People on the Move: Appointments, retirements, achievements

Jon Condon, 02/09/2020

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

  • JBS’s Steve Groom calls time
  • Respected animal and meat scientist Dave Pethick retires
  • Stockyard appoints board members
  • Athol Carter takes on CQ region for Frasers Transport
  • Beef consultant Al Rayner teams with Bob Jamieson Agencies
  • Nutrien exec moves to new corporate farmer CEO role
  • New recruit for MSD Animal Health’s Coopers Feedlot Team
  • Qld beef industry stakeholders acknowledged
  • New National Soils Advocate


JBS’s livestock manager Steve Groom calls time

Livestock manager for JBS’s northern processing and feedlot operations, Steve Groom, will retire at the end of the year, handing over the reins to assistant livestock manager, Scott Carswell.

Mr Groom’s departure will bring to a close a 29 years career in livestock buying, firstly for Australia Meat Holdings under the tutelage of John Keir and Ross Keane, and later with JBS. Like many of the industry’s successful cattle buyers, he earlier worked as a stock agent, originally for the old Primac company in Queensland, later merged with Elders.

JBS livestock manager, northern, Steve Groom

A positive and enthusiastic individual who clearly has a passion for the business he is immersed in, Mr Groom has built up a strong rapport with JBS livestock suppliers across northern and eastern Australia over the years.

It’s arguably the biggest livestock supply challenge in the Australian beef industry, heading a team that keeps JBS’s four Queensland processing plants, plus Riverina in NSW, supplied with slaughter stock, as well as sourcing feeder cattle for all the company’s five feedlots spread across Queensland and NSW.

As part of the transition process, Scott Carswell officially took over as JBS northern livestock manager on Monday.  Mr Carswell has been operating as assistant northern livestock manager based out of Dinmore for the past 12 months, and prior to that spent four or five years as JBS’s feedlot livestock manager.

Like Mr Groom, Mr Carswell has worked for AMH/JBS as a buyer for the past 18 years, operating originally out of the company’s Townsville operations where he worked for 12 years, before moving into managing feeder cattle procurement for the feedlot division. He also worked for Elders as a stock agent in the early part of his career, based out of centres including Toowoomba, Taroom and Cloncurry.


Respected animal and meat scientist Dave Pethick retires

Retiring recently after an academic career spanning 49 years, Professor Dave Pethick has made a remarkable contribution to the generation and implementation of new knowledge that has changed the livestock industry in Australia and around the world.

Prof Dave Pethick, giving one of his characteristic energy-filled presentations at ICMJ last year

Prof Pethick is perhaps best known for his work leading the team that designed and led the adoption of the internationally acclaimed Meat Standards Australia program, the world’s first comprehensive paddock-to-plate meat grading system.

A written tribute on Murdoch University’s website said Professor Pethick was dubbed ‘The Layman’s Professor’ for his ability to bridge the gap between basic scientific research and its practical application. Among his 264 papers published in scientific journals are a number of outstanding publications widely recognised as identifying and developing new basic concepts that have had profound implications for livestock industries.

Prof Pethick grew up on a mixed farming property in Ashbourne, in the Adelaide Hills, completed a degree in Ag Science at Adelaide University, and was invited to do PhD studies at Cambridge University. After three years living in the UK, he started his career at Murdoch in 1980. Over the next 40 years he developed an extensive list of achievements, including being awarded the International Meat Secretariat Millennium Prize for Meat Science and Technology, the ‘Howard W Yelland Award’ awarded by the Beef Improvement Association in recognition of outstanding contribution to the Beef Industry and the Médaille de l’Académie de la Viande for meritorious contributions to education, research and development of the meat industry.

Many of these awards are based on his influential role in the development of the MSA grading system for underpinning the quality of lamb and beef. He has also been awarded university teaching prizes and service awards.

As an expert member on numerous red meat industry committees, Prof Pethick has set industry directions and standards, whether with MSA pathways, the Red Meat Industry Strategic Plan or the Lamb Supply Chain Group. Click here to read Beef Central’s report on Prof Pethick’s characteristically lively presentation to last year’s ICMJ conference in Wagga Wagga.

Stockyard appoints board members

Stockyard Group has announced the appointment of two new non-executive board members.

Former MLA chief marketing and insights officer Lisa Sharp and lawyer and company director Sarah Zeljko have joined Stockyard’s board, sitting alongside chairman emeritus Robin Hart, Michael O’Keeffe and executive directors Lachie Hart, Sarah Hart and David Clark.

Lisa Sharp, left, and Sarah Zeljko

Developed over six decades, Stockyard has a strong reputation for its high quality and consistent Wagyu and Angus beef, with its flagship brands among the most awarded in Australia. Following significant growth over the last five years and with an ambitious growth target for the next half-decade, the board identified an opportunity to bring new skillsets to the board.

In a statement, Stockyard’s chairman John Massey said Lisa’s and Sarah’s considerable knowledge and strong commercial experience in their respective careers would allow the company to tackle the next stage of its growth, while remaining true to our core values and family ethos.

Lisa Sharp filled senior management roles within MLA over the past five years. She is well-versed in delivering complex strategy recommendations across fast moving consumer goods and will bring her skills across marketing, brand management, communication and data insights to the business.

With a Bachelor of Laws behind her, Sarah Zeljko has achieved wide-ranging commercial experience throughout her career, and has been involved as legal counsel for several large ASX-listed, government and private corporations. She is also a non-executive director for Powerlink and Energy Super, and more recently, MILLovate. Sarah comes from a background in family business having managed and expanded her own second-generation family-led organisation.

“Stockyard has always strived to be diverse, accessible and inclusive in everything we do. The appointment of our two new board members is another step in the right direction in achieving this and will ensure that the business is guided by sound, varied and innovative advice,” said managing director, Lachie Hart.

Athol Carter takes on CQ region operations management for Frasers

Experienced livestock transport logistics manager Athol Carter is taking on an additional challenge, relocating to Fraser’s Transport’s Rockhampton depot as Central Queensland region manager for the large contractor.

Mr Carter is currently Compliance Manager – Fleet Operations for Fraser’s, but will add the CQ region operations role to his responsibility. He played an integral role in the development and launch of the recent animal welfare pilot workshops  designed specifically for stock transport operators, highlighted in this earlier article.

Frasers operates a fleet of prime movers servicing the Central and North Queensland region from its northern depot at Gracemere, near Rockhampton.


Beef consultant Al Rayner teams with Bob Jamieson Agencies

Popular NSW beef and genetics consultant and Beef Central columnist Alastair Rayner has struck a business alliance with New England -based Bob Jamieson Agencies.

Effective this month, RaynerAg has entered into an affiliation with BJA, a successful independent stock and property agency based out of Inverell.

Alastair Rayner

“Bob has been very supportive of me throughout my career in both my role as District Livestock Officer (Beef Products) with NSW DPI and subsequently with RaynerAg,” Mr Rayner said.

“When Bob invited me to consider creating this relationship I was confident I would be embarking on a direction that would give greater depth and opportunities to both of our businesses.  It’s a very exciting announcement for all of us,” he said.

While many of you have a strong relationship with your current agents, I’m often conscious there are many opportunities that are missed.

Mr Rayner said in his current consultancy role I am involved in many programs from bull selection & drafting heifers to then preg testing the breeding herd.

“This engagement let me understand my clients’ herds and businesses very well. This new phase of RaynerAg will allows me to take this knowledge and complete the process by finding the right outcomes and returns for the cattle we have worked so hard to produce.”

BJA principal Bob Jamieson said not only was Alastair Rayner very experienced in all aspects of cattle production, but his sense of compassion and high level of integrity were “just so impressive.”

“The idea is that both businesses retain their identity and ownership but we absolutely work together and across each other’s wide boundaries. We want to add value to each other’s businesses,” Mr Jamieson said.

“With RaynerAg, BJA get access to Alastair wonderful communication skills, a breadth knowledge in rural business and an unmatched level of practical livestock knowledge and experience. From BJA, RaynerAg will get registration and licensing plus access to our full range of property and livestock marketing skills, our networks, and our extreme levels of administration,” he said.

“This alliance is such a good fit. We like to think that not only are we the most cost-effective at what what we do; but we are also the best. This alliance between BJA and RaynerAg will only enhance this situation.”

  • Click here to view Al Rayner’s latest weekly genetics column written for Beef Central


Nutrien exec moves to new corporate farmer CEO role

Nutrien senior executive Andrew Slatter is leaving the national agency business to take on the role as chief executive officer with corporate farmer, Viridis Ag.

Supported by one of Australia’s largest agricultural fund managers, Macquarie Agricultural Funds Management, Viridis Ag owns and operates a string of 11 large scale broadacre farming enterprises across Western Australia, NSW and South Australia The bsuienss was founded in 2017 is

Mr Slatter has spent the past 12 months as Nutrien’s general manager agency, and prior to the merger with Ruralco was executive general manager for Ruralco’s operations in northern Australia. Earlier he spent several years as chief financial officer with the Australian Agricultural Co, and was ANZ’s head of agribusiness for  six years.


New recruit for MSD Animal Health’s Coopers Feedlot Team

MSD Animal Health has announced the appointment of Adrian Carr as regional key account manager in its Coopers Feedlot Team.

Adrian Carr

Mr Carr brings a wealth of experience to Coopers from his most recent role as national sales manager with Tama Australia and his previous role at APIAM Animal Health, where he was the business unit lead for ruminants. At APIAM, he was the management lead for the company’s combined feedlot veterinary consultancy unit.

Prior to his tenure with APIAM, Mr Carr helped establish and manage the Southern Cross Feedlot Services business, which provided veterinary consultancy services and critical animal health products to feedlots and beef producers across the country.

Originally hailing from a mixed farming enterprise in the Bendigo region of Victoria, he has a solid understanding of the Australian lotfeeding industry and the Australian beef industry at large.

Coopers national feedlot account manager, Rob Baines, said Mr Carr had extensive knowledge of the operations and needs of Australian feedlots.

“He knows that getting the little things right can make a huge difference to the health of feeder cattle. With Adrian’s vast experience, Coopers is now more strongly placed to support feedlot customers across the southern region,” he said.

Mr Carr is based out of Junortoun (just east of Bendigo) in Victoria.


Qld beef industry stakeholders acknowledged

Two prominent Queensland beef industry stakeholders have been named as #eatqld champions.

The Queensland Government has named Terry Nolan, director of export and domestic meat processor, Nolan Meats, and AgForce cattle president Will Wilson as #eatqld Champions in recognition of their contribution to the reputation of Queensland’s produce.

Terry Nolan

Primary Industries minister Mark Furner said the state Government’s #eatqld campaign encouraged the community to eat local, stay healthy and support jobs in the state’s agricultural sector.

He said Terry Nolan had been chosen for he and his family’s 60 years of service to the beef industry and Gympie community.

“Nolan Meats is a 100 percent Australian, family-owned company founded as a small retail butchery business in Gympie in 1958,” he said.  “Since that time, they have grown to become Gympie’s largest private employer, producing quality grainfed beef for retailers, further processors, wholesalers and international markets. Nolan Meats has won several prestigious awards including the Premier of Queensland Exporter of the Year in 2011, the DAFF Biosecurity Award in 2012, the NAB Agri Business Exporter of the Year in 2012, and, in 2011, was a finalist in the Australian Export Awards.

Terry Nolan said the #eatqld Champion award recognised a family tradition of meat processing and retailing that began in 1958. “I am one small part in our family business that was formed by my father Pat and late mother Marie and the load is now shared with my brothers Michael and Terry,” Mr Nolan said.

AgForce cattle president Will Wilson was also named an #eatqld Champion in recognition of his significant contribution to Queensland’s cattle industry, which began in 1977 and includes developing innovative herd tracking software.

“Will Wilson is a fourth generation cattle producer at his family owned Calliope Station, director at Australian Beef Logistics, AgForce cattle president since 2014, and founder and director of MANDRA which he established to change the way rural people record and portray their information.

“In 2015, Will developed the innovative the iHerd data tracking software and has been a keen and early adopter of technology which can change and evolve the way producers get their product from the paddock to the plate.”

Mr Wilson said being an #eatqld Champion was an opportunity in challenging times to further promote the Queensland beef industry.

“Queensland beef producers have a wonderful story to tell and it’s a story that simply hasn’t been told well enough in the past,” Mr Wilson said. “Our producers are committed to creating and managing opportunities that generate both economic and material benefits, not just for themselves, but for the wider community.

“I struggle to see anything but opportunity in a post-COVID world for Queensland’s world-class beef industry and being the #eatqld Champion award provides a platform to promote produce that everyone can be proud of.”

“Will and Terry’s passionate advocacy for Queensland’s beef cattle industry is truly inspirational as we unite and recover from the economic disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and they will be fine ambassadors promoting Queensland’s world of flavour from the state of delicious,” Minister Furner said.

New National Soils Advocate

After nearly a decade of dedicated work as National Soils Advocate, Major General Michael Jeffery has ‘handed the spade’ on to former Governor of Queensland and distinguished Australian diplomat, the Honourable Penelope Wensley.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison made the announcement at a Bush Summit in Cooma NSW last week.

Patron of Soil Science Australia since 2010, Ms Wensley has also played a significant role in Australia’s international relations and foreign policy relating to the environment. She has long-held an interest in natural resource management, environmental and sustainable development matters, and has contributed to Australia’s response to national and global challenges in these areas.

As State Governor of Queensland, she was active in supporting community groups and organisations involved with environmental management, conservation and protection, including as State Patron of Queensland Water and Land Carers.

Ms Wensley has worked to promote excellence in science and is a strong supporter of science-based policy. She has been honoured by the Environment Institute of Australia and New Zealand, for her promotion of sustainable development and environmental knowledge, and was appointed as an Honorary Fellow of the Institute in 2015.











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  1. Russell Lethbridge, 04/09/2020

    Congratulations Will and Terry well deserved .Thanks for contributing to make a great industry better from both ends of the supply chain .Good to see the recognition.
    Cheers Russell Lethbridge

  2. Peter Vincent, 02/09/2020

    The red meat industries have been so fortunate in retaining the enthusiasm and innovation of Dave Pethick on our shores. A great orator who made full use of the odd expletive in delivering lectures which enthused all and sundry. We are indebted to champions such as Dave Pethick.

  3. John Reid, 02/09/2020

    Is anyone keeping track of those who have left Nutrien since they took over Ruralco. They seem to have lost most of their wool staff for starters.

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