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Meet the seven candidates standing for Cattle Australia’s northern region

Beef Central, 24/11/2022

Voting for the inaugural Cattle Australia Board elections opened on Tuesday, November 15 and will remain open until 9am AEDT Monday December 5.

Below, listed in alphabetical order, are short bios and candidate statements from the seven nominees who are standing for the three vacant northern region positions on the inaugural Cattle Australia Board.

Tomorrow, the eight candidates running for three vacant southern region positions on the Board will be featured.

The sole candidate standing for the western region is Bridgetown, WA, district Angus beef producer James Bowie.

  • This article is published solely for the purpose of disseminating candidate information to cattle producers voting in the Cattle Australia board election process. Reader comments will not be published on this article.

Bryce Camm

GRAZIER, CAMM AGRICULTUAL GROUP

Bryce Camm hails from Dalby in Queensland’s Darling Downs region where he oversees his family’s company Camm Agricultural Group; an integrated beef and cropping enterprise with interests across Queensland. Bryce has been CEO of the group for the past eight years. Prior to that he was the Manager of the group’s award winning Wonga Plains Feedlot for eight years where he oversaw the operation triple in size. Growing up on “Natal Downs” Station in north Queensland Bryce undertook a dual degree in Business Administration and Communications at Bond University and is a graduate of the Australian Rural Leadership Program as well as the Australian Institute of Company Directors Course. Bryce is currently the Chairman of Beef Australia Ltd and the Immediate Past President of the Australian Lot Feeders Council as well as a previous director of RMAC.

Why are you seeking a position on the Board? 

I am deeply passionate about effective hands on representation for Australia’s beef producers. I have for my entire lifetime witnessed the debate on different models to deliver that representation. I acknowledge the immense amount of work that has taken place to create Cattle Australia as our new body that will proudly represent the interests of beef producers.  

Having lead a successful, growing and financially stable peak industry council in the grain fed sector, I am eager to do my bit in assisting this new organisation succeed. I understand the challenge in front of us and I am keen to give back to an industry that my family is heavily invested in and deeply passionate about its vibrant future ahead.  

How will you represent the interests of the grass-fed cattle industry as a Director?

I am a grass roots cattle producer that understands the great policy outcomes that can be achieved when an affective, well resourced peak industry council is in place. I am a good listener and an affective communicator. I will proudly advocate for the interest of cattle producers across our sector and ensure that our position is heard loud and clear within the wider red meat industry. 

Adam Coffey

OWNER/DIRECTOR – COFFEY CATTLE CO

My wife Jacynta and I own and operate a 2500ha beef cattle enterprise in central Queensland, with our two boys Will and Sam. I grew up in Tasmania and have lived and worked in most states and territories in Australia, experiencing livestock positions throughout New South Wales, Queensland, Tasmania and southern WA.  Following this I spent some ten years in the Northern Territory and Kimberley regions working on and ultimately managing extensive beef cattle operations in the live export sector. 

I completed an Advanced Dip. Farm Business Management at Marcus Oldham College in 2005 and became a Nuffield Scholar in 2016, studying intensification and diversification of extensive Australian beef cattle operations.  Following the completion of my scholarship I served as Nuffield Queensland State Treasurer for two years. 

I have had the honour of being both a mentee and mentor in the Graham Acton Beef Australia development program where I developed a passion for helping young people achieve in our industry.  

My governance and directorship training include the completion of courses with both AICD and Directors Australia.  

 I have been keenly involved in industry representation as a former member of Cattle Council of Australia Research, Development and Adoption Consultative Committee and Environment Committee, and have recently spent two years as a Director on the Cattle Commodity Board with Agforce QLD.  

I have actively promoted the grass-fed industry through numerous initiatives and publications with Meat & Livestock Australia, Australian Beef Sustainability Framework, National Farmers Federation and the Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef.  

Through hard work and taking advantage of opportunity my wife and I have managed to realise our dream of owning and operating our own business. As a first-generation entrant into Australian agriculture I feel it is my obligation to give back to the industry that has provided so much opportunity, and help support and guide the success of our great sector well into the future.  

Why are you seeking a position on the Board?

There has never been a more critical time for the Australian Grass-fed sector to unite. Having been involved with state farming organisations and peak industry councils I have developed a very good understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of past representative bodies. Given my experience from north to south, I believe I can offer value to Cattle Australia members nationally, with a broad understanding of temperate to tropical grass-fed production systems.

Food and fibre production in Australia are arguably our most important industries and I wish to be part of the push to ensure our ongoing success. Australia has a significant role to play in the international beef sector now and into the future. I have a strong interest in how we as Australian cattle producers can best demonstrate our environmental credentials at a time when there is a global focus on land use, sustainability and emissions. We need to be proud of what we have achieved and focus hard on continued improvements in productivity and capacity building within our industry. Never before have we required such a strong national voice to ensure we have a respected seat at the table involving future regulatory development.

How will you represent the interests of the grass-fed cattle industry as a Director?

Over the last 20 years I have developed a strong network across the industry geographically as well as a good understanding of different sectors, from the small family farm through to large corporate operations. There is rarely a “one size fits all” solution to the challenges we face as an industry and I believe I have the relevant experience and network to draw upon to help guide decision making processes.

My involvement in industry bodies to date has given me a good grasp on relevant issues and context through which to help develop future policy and frameworks. I believe I have the relevant skills to represent the grass-fed industry with integrity as I “walk the talk” in terms of my industry experience and the way in which our family manage our own business and steward our own environment.

I am excited by the prospect for a much better representative model under Cattle Australia and would relish the opportunity to be part of the process to shape it in its initial stages on behalf of all Australian grass-fed cattle producers.

Justin Dyer

CATTLE PRODUCER – APN PL

My parents John and Val Dyer bought Hayfield Shenandoah Stations in the Early 70’s. Myself, older brother Nick and younger sister Lisa were all born in Katherine and grew up on Hayfield. School of the air on farm with some of the aboriginal children, then off to boarding school in Adelaide. I was the recipient of the Elders Droving Australia Bursary in 1998 and did an 8-month tour of Qld with work experience at, Wanui Feedlot for NAPCO, Venda Brahman stud for Ron Kirk and Elders Rockhampton under Gary Bishop. I completed a Diploma of Agribusiness Administration at Marcus Oldham collage in 1999. After that I went back to Hayfield and have been there since pretty much. I am now an owner and director of APN PL which runs 20,000 head of high-grade Brahmans for the Live Ex Trade to Indonesia. I am a passionate Land Manager and strive for continued improvements to all aspects of the business. Happily married to Sally with two boys and a girl on the ground.

Why are you seeking a position on the Board?

I have been following CCA closely for the last ten years and it has been very concerning watching its demise. As a second- generation pastoralist in the NT, I know how critical it is to have a well-funded, democratically elected and representative National body to keep our voice heard. There are many pressing issues now and emerging that will need good, practical and achievable policy based on science and fact. We are facing Ideology on a governmental, commercial and global scale that could be detrimental to the cattle industry and the great people in it and I would be honoured to be an advocate for our industry.

How will you represent the interests of the grass-fed cattle industry as a Director?

I will represent with honesty and integrity and in good faith to the board. As an executive on the NTCA board for the last seven years I will be able to cooperate with the NTCA and communicate with NTCA members and staff to feed information up from the grass roots level and report back. I have confidence in my ability and some years of experience in the industry as a producer and with the support of the NTCA, know that I have an obligation to, without fear, speak the truth and speak my mind. Always keeping in mind that this new body must remain strong and unified in its public message.

David Foote,

DIRECTOR, TANDARRA PARTNERS

For the past 45 years, I have held rural property management, executive and senior management positions across all mainland states in areas of; beef cattle & sheep breeding, growing and lot feeding, meat retailing, small seed growing, irrigated fodder, and the further processing and exporting of primary products such as meat, grain and fodder.

His export experiences which started in 1989 included a role with Stanbroke Pastoral Company to help develop Stanbroke’ s Live cattle export program. Additionally, I managed the integration of Bottle Tree feedlot grain feeding in the production system while developing and launching their now globally recognised Diamantina beef brand.

David has been in a leadership role at the Lee Family’s, Australian Country Choice group of Companies since 1999 and progressed in that time from General Manager Properties & Livestock to Group Managing Director until stepping back in December 2020 from a full time role to a strategic advisory and board role.

Headquartered in Brisbane and employing over 1,400 staff across 42 operations, Australian Country Choice (ACC) operates Australia’s largest vertically integrated beef supply chain; encompassing cattle breeding, cattle growing and feedlotting to supply its integrated food processing facility in Brisbane that incorporates beef slaughter, beef boning, value-adding and case ready beef packing.

ACC’s cattle property portfolio of around 4 million acres in Queensland & NSW encompasses operations from the Barkly Tableland, CQ coalfields, Carnarvon ranges, Augathella, Blackall, Roma, and Moonie districts of Queensland, with a carrying capacity of 300,000 head. of cattle to support the Company’s 3 feedlots.

Additionally, David represents Agricultural & Cattle industry interests in his role as; Non-Government member Australia­ Indonesia Red Meat & Cattle Partnership, member SmartSat CRC, member Cattle Australia -Policy Council, member Australian Meat Industry Council -China & Halal Trade Groups, Chair Workplace Health & Safety Queensland -Rural Industry Sector Standing Committee, Deputy Chair Laguna Bay Pastoral investment committee, Board Member lnventia Genetic Technologies {IGT) and

Away from work David has a small cattle property in the Mt Kilcoy (Qld) district running Charolais & Charbray breeders to the delight of his four grandchildren.

Why are you seeking a position on the Board?

I believe our extensive based cattle industry is in an important transition phase which is required to achieving renewed relevancy and status in advocacy for our industry and sector.

If successful in being appointed, I am hoping for my broad & deep industry skills and experience in both the paddock and the board room to be able to help achieve this important industry transition.

How will you represent the interests of the grass-fed cattle industry as a Director?

I am hoping that from my broad & deep industry knowledge and experience, I can effectively and credibly advocate at senior levels of, Industry, Government and Business, the national importance of a vibrant and sustainable extensive cattle industry on behalf of Cattle producers Australian wide.

Lyn French

GRAZIER/AGRI-TOURISM – GILBERTON PASTORAL COMPANY

I am a mother, wife, grandmother, grazier tourist operator, CEO, volunteer and much more.

I live on Gilberton Station in the gulf Savannah on family historically cattle station that has been in the family since 1869. We run a productive grass fed beef enterprise including highly successful 5 star luxury agri tourism business.

I am a passionate woman in helping rural and remote children educational needs and helping rural woman achieve their goals of stepping out and being a voice. I feel in the North Grass fed Beef industry is seen as a untapped resource and we as industry haven’t done enough to being on the front foot in making this a global product and seen as the best in the world . Our product is under represented we have the best clean green product in grass fed beef but is not seen and valued for what it is.

Extremely passionate about sustainable land management as if we don’t look after country it don’t look after us.

I have been board of director on many organisations. Federal councillor on ICPA Board of Director VISE (volunteers for isolated student education), board of director RITE ( Rural industry Training and extension), current CEO of BushEd Australia, current President of Gilbert River headwaters Action Group inc, and advocate for anything rural and remote.

I am not afraid to rock the boat and be active voice for rural Australia As Farming families and there industry helps connect all Australians both urban and rural through what we produce and provide the nation.

Why are you seeking a position on the Board?

I am excited to apply for this role as I feel I can contribute to grass fed beef industry and be a voice not only in the North but Australia wide. I am a passionate person in speaking from grass root level and want to be able to make impact within our industry for the next generation.

How will you represent the interests of the grass-fed cattle industry as a Director?

Being a voice from the grass root level and feel now is the time for grass fed in industry to step up and been seen as world leaders in moving forward.

Pat Gleeson

BEEF PRODUCER AND AGRIBUSINESS SPECIALIST CONSULTANT

I was born a Brisbane Valley 4th generation cattle producer that pursued a specialist career in red meat processing and livestock performance. My extensive career spans more than 30 years in the global red meat industry, where I have provided disciplined strategic leadership for sustainability and growth. I am an active member of the beef industry, having participated on many boards and advisory panels, including global protein supplier TSE listed NH Foods, the Red Meat Advisory Council, Australian Meat Industry Council, the National Animal Welfare Steering Committee, the 457 Labour Agreement Committee, the Australian Meat Processing Innovation Committee and Food Leaders Australia. I am widely respected for my ability to prioritise the agenda, harmonise stakeholders and cultivate the right policy, process and or innovation for valued progress.

Today, I own and operate a successful integrated breeding, backgrounding and dry‐land cropping operation over three properties in South East Queensland. I hold agribusiness trade and tertiary qualifications and I am a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

As a highly experienced agribusiness specialist – producer and processor, I also regularly consult to domestic and export agribusinesses to identify, scale and advance their business performance. It is my unique blend of international trade experience, governance and business acumen that can transform processes, minimise inputs, harness capability, whilst realising new growth opportunities.

Executive roles have included: Director of NH Foods Australia, General Manager of Oakey Beef Exports, General Manager of Thomas Borthwick & Sons, Director of the Australian Meat Processing Corporation, Director of Australian Meat Industry Council, and Processing Director of the Red Meat Advisory Council. I am industry recognised for increasing consistent yield performances; capitalising on market fluctuation opportunities; negotiating international product and process contracts; workforce transformation; and innovative engineering programs.

Why are you seeking a position on the Board?

As a cattle producer with international industry experience, I believe that my unique and broad skill set will confirm, support, identify and action a harmonious and prioritised strategic plan for whole of industry.

How will you represent the interests of the grass‐fed cattle industry as a Director?

The Australian grass‐fed cattle industry is a diverse and distinct body. No one mindset, experience, or knowledge can provide an all inclusive perspective. A Cattle Australia Director will need to seek and understand broad views, support effective and efficient dialogue, and culminate with pragmatic, sustainable and constructive goals. Having previously participated on boards and advisory panels, executive and industry elected, my approach is inclusive, practical, transparent and respectful.

Acknowledging that fiduciary duties are responsibilities for the delivery of long term sustainability and profitability for whole of industry. As a grass‐fed cattle operator, with broad international market industry experience across the whole supply chain, my goal would be to extract the broader views, strategic strengths and realistic opportunities, to align dialogue for continued international access and growth.

Haydn Sale

BEEF PRODUCER – MANDORA CATTLE CO

My wife Jane and I own and operate Mandora Cattle Co at Mandora Station on the Kimberley Coast 300km south of Broome. It is currently a 6000 head Droughtmaster breeding and growing property.

Haydn is also the managing director of HC and J Sale Management Co that is responsible for the operation of Yougawalla Pastoral Company and Argyle Cattle Co in the Kimberley region.

As the founders of the Yougawalla Pastoral Company in 2007, Haydn was the driver of the development and stocking of Yougawalla Station from a relatively bare out station without infrastructure, through to incorporating and negotiating three Subleases on aboriginal owned pastoral properties and the purchase of a further two pastoral Leases of Bulka and Margaret River Stations. From 2008 through to the sale of the properties in 2017 they were partners in and managed the cattle operations of these properties and development that grew the holdings from 800hd to a 45,000 head, 1500km of new fencing, 200 new water points, accommodation, cattle yards and infrastructure to support it. Since 2017 under the new ownership, HC & J Sale Management have continued the growth and development of these properties with an additional two subleases on aboriginal owned pastoral leases and have taken on the management and development of Argyle Cattle Company to include four more Pastoral Leases. The joint operations currently run 130,000 cattle with the development underway of an irrigated fodder operation to support an on- farm feedlot for 2023.

Why are you seeking a position on the Board?

To have a voice on the many critically important issues facing the Australian Cattle industry across marketing, industry research and development, continued growth, profitability and sustainability of the sector.

How will you represent the interests of the grass-fed cattle industry as a Director?

I believe I have skills developed over 30 years in the beef industry and through building a large-scale beef enterprise in Northern Australia, that can contribute to the debate and discussion on the future direction in the grass fed beef sector in a broader perspective. As founding member and current executive member of the Kimberley Pilbara Cattlemen’s Association (KPCA)I would also bring the views of our members in the region for discussion and debate.

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