People on the Move: Appointments, retirements, achievements

Jon Condon, 28/02/2024

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 chair, staff movements for CPC
  • Key livestock staff changes for JBS
  • TFI appoints feedlot GM for expanded Southern Cross yard
  • AA Co sees board and senior management changes
  • New Group Manager for ISC Operations
  • Leading the charge towards net zero in agriculture
  • MLA staff notch up 25 years’ service

New chair, staff movements for CPC

Experienced agribusiness executive and boardmember John McKillop has taken over the reins as the new board chairman for Consolidated Pastoral Co.

John McKillop

Mr McKillop joined the CPC board last week, taking over from interim chair, Brisbane accountant Margaux Beauchamp.

He is the current independent chair of the Red Meat Advisory Council and sits as an executive director of rural valuers, Herron Todd White.   Earlier he served as chief executive for Gina Rinehart’s Hancock Agriculture, and was execurice chairman of property group, LAWD.

Ms Beachamp remains on the board, along with Greg Newman, Enzo Gregori, Troy Setter and Mr McKillop. Glen Moreno, former CEO and director of Fidelity and CitiBank, has retired from the board.

In other CPC operations news, Andrew and Anna Cochrane have moved from their management position at Isis Downs near Blackall to Newcastle Waters on the Barkly, where Andrew becomes group manager for the Barkly region.

In turn, Mick and Terrana Salt have joined CPC to manage Isis Downs Station near Blackall.

In other appointments, Dave and Elllie Young have returned to CPC to manage the company’s genetics unit at Allawah Station, near Banana in Central Queensland. The couple had previously managed Newry and Auvergne stations for CPC, and more recently spent time with Gunn Agri on properties near Roma.

CPC owns and operates a network of eight properties across the Northern Territory, North and Central Queensland and the Kimberley, as well as feedlot sites in Indonesia


Key livestock staff changes for JBS

JBS Australia has appointed Scott Minnikin to the position of Manager Feedlot Livestock for JBS Northern, effective last week. The appointment follows the departure of Jason Carswell, who left the company towards the end of last year.

Mr Minnikin will be responsible for feeder procurement for the JBS feedlot network comprising JBS Northern manages all feedots including Prime City, Riverina Beef, Caroona, Beef City and Mungindi, with one time capacity around 140,000 head. Yambinya is managed separately by JBS Southern.  Annual turnoff from all five yards was estimated in Beef Central’s Top 25 Lotfeeders report last year at 300,000 head.

Mr Minnikin previously worked for JBS in livestock procurement and has extensive experience in Operations and Livestock management, with previous JBS roles including Plant Manager – Beef City, Operations Manager – Southern and Assistant Livestock Manager – Northern.

In recent times, he has been working as a Livestock Manager with Edwards Livestock, supporting several Western Downs feedlots with feeder cattle, including managing Wagyu programs.

Scott Carswell

Mr Minnikin is passionate about the meat and livestock industry and building long-term working relationships with staff, colleagues, senior management, external vendors, and other key stakeholders by building trust and operating professionally.

Meanwhile former JBS Northern livestock manager Scott Carswell (brother of Jason), who left the company last September has taken up a new position. Mr Carswell has joined diversified agribusiness AgTrade, which operates the Paradigm vertically-integrated beef business, and live export business Austrex. He will function as livestock procurement manager, and manage key clients.

JBS is yet to make an appointment for the vacant role of northern livestock operations manager.


TFI appoints feedlot GM for expanded Southern Cross yard

Thomas Foods International has made a feedlot general management appointment for the company’s expanded Southern Cross feedlot near Tintinara in South Australia’s east.

Experienced manager James Sage has joined TFI to head up operations at the Southern Cross facility.

Mr Sage was previously managing the Conargo Feedlot in the NSW Riverina region for Australian Food and Agriculture, during which time he oversaw the greenfield development of a 12,000 head facility.

In his new role at Southern Cross, he will be managing a workforce of more than 40 and an expanded capacity of up to 27,000 head of cattle (See report in Beef Central’s Top 25 Lotfeeders feature).

“This is a state-of-the-art facility with a highly experienced and skilled team in place,” Mr Sage said. “TFI has invested a great deal in this feedlot and set it up for a long-term future. It’s an exciting time to join a leading Australian family company providing the best quality Australian meat to markets here and overseas.”

In his 30-year career, Mr Sage has worked in Queensland and overseas, including terms as production manager and beef consultant South East Asia for Associated Grain; Asia Pacific beef manager with Alltech, and feedlot manager with Gibson Partnership near Dalby, Queensland.

He said he was looking forward to working closely with local livestock and commodities producers.

“I’m keen to form strong personal relationships with all our suppliers and become involved in the local community,” he said. “I’m also looking forward to growing our team and we currently have positions available across livestock and administration roles.”

TFI chief executive Anthony Stewart said Southern Cross Feedlot would play a key role in the company’s integrated supply chain, with increasing numbers of cattle required for the new Murray Bridge processing facility. The company had invested more than $17 million over the past two years expanding and upgrading the feedlot, including the construction of 95 new pens, and a feedmill upgrade taking capacity from 15,000 to 27,000.

“With processing ramping up at Murray Bridge, the demand for high quality Angus beef continues to rise,” Mr Stewart said. “We’re pleased to have James on board to drive our future growth. He has a strong reputation and track record within the beef industry and will be a valuable addition to our management team.”


AA Co sees board and senior management changes

Majority shareholder Joe Lewis’s primary representative on the Australian Agricultural Co board, Dr Shehan Dissanayake, has departed, having been appointed chairman of the over-arching Tavistock Group in the UK, where he has served as a senior manager for 20 years.

Shehan Dissanayake

Now representing Tavistock on the AA Co board are Josh Levy, co-chief executive of Tavistock Group, and Sarah Gentry, a Tavistock vice-president, who joined the board in late 2022. Dr Dissanayake joined the AA Co board in 2012 after Tavistock launched its investment in the company.

Meanwhile Emily Bird has been appointed as general counsel and company secretary of AA Co, effective this month. Ms Bird replaces Bruce Bennett, who recently resigned as company secretary. Ms Bird previously spent four years as general counsel and company secretary with Michael Hill Jewells and acted as senior legal counsel at Parmalat.


New Group Manager for ISC Operations

Natasha Tere has joined the red meat industry’s Integrity Systems Co as group manager – operations.

Having relocated from New Zealand to take up the role, Ms Tere brings a wealth of skills and experience gained working in agribusiness and farming in the sheep, beef, and dairy sector in NZ.

She joined the ISC team in late January and is based out of ISC’s Brisbane office, shared with MLA.

In other staff movements within ISC’s sister company, Meat & Livestock Australia, Murray Davis has taken up responsibilities as MLA’s regional manager for the Greater China region.

Mr Davis has spent much of his career in China, joining MLA from the NSW Government where from 2017 he was Trade and Investment Commissioner based in Guangzhou.

Earlier, he also served as Trade and Investment Queensland Commissioner to Guangzhou and later Taiwan, after originally joining Austrade’s China team in 1994.

Mr Davis has relocated from Guangzhou to Shanghai and will be overseeing MLA’s program in Greater China, including offices in Shanghai, Beijing and Taipei.

Recently departed from MLA was Sam Gill, who joined the industry services delivery company in 2004 and worked in several roles from managing Australia’s sheep and beef genetic programs to developing the national red meat digital strategy, and collaborative ag-tech research programs.

He then switched gears with a move to Dubai to lead business development initiatives for MLA in the MENA region, before taking up the responsibility as Regional Manager – MENA in 2021.


Leading the charge towards net zero in agriculture

Agricultural identity Richard Heath will head the newly funded Zero Net Emissions Agricultural Cooperative Research Centre (ZNE-Ag CRC) as it begins its work to reduce emissions in Australian agriculture.

Richard Heath

The former Australian Farm Institute executive director will take up his new role as CEO in March. ZNE-Ag CRC Chair Deb Cousins said Mr Heath was recruited after an extensive search.

“Richard brings strong sector and leadership expertise to this new role,” Ms Cousins said. “He also has a passion for sustainable agriculture, given his experience as a farmer and industry advocate.

Mr Heath said he was relishing the challenge of leading the $300 million collaborative venture.

“The CRC is very important to the future of agriculture in Australia,” he said. “Our agricultural and production systems and capacity are under threat from climate change, and we must act now to protect the future of one of the country’s most important sectors.

““We will coordinate an industry-led approach to help safeguard the profitability and marketing access of Australian agri-businesses as we make the transition to net zero.”

ZNE-Ag will support the industry to achieve emissions targets in Australian agriculture by 2030 and 2050.

The ZNE-Ag CRC was brokered by The University of Queensland and the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, with a consortium of 73 partners across industry, government and education. The Australian Government’s CRC contribution of $87 million is the largest in the program’s history.

“Our trading partners also look to us as a source of science and technology, so it will strengthen our capacity to engage with our neighbours to help with their efforts in the same direction,” Mr Heath said.

“The CRC will deliver standardised, trusted guidelines, metrics and benchmarking tools to monitor on-farm emissions and accelerate Australian agriculture’s transition to net zero and beyond.”


MLA staff notch up 25 years’ service

A number of long-serving Meat & Livestock Australia staff have recently notched up 25 years service with the industry service delivery company, founded in 1998. Indeed some carried their service over from the previous Australian Meat & Livestock Corporation.

Three staff have worked for MLA in an unbroken sequence since its 1998 launch.

Shuichi Kitano

They include Shuichi Kitano, senior manager for retail & trade in MLA’s Tokyo office; Cameron Allan, Feedbase Specialist; and Bruce Blades, Office Service Assistant. Kitano San originally worked in an AMLC regional office in Nagoya in Australian red meat market development, under Japan manager Mike Hayward, followed later by Neil Butler and Samantha Jamieson.

Staff currently working for MLA who were employed at its 1988 establishment, but who worked elsewhere for a period in-between, include Heidi Brunker, Content Manager, Community Communications; Deanna Jones, MSA Communications and Operations Manager; Samantha Jamieson, Group Stakeholder Collaboration Manager; and Veronique Droulez, Food and Nutrition manager.

And up until December 2023, former MLA managing director Jason Strong was among those who started with the company at its foundation in 1998.

Beef Central wrote this earlier profile on MLA Japan’s Shuichi Kitano (SK), whose previous employment with AMLC pushes his total employment period representing Australian beef and lamb in Japan to 28 years.







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  1. Stephen Bradley, 01/03/2024

    I feel that the live export trade would be more acceptable if the general public could see the benefits to the end user.We know that there are numerous reason why our trading partners overseas require live produce but the humanitarian aspect is not explored & showcased.Just a thought.

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