Young beef producers urged to make their voice heard 24 Nov 2011

150 young cattle producers gathered in the Queensland town of Roma late last week to talk about how they can strengthen and build the profile of their industry and how they can promote it to the rest of the nation.

The Young Beef Producers Forum was coordinated by the 2011 South Australian RIRDC Rural Women’s Award runner up, Rebecca Williams who said the event focused on providing educational, networking and capacity building opportunities for those under 40 in the Australian beef industry. The Forum is now in its seventh year and this year’s theme was ‘Your Brand, Your Story, Your Industry’.

“Australia’s young beef cattle producers are committed to their industry and want to better engage and have a stronger say on the future of their industry,” Rebecca said.

“The Forum’s theme and the speakers’ messages were very contemporary and very powerful because young beef producers want to engage with both their industry and with the broader community and the social media tools now available give producers amazing opportunities to connect and to have a voice.”

Keynote speakers at the forum included:

  • Lachlan Hughes from Rangeland Quality Meats who spoke of the importance to both your business and the industry of developing your own brand and your own key messages and actively seeking out opportunities to communicate your messages and sell yourself to the broader community.

  • Dennis Hoiberg from Melbourne-based Rimfire Resources who spoke on resilience and being clear on your reasons for being involved in agriculture and the social and mental health implications of that commitment.

  • Tom Whitty, co-founder of AgChatOz who spoke on the importance of telling your story and sharing your passion for agriculture.

Rebecca Williams is the South Australian RIRDC Rural Women’s Award 2011 runner up, Managing Director of agricultural consultancy group Rustic Evolutions and Executive Officer with the Future Farmers Network. Rebecca has been involved in primary industries all her life and today, along with her husband and family, runs a significant broad acre cropping, breeding ewe, prime lamb and alpaca operation outside Koolunga in South Australia’s mid-north. 

The RIRDC Rural Women’s Award is Australia’s pre-eminent award for rural women. The Award identifies and supports emerging leaders and change agents who have the capability and resources to drive innovation, productivity and sustainability within primary industries and build resilience within rural communities. The Award is an initiative of the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation in partnership with state Departments of Agriculture and Primary Industries. The Award’s national partner is the Australian Government Department of Agriculture Fisheries and Forestry and the Award’s national sponsors are Westpac Banking Corporation, ABC Radio, and Rural Press Ltd.