What's Your Beef
By Beef Australia
What's Your BeefJun 24, 2021
Making Better Choices with Michael Patching
When Michael Patching was mulling over his career choices as a teenager, morality and a passion around animal production were at the centre of his decisions. Initially settling on a veterinarian degree, Michael has spent the years since travelling the world with various roles in the beef industry. He's a fierce advocate for helping farmers and abattoirs to improve animal welfare outcomes, whether that be through investment in training, technology or innovation. More recently he's taken up a stakeholder engagement and ambassador role with Better Choices, a self certified community of livestock farmers, industry individuals and organisations who are committed to improving welfare outcomes through pain mitigation.
Bringing home the beef with Luke Leyson
They call it the Olympics of meats and you're invited to a friendly showdown at Beef2024! Every two years, over a hundred of the World’s best butchers converge on a host country to battle it out in interesting cuts and innovative ways to present meat in the most tantalising way at the World Butcher’s Challenge. The captain of the 2024 Australian team is Adelaide’s Luke Leyson and what better way to warm the team up for the 2024 World Butcher's Challenge in France than a friendly appearance at Beef2024? In this episode we hear from Luke - what made him pick up a butcher’s knife to start with (not his Mum’s cooking) and how he is preparing his team to bring home the beef at Beef2024.
Under the Soil Surface with Hamish Webb
Carbon is no longer a buzz word in modern beef businesses- it’s here to stay. But many producers and land owners are still in murky territory around their understanding of the applications to our businesses. Luckily we have enough early adopters that have led the charge and can explain the situation. Hamish Webb is the CEO of Precision Pastures and a beef producer in New South Wales’ Northern Tablelands. In the latest episode of 'What's Your Beef', Hamish talks about grappling with difficult truth around the health of the soil on their property and how he and his wife Jess have asked the tough questions around what role the carbon industry has and how to apply it to their place.
Exploring Central Queensland's Premier Cattle Properties
One of the jewels in the Beef Australia crown is the Westpac Property Tours. There’s another stellar lineup of properties for the 2024 event and in this episode we’ll meet two of the owners opening their front gates for visitors; Justine and Matt McLeod at Lake Pleasant, Goovigen and Ainsley and Rob McArthur at Mystery Park, St Lawrence. As a property tour guest, you will experience firsthand some of Northern Australia’s premier properties, and why the Rockhampton region is acknowledged as the true Beef Capital of Australia. Tune in to the latest episode of What's Your Beef, supported by Better Choices as we explore some of Central Queensland's premier cattle properties.
Pitch In The Paddock
Beef Australia's Pitch In The Paddock Competition is one of the most hotly contested competitions in the industry. Finalists have precious minutes to captivate the hearts, minds and hip pockets of judges with slick pitches and innovative ideas. With applications for the 2024 Competition opening on the 16th November, we took the opportunity to catch up with some of the winners and finalists from Beef2018 and Beef2021 to learn more about what the competition is all about and what some of the success stories have been since, many citing the mentorships, collaborations, networks and experience gained through Pitch In The Paddock vital for getting their product or innovation off the ground. Tune in as we chat to Beef Australia Board Director and Communications Specialist, Jess Webb who was instrumental in the development of the Pitch In The Paddock Program, Co-Founder of ProAgni and Beef2018 Pitch In The Paddock winner Fiona Soulsby and Queensland Grazier and Beef2021 Pitch In The Paddock finalist Rob Stewart.
Selecting the Beef Genetics of the Future
It’s not often you can find animal scientists performing award winning musical paraody videos on YouTube, but in the modern world- mythbusting is every bit in the job description of science extension. It takes a special combination of humour and intelligence to get the combination right. Alison Van Eeneennaam is a cooperative extension specialist in the Department of Animal Science at the University of California, Davis and runs the animal Genomics and Biotechnology Laboratory, but is currently completing a secondment with the Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation or QAAFI, looking into genome editing. Tune in to the latest episode of What's Your Beef as we explore how Alison is exploring some of the cutting edge research going into advancing the beef breed in genomics, with a very refreshing take on communicating complex science information.
Bettering the Beef Industry
There is something about Chloe Gould's commitment to bettering the beef industry for everyone from paddock to plate that is infectious. As the chair of Beef Australia's 2024 Next Gen Committee, Chloe and her team are steaming ahead with a program that will entertain, engage, inform and delight, including some new and exciting online events being rolled out in the lead up to Beef2024. Chloe is currently the Strategic Initiatives Manager for Greenham, after a number of other roles with Meat and Livestock Australia and Teys Australia. Chloe is also a past Beef Australia Graeme Acton Beef Connections Program mentee, an experience she sights as being pivotal to her career successes. Tune into the latest episode of What's Your Beef as we chat to Chloe about where her passion for the red meat industry was sparked, the importance she places on listening to consumers in order for the beef industry to survive, why mentoring is key and sneak peak into what's in store for the 2024 Beef Australia Next Gen Program at Beef2024.
Dreaming of an inclusive Australia
20 years ago, Nhaya Nicky Hatfield, a proud Darumbul woman from Central Queensland and her husband Trevor took a vow they were no longer going to speak their language in secret. They wanted to use it not only to preserve their culture within their family, but bring the wider community of Australia together. It’s their ethos of inclusiveness and sharing of ideas across cultures that has made Nhaya, or Aunty Nicky an icon in Rockhampton.
In this episode Aunty Nikki talks about what reconciliation means to her- and how language is central to how it will work. It’s also her story… of growing up on country, and the passion she has for teaching as well as her community and the lands in which she lives. We also talk about how she’s turned her experiences of racism on their head and the fact that despite eating it for most of her life, she still finds cooking with beef mince irresistible.
Seed to Success, Shaping Investments in Agriculture
The Beef Australia event has long been hailed as the epicenter of innovation and business for the global beef industry. Nathan McPhee attended Beef21 with a seed of an idea for a beef business, but after a chance encounter with some industry leaders, the idea blossomed into what’s now a world first in farming investment through his app Invest Inya Farmer. Attending Beef Australia’s study tour to the USA, he says the experience not only opened doors for his business, but he learnt more in the few weeks travelling with industry peers, than he would in a couple of years researching from the comfort of his desk. In this episode of What’s Your Beef, Nathan outlines his passion for connecting farmers with consumers and how his experience with the Tech and Innovation Hub at Beef21 opened doors for his current business Invest Inya Farmer.
Finding a Voice in Ag
When Adam Coffey finished school, he seriously toyed with the idea of becoming a chef but skip forward a couple of decades and he and his wife Jacynta are instead more interested in producing what goes onto your plate at a grassroots level. Having done a ringer’s apprenticeship across various parts of Australia, the high school sweethearts from Tasmania eventually settled in Central Queensland, rejuvenating an old forestry block into a stellar example of regenerative farming practices. In this episode of What’s your Beef, Adam outlines what he thinks are the greatest challenges for our beef industry around engagement and education. He also talks about the evolving use of social media to reach outside agricultural echo chambers.
The Sky is the Limit for Agriculture with Luke Chaplain
Luke Chaplain is a fourth-generation grazier from Cloncurry in Northwest Queensland with a big passion for developing UAV’s. After purchasing a drone on a study trip in Hong Kong in 2017, he began investigating its functions and capabilities which soon led to a solid business idea. He was later awarded a Nuffield Scholarship which led to funding for trails from MLA and the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries. Fast forward a few years and that business idea has evolved into a successful business now known as @SkyKelpie, providing innovative musting and farming solutions, particularly to those struggling with labour shortages.
Luke shares his passion for his creation, his journey as a start-up in the Ag Tech and Innovation space and how Sky Kelpie is providing the industry with cost saving benefits, higher productivity, and increased safety for livestock producers in the latest episode of What’s Your Beef.
Commercial Cattle Chair - Angus Creedon
The Beef Australia Commercial Cattle Championship is a hotly contested highlight on the event’s calendar, with record entries expected across all categories. For next year’s event, there’s a new chair Angus Creedon, who is StockCo’s Business Development manager, based in Rockhampton. A Central Queensland boy at heart, Angus has spent time all over the State in a variety of roles, eventually returning to the Beef Capital to raise his young family. In the latest episode of What's Your Beef, Angus goes through some of the exciting new additions to the competition as well as some of his own personal motivations to be involved in the Australian beef industry, including an adoration of the Brahman breed.
The history of Beef Australia's International Program
With the return of international visitors to the 2024 event, the Beef Australia International Program and Handshakes Program will once again be taking center stage, connecting the global beef industry in Rockhampton. In the latest episode of What's Your Beef, we catch up with Peter Milne who was the driving force behind the inclusion of an international program in the Beef events. While being in the industry for decades, it was previous roles in industry bodies including the President of Cattle Council of Australia that gave Peter the idea and network to bring people from across the world to do business in person at the events. Tune in as we head back to our roots with Peter and Beef Australia's International Coordinator Jackie Kyte, and chat about how the International Program and Handshakes Program came about and how you can best get involved in 2024.
The countdown is on to Beef2024!
“It’s a movement that the whole nation will again turn the spotlight on to Rockhampton and the beef community. It’s a story of good people, coming together in the pursuit of something that they love. From all walks of life right here in the heart of cattle country, right here in Regional Queensland, we will again deliver one of the greatest events the globe has ever seen...”.Those are the words of Beef Australia Chair Bryce Camm officially launching the 2024 event. Which can only mean one thing, we’re officially less than 12-months away before the gates are thrown open again to bring together the beef community from across the world. Almost 200 people gathered in Rockhampton to officially mark one year to go, celebrating the coming together of plans and ideas and to get a taste of the big changes coming. Join us in the latest What’s Your Beef episode as we chat to some of the voices who joined us at the event and are involved in the planning of Beef2024.
This Is A Conversation Starter with Jason Banks
There wouldn't be many people in Australia who haven't been impacted directly or indirectly by mental health, and the rural community is certainly no exception. For many people who do struggle, the hardest thing in the world is to talk about it, but fortunately our amazing service providers are arming the community at large with ways that we can help. In the latest episode of What's Your Beef, we have an all important and very real conversation with Jason Banks, the Head of Partnerships at This is A Conversation Starter to do just that, to start the conversation and help break the stigma around talking about mental health. *Disclaimer: This episode talks about mental health issues with mentions of suicide.
Looking forward, looking back with Louise Joyce and Peter and Nikki Mahony
The Gyranda Santa Gertrudis stud in Queensland’s Arcadia Valley has long been synonymous with the cutting edge of Australian beef innovation, under the stewardship of Burnett and Louise Joyce, and more recently with their daughter Nikki and her husband Pete Mahony. Not only do the family and the business prioritise innovation and the constant improvement of genetics, landscape and their people, but for generations they’ve committed to giving back to the broader industry and community through various roles. In this episode, Louise, Nikki and Peter talk about transitioning the business, Burnett's legacy and the challenges facing the broader industry and how to turn them into genuine opportunities.
Making her mark, in and out of the paddock with Prue Bonfield
Prue Bonfield is no stranger to the Australian beef industry, having built Palgrove into one of the most successful seedstock businesses in the country, together with her husband David. The pair have spent their careers doggedly pursuing genetic supremacy in their animals suited to a variety of clients. In the last few years, they’ve taken a step back from the business after it was sold to the New Zealand Superannuation fund - instead concentrating on other industry roles, family and spending more time in their home at Dalveen in Southern Queensland. In this episode, Prue speaks candidly about how she made a role for herself in the business and how building a successful beef business isn’t always done from the paddock.
Taking Methane Out of the Paddock with Sam Elsom
From designing high end T-shirts to growing high end seaweed… Sam Elsom has had a career change that’s been every bit dramatic as it’s been rewarding. As an environmentalist, Sam and his business partner Stephen Turner are determined to combat climate change in meaningful and scalable ways. So, they’ve created @SeaForest, the first company in the world to cultivate asparagopsis at a commercial scale, supplementing cattle and sheep to cut methane emissions by over 90% in some cases. But how has the industry reacted? And what has the take up by producers been like?
Black Rock Beef Co - Casey Bowie and Sara Anning
From sharing a childhood to cramped living quarters, then to a business, sisters Casey Bowie and Sara Anning are the gold star example of making family businesses work. The dynamic duo grew up around Western Queensland’s Hughenden district and have built a paddock to plate frozen food business called Black Rock Beef Co.
In this episode we delve into how they built their business and what is slowing up their distribution- the reason will surprise you! They also give a very candid reason why the storytelling aspect of the beef supply chain is an elephant in the room for the industry.
David Hill - Beef24's National Beef Carcase Competition Chair
Beef Australia’s National Beef Carcase Competition is one of the most anticipated competitions within the industry. With fierce competitors from around the country, Committee Chair David Hill says there’s an unprecedented number of processing plants involved with the competition for Beef24, as well as some new categories involved in the competition.
In this episode hear from David, whose industry experience and family’s commitment to breeding high quality beef has seen him at the forefront of some of Australia’s most innovative approaches to meat grading.
James Kent - Beef 2024 Stud Cattle Committee Chair
Preparations for Beef 2024’s stud cattle program are in full swing, with the new committee having met for the first time. James Kent is a beef producer from Queensland’s Callide Valley and has taken on the role of Chairperson. He’s delighted with the team tasked to bring the centre ring alive, with the best of what the Australian stud stock industry has to offer. In this episode listen to a little about James and what has motivated him to join the Beef 2024 committee, including some of the challenges and excitement ahead for the committee.
David Foote - Cattle Australia's new Chair
David Foote has spent an inordinate amount of time in the Australian beef industry, with at least 20 years at the helm of Australian Country Choice. He’s forged relationships, ideas, and directed many a difficult conversation to the betterment of his business and the industry. He’s also the inaugural chair of the newly formed Cattle Australia. He’s taken on the role fully aware of the challenges ahead, but with the upmost respect for the industry and its sustainable and successful future. He sees his role as a new opportunity to help represent the beef industry’s 40,000 cattle producers, managing 28 million cattle across 300 million hectares, and generating $7 billion for the Australian economy. This episode covers David’s strategies for taking the industry forward and how the new board intend to deal with the controversies surrounding its formation.
Brigid Price - Building Stronger Bush Connections
It’s been a couple of decades since Brigid Price appeared on the first episode of Farmer Wants a Wife, and not only did she snag a country boy (not while on the show), but is now a vital part of a successful family beef business.
Brigid, her husband Owen and three children manage an organic beef business in Central Queensland. In this episode we discover Brigid’s hilarious introduction to bush ‘lingo’, how she moulded their business to include her impressive commerce and HR skills, and how she is determined to build and nurture meaningful relationships in the bush through her website www.ruralresources.com.au. Besides playing an active role in the beef business, Brigid is also committed to her local and extended community, reflected by her various awards such as 2019 Citizen of the Year, Maranoa Regional Council, the 2018 Australia Day Award – Member Contribution, Maranoa Regional Council and 2017 QRRRWN Strong Women Leadership Award, Volunteer of the Year. She’s also just completed the Australian Rural Leadership Program, and the National Farmer’s Federation Diversity in Agricultural Leaders Program.
Moira Lanzarin - Pioneering holisitic management in the Northern Territory
Moira Lanzarin is a fourth-generation grazier from the Northern Territory. Moira’s story starts in the basalt country of North Queensland where her deep love and understanding of country and cattle was ignited. A move to the Territory in the early 90s with her parents Mike and Clair O’Brien and her three siblings meant building a stud business together in a completely different landscape, but with modern ideas to land management.
Moira manages the family company’s stud and beef operations in the Northern Territory and has been instrumental in introducing Holistic Management to the NT. Her contributions to Regional Australia have been recognized by receiving the Centenary Medal for Services to Regional Australia (2003); NT Young Cattleman (2011); being named NT Rural Woman of the Year (Runner up 2009); and NT Young Australian of the Year (1998).
Celebrating Beef's Volunteers with Don Bellert and Alice Kelly
The loyalty and camaraderie of producers and patrons to the Beef Australia event is well recognised, but what about the volunteers? There’s about 150 people that give up their time to assist attendees to find their forums, get on their tour bus or find the perfect place to get a bite to eat and they adore the event just as much as the ticketholders.
Alice Kelly and Don Bellert have volunteered since the first Beef in 1988 mainly to keep in touch with old bush friends and over 30 years later they are just as excited about the event and are counting down until Beef24.
Meet the man behind Australia's largest Brahman Stud, Rodger Jefferis
The Jefferis family are synonymous with the Brahman breed. Having notched up a multitude of trophies over their long association with the Beef Australia event, they have a deep affection for not only the event, but the kinship it represents. Rodger and his late wife Lorena built the Elrose Stud into one of the most recognisable names in Brahman cattle. It is the biggest Brahman stud in Australia, having been built up from their Cloncurry base and more recently Central Queensland.
In the latest episode of What’s Your Beef, we catch up with Rodger over a coffee and talk all things from what growing up in Cloncurry was like, to the experience and importance of building up a purebred Brahman herd and his concentration and focus on data and genetics.
Writing her own rules
Vicki Revett can’t remember a time in her childhood when any of the adults attended a first aid course, despite them all working in the cattle industry- rife with potential accidents. Skip forward a couple of decades and the emergency nurse has taken the situation into her own hands, writing Australia’s first rurally specific first aid course and delivering it across the country. Having returned to her home turf of Alpha in Central Queensland, Vicki shares how she was lured back by love, but has forged her own destiny by preparing hundreds of Australians to save the lives of those closest to them.
Reflecting on a career like no other
In this week’s episode of What’s Your Beef, beef industry stalwart Don Heatley reflects on family, industry representation, the power of networks and dealing with absolute devastation. Don Heatley has spent decades advocating for the beef industry and representing beef producers across the world.
His passion for the beef industry stems from a childhood spent in the paddocks of his family’s North Queensland beef operation. The drive to venture into the world of agripolitics was ignited by a talkback radio session on live export- a topic that didn’t relate to his business, but certainly did to his industry. Not all his interactions have been positive - nothing could have prepared him for the extremely personal interactions with growers, politicians and industry he faced following the Australian Government’s decision to halt live export trading in 2011 when he was serving as chair of MLA.
The future of beef through a Next Gen lens
The Beef Australia Next Gen committee is one of the cornerstones of the Beef event and while the committee itself is in the very early stages of formation, it’s already attracted an exciting cohort. Callan Daley is one of them. With a real passion for the beef industry formed during a childhood on a western Queensland cattle property, Callan has gone on to represent the industry in a range of roles, including his most recent- as the Field and Operations Lead for MEQ Probe, a start-up aimed at building consistency in meat eating quality.
Career curiosity driving change and innovation
A lot has to be said for curiosity. It drives change and innovation, and as for Lisa Sharp- her whole career. Lisa is the CEO of the Hereford Society and comes from a fascinating marketing background that’s seen her digging around cereal crop fields for Uncle Toby’s and pondering the way we think about red meat marketing for Meat and Livestock Australia. She’s an energetic force to be reckoned with and as we find out in this episode, a career in food industries was the furthest thing from her mind.
Challenging Social Conventions
Dr Beth Woods has had one of those extraordinary careers that not only has crossed industries and international borders, but social conventions. Not only was she the first female extension officer in Queensland’s Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, she was the first female Rhode scholar to be announced, Queensland’s first female Director General of the Department of Agriculture and the first female Professor at University of Queensland’s Gatton campus. Now, Dr Woods is a self- employed agricultural consultant, working on everything from foreign food security to chairing the policy council for the Cattle Council of Australia and mentoring a number of up and coming producers in the Australian cattle industry.
Welcome to Beef 2024
To kick off Season 2 of ‘What’s Your Beef’, we chat to none other than Beef Australia’s CEO, Simon Irwin.
Born and raised in Warwick, Simon started his working life as a stock and station agent before moving into the media sector where he had a 30-odd year career. He’s always maintained an interest in, and connections to, the rural community and now proudly wearing his Beef Australia hat, chats to us about how the iconic event is shaping up for 2024 and gives us a little insight into some new and exciting plans.
Stud cattle showcase at Beef21
But for a lot of stud breeders, Beef Australia is more than a marketing strategy, it's a social event. The exhibitors start bumping in well before the gates officially open and their campsite is abuzz with laughter, gossip and good old fashioned breed competitiveness, kicking off with an interbreed tug of war. Listen here to hear what breed caught the attention of those outside of the Centre Ring and why. Podcast host Jayne Cuddihy also caught up with some of the seasoned Beef exhibitors and learned what goes into the preparation of their prize specimens.
Tracking the road less travelled
It doesn't matter where you're from, what background you've had, what you studied after school, there's something for everyone.
Jack Travers was one of the finalists in the Pitch in the Paddock event at Beef21 with his TruckTracker app. Solving supply chain issues in the beef industry was absolutely not what Jack thought he would be spending his time on, but here's his story.
Beef Australia Suncorp Schools Program
Generously supported by Suncorp Bank, students were captivated by the program which included everything from participating in a live cattle auction, an interactive introduction to agricultural supply system and raising the profile of the broad range of agricultural careers, and of course, icecream!
The answer is genetics
He was at Beef21 principally to talk about his latest paper; a deep dive into the Australian cattle herd: a new perspective on structure, performance and production. He and his team had realised there was a great discrepancy in what the reported size of the northern beef herd was and what is actually on the ground. What followed is ground-breaking research into the number of calf mortalities in our beef systems and how businesses can take back lost revenue by improving their genetics.
Peta's spent a lifetime in rural Queensland and has bought a wealth of knowledge and understanding to the table. Listen here as she tells Jayne Cuddihy what she sees as the major issues for modern regional banking and what this golden era of interest rates means for property purchases.
Succeeding in Succession
Call to arms
Richard Rains can.
He's been a champion of the Australian red meat industry for his entire career with boundless energy and enviable lightbulb moments. After a cadetship with Dalgety Australia he then joined meat exporting company Sanger Australia in 1976 and by 2000 he owned a majority stake in the business.
He is also keen to see more young people stand up for leadership roles in the beef industry to drive change in the way the industry communicates outside their peer groups. As he tells What's Your Beef? host Jayne Cuddihy, he believes there are some amazing emerging leaders.
Butcher Girl takes centre stage!
The beef industry has a wonderful relationship with Alison. Not only has she found a career in meat, but it's taken her around the World, showcasing Australian product to some of the planet's highest rollers in the most spectacular places. It also meant finding the love of her life, as they both wielded butcher's knives on opposite sides of the cutting bench.
What's Your Beef? host Jayne Cuddihy was lucky enough to speak to her between events at Beef21.
A Sustainable Legacy
Pitch in the Paddock at Beef21!
Show me the Beef Cheeks!
Steven Rennie is the national livestock manager for Coles Beef. The retail giant says they prefer to work with family farms and businesses citing the ability to build meaningful relationships with their suppliers and a commitment to quality and consistency.
Coles processes over half a million head of Australian cattle annually and as he told podcast host Jayne Cuddihy, it's important to him that his buyers are in the drafting yard when they are selected.
The biggest Beef yet
After such a tumultuous leadup it's hard to believe it's over, but wheels are already in motion for Beef24.
Ian Mill is Beef Australia's CEO. This was his first time in the driving seat and while he's been a long- term Rockhampton resident, he says the inner sanctum gave him a refreshed appreciation for Australia's incredible beef industry.
Making a difference with a passion for finance and fashion
Growing our Own
Making dreams a reality even when mother nature has other ideas
Smart tags to improve monitoring
Silage on the menu at Beef21
Managing Director Alex Turney leaves no stone unturned in what's involved in the production process and the benefits to cattle production. He also gives a sneak preview of their huge plans for their Beef21 site, including a fresh silage pit to touch, smell and taste!
From Rugby Caps to Boardroom Chats
After hanging up his boots, Stephen entered the corporate arena, spending three and a half years in senior positions with the North Australia Pastoral Company- or NAPCO and played a big role in putting together the Australian Beef Sustainability framework. He's currently a Principal in the client division of the Queensland Treasury Corporation. In this episode Stephen talks about everything from his proud family heritage, to his passion for the Australian beef industry and the importance of grass roots, country rugby.