
Zanda’s parents, Don and Chris, and his widow, Julie, attended this year’s conference to hear about the award, commemorating the life and achievements of their son and husband.
- Readers can learn more about Zanda McDonald in this Beef Central salute, written last year.