People on the Move: Appointments, retirements, achievements

Jon Condon, 27/07/2021

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

  • New president for Australian Cattle Vets
  • Ag Innovation role for former Livecorp CEO
  • Changing of the guard at Yulgilbar
  • Rising Champions returns with new format
  • Angus Australia establishes nationwide breed development officer program
  • LAWD launches in WA
  • Appointments strengthen Barenbrug sales and marketing presence

New president for Australian Cattle Vets

Broome, WA cattle veterinarian Dr Tracy Sullivan has been elected president of the Australian Cattle Vets Group (ACVG), a special interest group of the Australian Veterinarians Association.

Dr Tracy Sullivan

Dr Sullivan replaces another WA practitioner, Dr Ian Bradshaw from Busselton, who has served as ACVG president for the past two years.

Dr Sullivan has extensive experience as a large and small animal vet, researcher and a decade’s experience working as an accredited bull semen morphologist. She is an active member of the ACV, promoter of BULLCHECK and is focused on producer education and the importance of semen analysis as a tool for male fertility evaluation.

She is also a primary producer with a mixed cattle and grain operation in Queensland and works as a live animal export veterinary officer.

Now based in Broome, she has expanded out of general practise, establishing her own bovine semen analysis business, Australian Veterinary Semen Morphology, with a fully-equipped lab in Broome. AVetSM enjoys active involvement with reproduction research and is receptive to new projects.

Her industry passion has led to involvement in a number of industry groups, including serving on the policy council of the Cattle Council of Australia. She was recently selected for the National Farmers Federation’s Diversity in Agriculture Leadership program.


New Ag Innovation role for former Livecorp CEO

Agricultural Innovation Australia has appointed Sam Brown as its inaugural chief executive officer.

The move follows Mr Brown’s recent departure from LiveCorp where he operated for the past nine years as chief executive officer, and 13 years in total with the live export industry research body (see Beef Central’s earlier report). Following Mr Brown’s departure, the Livecorp board appointed Wayne Collier, the organisation’s former program general manager, as his replacement, with a three-month transition period.

Sam Brown

Agricultural Innovation Australia is a not-for-profit public company established recently to facilitate joint investment and collaboration in cross-industry agricultural issues of national importance.

The body identifies, develops and invests in strategies that address shared challenges and opportunities to deliver transformative outcomes that drive sustainability, productivity and profitability across Australian agricultural value chains. It attracts investment from public, private, not-for-profit and global commercial entities to deliver agricultural innovation initiatives. As a single point of contact for cross industry strategies, AIA makes it easier for investors to navigate and partner with the Australian agricultural system.

AIA chair Bernie Brookes said Mr Brown’s appointment was a crucial step for AIA following the inaugural board appointments in April.

“This role requires a unique skill set – an understanding of the big, cross-sectoral agricultural challenges that need to be solved, along with the ability to successfully attract and manage commercial and non-commercial investors and partners,” Mr Brookes said.

Mr Brown has extensive knowledge and experience of agricultural value chains, with a career spanning red meat, wool, dairy, horticulture, grains and cotton. Born and raised on a mixed farming operation in NSW, he also carried a strong appreciation of the producer/grower perspective.

He said he is looking forward to working with the AIA board to enable more effective collaboration and coordination of existing and new investment across agricultural industries.

Changing of the guard at Yulgilbar

After 20 years as the operational head at Yulgilbar Pastoral Co and Santa Gertrudis stud in northern NSW, experienced cattleman and seedstock breeder Rob Sinnamon and his wife Lorraine are stepping back.

Yulgilbar general manager Rob Sinnamon welcomes guests at one of the stud’s earlier biennial field days.

From March next year Mr Sinnamon will take on a new role as chief advisor for Yulgilbar Genetics.

In a facebook post, Mr Sinnamon said he and Lorraine had been extremely privileged to have been custodians of Yulgilbar Station since 2002, and were very much looking forward to continuing their association with the Myer family as the business refined and developed the outstanding Yulgilbar genetics pool, which was at the heart of the enterprise.

As a result of the move, Yulgilbar Station overseer and long-term employee Brett Ellem will step into the role of station manager. He will be supported by Peter Hay as farming manager.

The Sinnamons will look to expand their personal pastoral business based at Mayfield near Kyogle, currently running 150 Santa Gertrudis stud breeders under the Riverina prefix. Mr Sinnamon will also continue to sit on the board of the Northern Cooperative Meat Co (now Casino Food Co-op), and serve as a councillor of the Santa Gertrudis Breeders Australia Association.

Owned by the Myer family, the 14,000ha Yulgilbar Station has a 24km double frontage to the Clarence River, and is regarded as a showpiece of Santa Gertrudis stud production, being among the first to import cattle from King Ranch in Texas. Cropping and pasture improvement programs operate on much of the property and have led to a lift in tested pregnancy rates from a 20 year average of 83 percent to 90pc.

Rising Champions returns with a new format

Cattle Council of Australia and NAB are calling for young members of the Australian beef industry to apply for the 2022 NAB Agribusiness Rising Champions Initiative.

Postponed in 2020 due to COVID, the Rising Champions Initiative returns this year with a new format that is aimed at celebrating young leaders in all states and territories. It presents an unrivalled opportunity for young people in the beef industry to kick-start their personal career development and network with industry and government representatives.

Beef industry participants aged 21-40 years are eligible to apply, with a winner from each state and the Northern Territory selected to attend an all-expenses-paid Leadership Development week in Canberra in November.

Following a review of the program, the Rising Champion Initiative has a new format this year that celebrates all state and territory winners, rather than one overall winner.

Cattle Council president Markus Rathsmann said refocusing the program on state and territory champions would deliver greater value to the beef industry. “We need more young people who do truly outstanding things in our industry to stand up and become more involved,” he said.

The Rising Champions Initiative has helped develop dozens of high-quality young people with aspirations for leadership and industry engagement, and the new format let the program invest more in everyone on the program.

“The support we’ve seen to bring this program back, after COVID put it on hold last year, shows just how valuable it is to our industry. I encourage all aspiring young leaders in the beef business to throw their hat in the ring by applying,” Mr Rathsmann said.

The group of 2022 Rising Champions will be celebrated at a NAB Agribusiness Rising Champion Cocktail Gala in Canberra on 24 November.

Applications close on 16 August. For information on key dates and how to apply, click here


Angus Australia establishes nationwide breed development officer program

Angus Australia has broadened its breed development officer footprint, with the introduction of a regionally-based, nationwide team to assist Angus seedstock and commercial breeders achieve genetic improvement within their breeding program.

Jake Phillips

The three-person team will be responsible for providing support and education to seedstock and commercial Angus Australia members in the key principles of cattle breeding and genetics, and the application of genetic improvement technologies. AA’s breed development & extension manager Andrew Byrne said the new initiative was part of a renewed focus on face-to-face engagement between the society and Angus breeders across Australia.

“The genetic improvement technologies that are available to Angus breeders are expanding rapidly and the introduction of a nationwide Breed Development Officer team will ensure members of Angus Australia are well placed to make optimal use of these technologies,” Mr Byrne said.

The breed development officer team will be based regionally, with existing staff members, Matt Reynolds and Jen Peart based out of Armidale, NSW and Injune, QLD respectively, and joined by Angus Australia’s newest breed development officer, Jake Phillips, based out of Naracoorte, SA. Each will be responsible for providing ongoing support and assistance to breeders in particular regions. Matt Reynolds will be responsible for central NSW, southern NSW and Tasmania; Jake Phillips will be responsible for Victoria, South Australia and the southern half of Western Australia, while Jen Peart, in her role as Northern Development Officer, will be responsible for northern NSW, Queensland, the Northern Territory and the northern half of Western Australia.

With a number of Angus breeders recently joining Angus Australia from across the Tasman, the program will also be extended to members located in New Zealand.

LAWD expands into WA

National rural property agency and advisory firm Land, Agribusiness, Water & Development (LAWD) has established a stronger presence in Western Australia with the appointment of experienced agribusiness professional, Simon Wilkinson.

Simon Wilkinson

LAWD offers specialist transaction, advisory and valuation services to the agriculture and land development industries and has seen rapid growth since commencement of operations in 2020 given the extensive experience of its leadership team across the farm and property sectors.

Mr Wilkinson will head up LAWD’s WA operations as Transactions Director, and brings with him a proven track record in agribusiness having held positions with well-regarded companies including Elders, Summit Fertilisers and IAMA/Landmark.

LAWD executive chairman John McKillop said while LAWD was already active in the WA market, it was important for the firm to have an on-the-ground presence in the state.

“Simon is a well-respected figure in Western Australia’s agriculture industry and, over the course of his career, has demonstrated his ability to create strong connections with agribusiness and a commitment to supporting a thriving farm sector in the state,” Mr McKillop said.

“It is an exciting time for rural and agricultural property in Australia and I am excited to join a new, innovative and energetic team that carries genuine industry knowledge, experience and connections,” Mr Wilkinson said.

LAWD launches its WA operations this Thursday, and will open an office in Perth over the coming months.

Appointments strengthen Barenbrug sales and marketing presence

Pasture and cropping seed supplier Barenbrug Australia has made a series of sales and marketing management appointments to build on its commitment to Australian farmers and reseller network.

Angus Olding

Adam Firth takes on the role of Barenbrug’s Commercial Manager, Northern Region. He brings a wealth of knowledge in agronomy and sales, with 16 years in the industry, including four years as a territory manager for the northern NSW region based in Grafton. Adam is experienced in agronomy, sales management, and relationship building.

“Barenbrug’s commitment to research and innovation means that we have an opportunity to provide the northern beef market the best products and offer advice on best practice,” Adam said.

Appointed territory manager for the Gippsland region was Angus Olding. As a graduate, Angus was given the opportunity to learn first-hand how Barenbrug Australia ticks from the warehouse, through finance, sales and marketing, to seed R&D and production. More recently, he was the commercial analyst, providing insight across the business.

Appointed portfolio manager for Barenbrug’s tropical/summer crops range was Ben Vercoe. As a former researcher with the company, Ben is well versed in the R&I priorities and well placed to be the new Portfolio Manager for the growing Tropical and Summer Crops portfolio. He comes to the role with five years’ experience with Barenbrug after joining the company as a graduate in Agriculture from University of Queensland. With an extensive family background in agricultural research, Ben had a natural affinity and respect for the discipline and his contribution to the Research and Innovation team has been well recognised.

Appointed portfolio manager for temperate species was Kym Jones. Barenbrug has recognised the valuable input that Kym Jones, Commercial Manager, has had with the company by appointing him to the role of Portfolio Manager – Temperates. The position plays a pivotal role in liaising between Barenbrug’s extensive research and innovation and commercial teams to bring to market seed products suited to Australian agriculture including temperate grasses, brassicas and herbs. Kym has been with Barenbrug for three years but has significant industry experience spanning more than a decade, with good knowledge of seed research.

“Kym’s experience in the industry and understanding of our key markets will add real value to Barenbrug and our customers. I look forward to Kym’s experience and leadership contributing to the performance of our key Temperate portfolio,” said Peter Sullivan, Barenbrug’s strategic marketing manager.




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