People on the Move: Recent industry appointments, retirements, achievements

Jon Condon, 16/11/2015

Beef Central publishes occasional lists of appointments, departures or achievements occurring across the red meat supply chain, both private sector and government. Details for submissions for future listings are provided at the bottom of this article….

  • RMAC begins search for new CEO
  • CPC appoints new directors
  • ALFA seeks new CEO
  • AMPC elects new directors
  • Ruralco hands Dillon permanent CEO job
  • New addition to Northern Cooperative Meat Co board
  • Cattle Council welcomes new board members
  • Qld pasture pioneer calls time
  • Young Australian farmers tackle climate change in Paris


RMAC begins search for new CEO

The Red Meat Advisory Council has begun a recruitment process to appoint a new chief executive officer, following a decision by current CEO Angus Hobson to finish up at the end of this year to concentrate on his family’s grazing enterprise near Jindabyne in NSW.

Angus Hobson SAMRC

Angus Hobson

Mr Hobson has served as RMAC’s CEO since late 2010. Since that time he has instigated substantial growth in the level and professionalism of the Council’s profile and policy portfolio, and in the formalisation of RMAC’s advisory role with Government.

“Of all of Angus’ achievements during his time at RMAC, the most notable has been his leadership in developing the overarching plan for the red meat and livestock industry’s future direction, the Meat Industry Strategic Plan” RMAC chairman Ross Keane said. Click here to view a more details statement issued by RMAC.

Mr Hobson was recently announced as one of seven regional committee chairs for the new Southern Australia Meat Research Council. He will step down from his RMAC duties in January. Recruitment for his successor has started, with an ad appearing this week and next on Beef Central, and a listing on our Jobs Central recruitment page.

Consolidated Pastoral Co appoints new directors

Consolidated Pastoral Co, Australia’s largest privately-owned cattle company, has added experienced rural accountant Margaux Beauchamp to its primary board (Lake Woods Holdings).

Margaux Beauchamp

Margaux Beauchamp

Ms Beauchamp joins three new non-executive directors – Mike Kinski (Terra Firma UK), Ruhul Amin (Terra Firma UK) and chief financial officer Jim Hunter (AUS) – who have joined the LWH Board in the last three months.

An executive director with accountancy and financial advisory firm BDO, Ms Beauchamp has a diverse range of corporate and agricultural skills. She holds a Master of Commerce from UQ, a Bachelor of Agricultural Economics from UNE and numerous other industry and educational qualifications. Ms Beauchamp has been the lead on several capital raising and large-scale agricultural transactions and will contribute invaluable assistance to the continued growth of CPC, the company said. She originally grew up on her family property Stockport in Western Queensland and continues to be actively involved in the running of the business.

CPC chief executive Troy Setter said Ms Beauchamp brought with her an invaluable amount of knowledge and experience with large-scale innovative business transactions across the agricultural industry and numerous other industries.

“The industry is going through a very exciting time with unprecedented demand for Australian beef and cattle, record cattle prices in Australia and Asia and considerable new capital looking to invest in the Australian Beef Industry. Margaux is entering our business at a very exciting time where her expertise will allow us to maximise our business opportunities,” he said.

Others on the LWH board include Mark Bahen, chairman; Troy Setter, executive director and CEO; and Chris Evans, non-executive director.

Lotfeeders seeking new CEO

The peak council representing the grainfed beef industry, the Australian Lot Feeders Association, has started a recruitment process, following a decision by current CEO Dougal Gordon to move on.

Dougal Gordon

Dougal Gordon

Mr Gordon will finish up on December 18, taking up the position next year of group director – livestock systems at NSW Department of Primary Industries, where he will re-connect with former MLA managing director Scott Hansen, now CEO of NSW DPI.

Mr Gordon, who grew up on a sheep and cattle property in the New England region of northern NSW, has guided ALFA’s fortunes since 2007.

ALFA has advertised for a replacement (lodgements close November 20), and expects to finalise an appointment around year’s end.

In other ALFA staff news, former executive officer for marketing, membership services, events and industry liaison, Madie Hamilton recently finished-up, accepting a challenging new marketing position as Campaign Lead with crop-care giant, Syngenta Australasia.

AMPC elects new directors

James Campbell

James Campbell

The Australian Meat Processor Corporation has elected two new directors following recent meetings. AMPC is the Rural Research and Development Corporation that supports the red meat processing industry throughout Australia providing research, development and extension services that improve the sustainability and efficiency of the sector.

New directors appointed this year are Sanger Australia’s recently-appointed chief executive, James Campbell (NSW), and Dean Goode from Kilcoy Pastoral Co (Qld). The two new directors replace Australian Country Choice’s

Dean Goode

Dean Goode

David Foote, who has served a four year term, and Thomas Foods International’s Brian James, who has served seven terms on the board.

Returning AMPC directors include Stephen Kelly, NH Foods (chairman) Gary Hardwick (Hardwick’s Meatworks); John Berry (JBS); Simon Stahl (NCMC); and Tom Maguire (Teys Australia).

Current special qualification directors Guy Fitzhardinge (former chairman of the Beef CRC) and Peter Noble (until recently, GM Scott) will be considered again for two positions at AMPC’s upcoming AGM, together with 36 other candidates.

Ruralco hands Dillon permanent CEO job

Ruralco_Holdings_Logo_cmykRuralco has appointed Travis Dillon as chief executive after he spent the past six months leading the agribusiness on a temporary basis. Mr Dillon, who stepped up when John Maher left the company suddenly in May, has also been appointed managing director following what the company says was an extensive search.

“With his extensive knowledge of the sector, operational capabilities and strong leadership skills, Travis is well placed to lead Ruralco through its next phase of development,” Ruralco chairman Richard England said. Mr Dillon, who will relocate from Adelaide to Sydney, will receive fixed remuneration before bonuses of $750,000 from the start of his term on November 16.

New addition to Northern Cooperative Meat Co board

Following the co-op’s recent annual general meeting, experienced Northern Rivers stud and commercial cattleman Rob Sinnamon has joined the board of the Northern Cooperative Meat Co, operators of the Casino meatworks in northern NSW.

Yulgilbar's Rob Sinnamon at Brisbane show yesterday

Yulgilbar’s Rob Sinnamon

Mr Sinnamon and wife Lorraine manage the Myer family’s 14,000ha Yulgilbar Santa Gertrudis cattle operation at nearby Clarence River. The Yulgilbar Santa Stud incorporates 600 breeders, while the commercial herd of more than 2000 breeders is focused on turning off 1000 grass-finished export steers each year. Total cattle numbers are 5000 head.

Mr Sinnamon succeeds retiring NCMC director John Jackson, who was thanked by NCMC chairman John Seccombe during the recent AGM for his dedication and valuable processing and broader industry knowledge during his three years on the Board.

Cattle Council welcomes new board members

Cattle Council of Australia has welcomed four newly-appointed board members to its ranks following the 2015 annual general meeting held a week ago in Brisbane. Joining the CCA board will be Brett Hall (Tasmanian Farmers & Graziers); Tony Hegarty (NSW Farmers); Ross Peatling (NT Cattlemen’s Assn); and David Lovelock (Pastoralists and Graziers Assn of WA).

Cattle Council president and grassfed beef producer, Howard Smith said he looked forward to hearing the new board members’ opinions and ideas to benefit all grassfed beef producers. “The newly elected board members are heavily involved within the grassfed beef industry and we have assured them to be ready for a big year ahead,” Mr Smith said. Here’s a brief snapshot of the new board members:

Brett Hall CCA member Tas 2Brett Hall: Mr Hall owns and manages a cattle farming business breeding Angus cattle located in the Central Highlands district of Tasmania. He is passionate about farmers having an influence on the future direction of their industry and the opportunity to provide practical input into issues that affect rural people and their communities. He is currently chair of the Tasmanian Red Meat Council, Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture Extensive Agriculture Centre Advisory Group, CCA R&D Adoption & Sustainability committee and chairman of the Tasmanian Beef Industry Trust.

Tony Hegarty CCA member NSWTony Hegarty: Mr Hegarty runs a beef enterprise at Cassilis in the Hunter Valley of NSW. He has been involved in a range of primary production enterprises at the grassroots and business management levels in the Hunter since completing a Bachelor of Ag Science from Sydney U in 1980. He holds some 30 years extensive agricultural and environmental knowledge and experience in the Upper Hunter, along with community representation locally and throughout NSW.  He is currently on the executive council of NSW Farmers, and chairs CCA’s  R&D adoption and sustainability committee.

Ross Peatling CCA member NTRoss Peatling: Ross Peatling recently retired after a 24-year career as a senior manager with the North Australian Pastoral Company, much of it spent managing of the huge Alexandria Station in the NT. At Alex he was responsible for the management and development of a composite breed of cattle and breeding of bulls for use on Alexandria and other Napco properties. He also planned and implemented an improvement program, including the addition of more waters to build the breeding herd from 28,000 to 51,000 breeders. While at Alex he was a branch chairman for the NTCA as well as president of the Association from 1999 to 2001, before spending a decade as the NT’s Cattle Council delegate. He and his wife, Robyn now live at Allora on the Darling Downs.

David Lovelock CCA member WADavid Lovelock: Mr Lovelock operates a Brahman and Droughtmaster stud selling 100 bulls a year, plus a sheep and hay-growing enterprise at New Norcia, 130km north of Perth. He has had extensive experience over a broad range of cattle organisations throughout WA, after completing a science degree with honours at the University of WA. He has been involved with the Australian Brahman Breeders Association as a WA Councillor for 11 years and the State Branch president for 19 years.  A committee member and current President of the United Beef Breeders Association of WA, David has experience within board operations and organisational structure. He is currently the PGA of WA representative on the CCA Council and Board since 2010.

Qld pasture pioneer calls time

Internationally recognised Department of Agriculture and Fisheries pasture agronomist Dr Richard Silcock has spent half a century using his considerable skills to help build Queensland’s beef and sheep industries. Dr Silcock retired in September and was honoured for his many contributions.

Richard SilcockHis distinguished career in pasture science started at the Charleville Pastoral Laboratory in 1969. He’s witnessed many changes to the organisation, but has managed to stay focussed on conducting relevant, high quality science that has delivered improved management of Queensland’s extensive grazing land.

One of his legacies and greatest contributions is the QPastures database, information on the many pasture and forage plants collected and evaluated in the state over the past 117 years. With the recent renewed interest in improved pastures and their management, QPastures will continue to assist the beef cattle industry for years to come. Dr Silcock is widely acknowledged as a pioneer in developing an understanding of the ecological principles underpinning pasture establishment, growth and management in both native and improved pastures. He is recognised internationally as an expert on Australia’s rangelands systems, vegetation dynamics, grazing land management and native and improved pastures for extensive grazing systems.

Young Australian farmers tackle climate change in Paris

The next generation of Australian farmers is stepping up to the challenge of climate change by taking their concerns straight to Paris. 2015 Young Farmer of the Year Anika Molesworth and NSW Farmers Association Young Farmer Council chair Josh Gilbert will travel to the UN Climate Convention in Paris later this month to ensure Australia’s agricultural community has a voice at the negotiating table.

Anika Molesworth

Anika Molesworth

The entrepreneurial duo has launched a crowd funding campaign to support the trip, which will not only include the Convention and 11th Conference of Youth in Paris, but will also enable them to travel to learn from pioneering farmers in Europe already adapting by moving away from fossil fuels and embracing renewables.

Anika and Josh hope their initiative will put pressure on the Australian government to show more leadership on the issue of climate change, and raise awareness of the enormous challenges faced by Australian farmers and their communities.

“My family’s sheep farm is located in Broken Hill, where temperature extremes and droughts are having devastating impacts on production,” Anika said. “It is both heartbreaking to see our land become drier and hotter each year with global warming, and infuriating that climate change issues are not being addressed in the serious and urgent matter that is required,” she said.

Similarly, Josh Gilbert was inspired to act after years of family hardship on their cattle property in Nabiac. “I remember sitting at the dining table with my Great Grandmother who used to assure my Grandfather, Dad and I that the tough weather conditions were just a cycle. After several years of relying on this argument, there came a time when we all had to accept that the climate was changing.”

Representing those responsible for managing 60pc of Australian land (graziers), Josh and Anika are on the frontlines of climate change impacts and see it as their duty to find solutions farmers can implement back home.

“Anika and I come to Paris with fresh eyes and a fierce desire to create change,” Josh said. “We are the first generation to really understand the impacts of climate change and the last generation able to do something about it. We know that today farming is a responsibility not a right and we must be part of the climate change solution.”

Josh and Anika will depart for Paris in late November, returning mid December. To support their campaign, visit


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