People on the Move: Appointments, retirements, achievements

Jon Condon, 08/06/2018

Beef Central publishes an occasional summary of appointments, departures and achievements occurring across the red meat and livestock supply chain. Send details for entries to

  • Elders appoints new GM at Killara feedlot
  • New president for Angus Australia
  • Search commences for next AuctionsPlus CEO
  • New policy team member for CCA
  • Recognition for cutting-edge ag innovation
  • Vet surgeons board appointments

Elders appoints new GM at Killara feedlot

Elders has appointed experienced feedlot management team-member Andrew Talbot as its new general manager at Killara feedlot near Quirindi in NSW.

The appointment follows the recent departure of Tony Fitzgerald, who left Elders recently to take up general management at NH Foods Whyalla feedlot neat Texas in southern Queensland (see earlier People on the Move report).

Killara’s feedlot trading manager Andrew Talbot has been appointed general manager

Mr Talbot was previously Killara’s trading manager, responsible for cattle procurement and trading roles. He started at Killara in 2003, with a small stint in other parts of the Elders business servicing corporate clients from 2010, before returning in 2013. He has worn an Elders’ pink shirt since 1993.

The transition has also spawned a series of other appointments at the Killara yard. David Barnes has been appointed operations manager, and existing staffmember Stuart McKechnie has been promoted as livestock manager. Will Davidson takes over responsibility for farming and maintenance operations for the business.

“We’re fortunate in that we have a strong core group of export and domestic feeding customers in Woolworths, Jack’s Creek, Breakout River Meat and John Dee that we continue to service, in both domestic and export markets,” Mr Talbot said.

Killara also continues to do a small percentage of custom-fed Wagyu for a number of supply chains, typically 300 to 500 days.

New president for Angus Australia

Victorian commercial cattle producer Brad Gilmour has been elected president of Angus Australia, following a meeting of the board directors held in Armidale recently.

He succeeds Libby Creek from South Australia and will be supported by a team of nine other directors, including vice president Sam White from Bald Blair Angus, near Guyra in New South Wales.

Brad Gilmour

Mr Gilmour owns and runs a family-based Angus breeder operation, Gilmour Pastoral near the South West Victorian town of Terang. He has been a member of Angus Australia for 22 years and a board member since 2015.

He and his wife Marg provided one of the co-operator herds for the Angus Sire Benchmarking Program across five cohorts since 2011. He is also actively involved in the Angus Victorian state committee, where he has been chairman on three occasions, the Western Victorian Regional Group which he has chaired on three occasions and the Angus Youth program.

As a family, the Gilmours’ identified the Angus breed close to 30 years ago, as the best opportunity to grow their beef business.

“I  have always believed in the Angus premium and when we moved to a purebred Angus operation I knew we were making the right move,” he said. “Breeding Angus has been the right decision for us and has allowed us to build both a profitable and sustainable beef operation.”

“Being a commercial Angus breeder I am excited about Angus Brand Verification and protecting the integrity of the breed,” he said. “I believe that this program will have a flow on effect through the industry as a whole from the seedstock to the commercial breeder.”

With the 100-year anniversary of Angus Australia coming up in 2019, Mr Gilmour anticipates a huge year of celebration for Angus breeders across the country.

‘Angus Australia will not only be looking to the future but will be reflecting on the huge advances we have made in the last 100 years as a breed and an organisation’, he said.

 Search commences for next AuctionsPlus CEO

Anna Speer

AuctionsPlus has commenced a search for a new chief executive officer, following the recent announcement that Anna Speer will leave the national online livestock marketing platform to take up a new position as chief operating officer at the Australian Agricultural Co.

As outlined in this earlier item, Ms Speer will take up her appointment at AA Co in Brisbane during August. Her recruitment is understood to have followed a head-hunting exercise by a recruitment firm.

In her new role, Ms Speer will be responsible for the strategic and operational leadership of pastoral operations, feedlots, southern processing and breeding to efficiently and sustainably deliver into AA Co’s brands and customer experience. The role will not include day-to-day pastoral operations management.

She has spent the past four years as CEO at AuctionsPlus, growing the platform’s penetration into the Australian livestock supply chain over the period. AuctionsPlus today accounts for $830 million worth of livestock sales per annum.

New policy team member for CCA

Cattle Council of Australia’s senior policy officer Will Evans finished up after two and a half years with the national grassfed representative body last week, soon moving to a new role as the executive officer for the Northern Territory Live Export Association.

Mr Evans started out as the secretariat of CCA’s Research, Development and Adoption Committee and transferred to the Industry Systems and Food Safety Committee early last year.

As part of the transition, CCA has welcomed D’arcy Ryder as a member of the policy team and secretariat to the RD&A committee. D’arcy completed a Bachelor of Animal Science with Honours from the University of New England in 2016 with a heavy extra-curricular focus on meat judging.

She spent a year working at Fletcher International Exports in Dubbo as part of the company’s cadet program, learning about different areas of the company including the slaughter floor and boning rooms, export sales and specifications, and shipping and logistics.

D’arcy then joined the Meat Standards Australia team as project co-ordinator. Here she looked after registrations, producer enquiries as well as organising meetings and travel for her team members. From here, she progressed into an MSA Project Officer role in the Research, Development and Innovation team where she assisted with the Automation portfolio and project approval.

Recognising cutting-edge agricultural innovation

 Cutting edge ideas to produce organic waste fertilisers and reduce calf mortality rates were among the 11 innovative projects celebrated at this year’s Australian Government Science and Innovation Awards.

The award recipients received grants of up to $22,000 each to develop their ideas to boost productivity and sustainability.

“Their ideas are helping farmers to improve the way they run their businesses and ultimately improve their bottom lines,” Agriculture minister David Littleproud said.

PhD student, Rhys Pirie, who grew up on a cattle farm near Harden, NSW, has taken out the Minister’s Award and an additional $22,000 grant for his project to turn organic waste into low cost fertilisers.

“By transforming organic wastes like livestock manure, sugarcane mill mud and cotton gin trash into efficient fertilisers, Rhys’ research could help producers to cut back on waste and pollution,” Minister Littleproud said.

“What farmer wouldn’t want to get more bang for their buck when it comes to fertiliser, reducing overall farm costs?”

Jarud Muller from Charters Towers received an award for his work into the prevention of calf mortality from dehydration, which can really hurt a producer’s hip pocket.

The awards encourage innovation and provide funding to bring great ideas to life and help to advance the careers of our future agriculture leaders through national recognition of their good work.

Vet surgeons board appointments

A varied group of stakeholders have been appointed as new members of the Veterinary Surgeons Board of Queensland.

Five of the six members who make up the board are practising vets, with four nominated by the Minister and two registered veterinary surgeons elected by their peers.

The board will be led by Dr Fiona Thompson as chairperson, and Professor Nigel Perkins as deputy chair.

Dr Thompson is currently Industry Liaison Officer for Biosecurity Queensland. From 2014 to 2017, she was Project Manager for the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries’ Biosecurity Information Management System program. Earlier she worked in private practice in Queensland and Victoria.

Prof Perkins has worked in mixed and specialty veterinary practices, as a private consultant in veterinary epidemiology, and in academic roles in university veterinary schools in Australia, NZ and the US. From 1998 to 2007, he was a member of the Board of Examiners of the Australian and New Zealand College of Veterinary Schools, including three years as the Chief Examiner.

Other members appointed include Professor Philip Moses, associate professor Margaret Reilly, Dr David Thomson, and RSPCA’s Eileen Thumpkin, representing consumers.

“This Board has an important role, with sole legislative responsibility for regulating veterinary science in Queensland,” agriculture minister Mark Furner said.

“The Board is responsible for overseeing the system of registration and supervision of veterinary surgeons, administering the Act’s disciplinary proceedings and the approval of veterinary premises in Queensland.”




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  1. John Friend., 11/06/2018

    Congratulations Andrew Talbot, A true Professional and Advocate of The Australian Beef Industry.

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