Producer nominees for MLA Board Selection Committee announced

Beef Central, 02/11/2017

Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) has this morning announced the nominees to fill three producer representative positions on the MLA Board Selection Committee at this year’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) to be held as part of Red Meat 2017 in November in Alice Springs.

The role of the Selection Committee is to call for applications, review, interview and then report to members on the suitability of candidates for election to the MLA Board.

The Committee is currently made up of two non-voting MLA Directors, three representatives nominated by producer peak councils and four producer members who have been directly elected by MLA members – one sheepmeat, one grainfed cattle and two grassfed cattle representatives.

This year, MLA members have the opportunity to directly elect three producer representatives to the MLA Board Selection Committee for a three-year term, from nominees from three producer categories:

One grassfed cattle representative from:

  • Ron Barnacle
    Peter Quinn
    Mike Decman
    Liz Allen
    Olivia Lawson

One grainfed cattle representative:

  • Tony Fitzgerald

One sheepmeat representative:

  • Jane Kellock

More information on each of the candidates  below.

MLA members not voting in person at MLA’s AGM are reminded to return their Voting entitlement and proxy form so MLA receives it no later than 3.30pm (Northern Territory time) on Monday 20 November 2017 to ensure they are able to exercise their full voting entitlement.

For more information on MLA’s 2017 AGM, including information on the Board Selection Committee, please visit

Grassfed cattle representative nominees

Ron Barnacle
Mr Barnacle is a semi-retired company director with a 900+ acre cattle property in South Gippsland he has operated commercially for 17 years. The farm is focused on vealer production and raising dairy heifers, carrying up to 700 head. He holds qualifications in psychology, marketing and communications and is an Honourary Fellow of the Advertising Institute of Australia. Mr Barnacle has experience spanning marketing and advertising, company valuations, acquisitions and a range of board positions. He is a past director of the Clemenger Communications Group, past President of TaskForce and his local Landcare group and is currently a director of Global Renewable Solutions, several medical companies and Arts Exhibitions Australia. With his considerable experience evaluating and appointing directors to both commercial and charitable organisations as well as being a long-term member of MLA and participant in MLA programs, Mr Barnacle understands the role and purpose of boards and the expectations of directors and seeks the opportunity to join MLA’s Selection Committee.

Peter Quinn
Mr Quinn has been a grassfed beef producer for over 35 years. He is a third generation beef producer and Managing Director of Essex Grazing Company, based at ‘Essex’ Middlemount, central Queensland. Along with his wife and family, he runs a 8,000 head crossbred breeding and fattening operation across four grazing BMP-accredited properties in central Queensland where the focus is on the sustainable grassfed production of a quality beef article targeting the grassfed MSA, EUCAS and PCAS markets accordingly. Mr Quinn has previously served as a director on AgForce Cattle Board and various other committees relating to the beef industry and considers he could make a good contribution to the MLA’s Selection Committee on behalf of cattle producers.

Mike Decman QCA, MAICD, AdvDip Bldg
Mr Decman is a cattle producer and proprietor of a number of properties with over 50 years’ experience in business including primary production, cattle production, high risk services to national companies and commercial building companies and was a qualified trainer and Chairman of Master Builders Qld – Institute of Building Consultants. Mike is a Director of three personal companies and undertakes ongoing education in his professions. He was an electoral college representative for Master Builders for many years and undertakes regular consultation and advocacy for industry and primary production assisting with change and input to government and local authority areas since the 80s. Mr Decman will bring regional representation, leadership and focus to the position with substantial and broad business experience. He is reliable and involved, with proven attendance and commitment to major organisational positions and will actively promote MLA and its focus. He demonstrates good business acumen, strategies and knowledge across a wide range of industries and community interests. Having been elected by peers to industry, he is committed to the positions he holds and ensuring member benefits appropriate to industry are delivered with good governance.

Liz Allen BA, Dip Agribusiness Administration
Ms Allen is a consultant and partner in the family grazing business running stud and commercial Santa Gertrudis cattle in Queensland’s central-west. From 2007 to 2014, Ms Allen worked for MLA in a variety of roles including Innovation Development Manager and Producer and Research Extension Manager – Beef. With lifelong involvement in the red meat industry, her previous roles also include policy management positions with AgForce Queensland, the RNA as well as working for FS Falkiner & Sons and AACo. Ms Allen has significant experience in research and development, broad commercial experience in northern grassfed beef production and specialist skills in the delivery of beef research and adoption programs, including those designed to serve the National RD&E strategy for Beef Production. Ms Allen is a Councillor of The Royal National Agricultural and Industrial Association of Queensland (RNA), a member of the Western Queensland Beef Research and CCA Research, Development and Adoption Committees. Ms Allen wishes to advise MLA members that she is currently engaged with MLA to evaluate MLA’s EDGE network suite of producer workshops (finishes December 2018). A passionate advocate of the red meat industry and Rural Research and Development Corporations, Ms Allen would be most honoured to serve on the Selection Committee.

Olivia Lawson B Applied Science (Agriculture)
Ms Lawson has broad experience in beef breeding, marketing and financial management. She works with beef producers from all states and territories and has international relations and trade experience. Ms Lawson is a Co-Director and owner of two livestock genetics companies – Paringa Livestock Pty Ltd and Paringa Genetics Pty Ltd. Ms Lawson has a desire to be further engaged in the red meat industry and contribute to its strategic direction by assisting in the selection process of the MLA Board; ensuring it is both balanced, knowledgeable and of adequate industry participation and experience. She is currently a member of Cattle Council of Australia, Australian Women in Agriculture, Angus Australia, Charolais Society of Australia and Yea River Landcare Group (winning the Landcare 2013 Sustainable Farming Award for waterway and remnant vegetation protection, and grazing management). Ms Lawson shares an alliance with Rissington Cattle Company NZ and Leachman Cattle Company USA.

Grainfed cattle representative nominee

Tony Fitzgerald
Mr Fitzgerald graduated Emerald Agricultural College in Animal Husbandry and Engineering and has Diplomas in Agriculture and Business Management. He began his career with Stanbroke within the Brahman Breeding division. Mr Fitzgerald then went on to manage the agricultural assets of a Japanese company which undertook mixed farming, cattle breeding, lot feeding and beef processing. During this period, he sat on the Board of the Australian Wagyu Association for five years and was President for two of these. In 2010 Mr Fitzgerald joined Elders Meat & Livestock Trading as Manager of their Killara feedlot at Quirindi, NSW and also sits on the board of Elders Indonesia, a feedlot and meat distribution business. He has been a Director of ALFA since December 2011 and has special responsibilities as Environment Committee Chair, Member of the Executive, Feed Commodities& Nutrition and Feedlot Management Committee. Mr Fitzgerald is keen to represent the grainfed industry and give guidance to MLA’s Selection Committee on the needs of the grainfed sector.

Sheepmeat representative nominee

Jane Kellock
Ms Kellock has had a lifetime involvement with the sheep industry and is currently a Director of Kellock Farming. She has been a part of the South Australian Blueprint group and has been selected as the Regional Chair of the South Australian Committee of SAMRC. Ms Kellock has been an active member of the MLA Selection Committee for the past three years, has a good understanding of what is required in a strong board member and what the issues are for the industry. She is very passionate about the sheep industry and wants to ensure that industry has the absolute best people for the role on the Board. Ms Kellock believes it is essential that we have people with integrity, leaders in their field and passion for the industry to grow.


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