Prestigious Merial Howard W Yelland Award to Dr Hans-Ulrich Graser and Christian Duff

The 2014 Merial Howard W Yelland Award for service to the Australian beef industry was presented to two outstanding contributors to the improvement of Australia’s beef industry, Dr Hans-Ulrich Graser and Christian Duff.

The award is presented by the Australian Beef Industry Foundation (ABIF) in conjunction with Marcus Oldham College, Geelong and is supported by Merial Australia.

The award was presented to Dr Hans-Ulrich Graser in recognition of his contribution to the Australian Beef Industry as a pioneer in the development, implementation and adoption of the national genetic evaluation scheme known as Breedplan.

His commitment to providing a strong connection between the animal breeders and geneticists both in Australia and internationally has ensured that the genetic evaluation systems for livestock production in this country have been at the forefront of world’s best practice.

Based at the Animal Genetics and Breeding unit in Armidale, Hans Graser has provided leadership and vision for over 20 years for the research team in the development and promotion of the national genetic evaluation system for the Australian beef industry

In presenting the second award Sam Inglis, Director of Corporate Training Marcus Oldham College and Chair of the Selection panel said “Christian Duff receives our award tonight in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the Australian beef industry through the introduction of new genetic improvement technologies and his contribution to the continuing development and extension of Breedplan in his role as National Manager of Beef Breeding extension in Australia. His particular focus has been the introduction of these new technologies to the beef industry in Northern Australia – a challenge in itself given the extensive and diverse nature of the northern industry. In addition to his role as National Manager of beef breeding extension – Christian Duff has been at the forefront of the development and adoption of a quality assurance scheme for the certification of live cattle exported for breeding. This “export for breeding’” industry has a landed value in excess of $100 million per year thus enhancing Australia’s reputation as an exporter of quality breeders.”

Mr Inglis said “With continued support by Merial our award is made annually in recognition of Howard W Yelland, a pioneer in the industry through his championing of objective selection and performance recording in the Australian Beef Industry which spanned a lifetime”.

The Merial Howard Yelland Beef Industry award seeks to recognise individuals who have demonstrated leadership and given service to the Beef Industry “above and beyond” their normal role. Selection criteria for the award includes: Recognition of extent of their contribution to the Australian beef industry; Recognition of their contribution both nationally and internationally; Leadership role as a change agent; and Contribution above their normal role in the industry.

Sam Inglis, Christian Duff, Ivan Pyke, Sales Manager, Merial Australia and John Gunthorpe, Chairman, ABIF

Pictured: Sam Inglis, Marcus Oldham College; Christian Duff; Ivan Pyke, Sales Manager, Merial Australia; and John Gunthorpe, Chairman ABIF.

Contact: John Gunthorpe, Chairman ABIF
E: T: 0400 403 456

Jason Strong awarded ABIF Life Membership

The Board of the Australian Beef Industry Foundation (ABIF) have conferred Life Membership on Jason Strong, CEO of AACo, in recognition of his many years as ABIF Chairman.

In making the presentation at a dinner at Marcus Oldham College on 01st July the current ABIF Chairman John Gunthorpe said “ABIF is in debt to the years of effort Jason gave to our Foundation in providing scholarships and other activities to inspire careers in the beef industry.”

“Our board in awarding this Life membership to Jason recognised the difficult circumstances voluntary board members face when giving of their time to a charity such as ABIF and the zeal and commitment Jason demonstrated in leading our company. “

“Jason has now taken on a role to lead Australia’s largest beef company. Our board wishes Jason every success and are confident that he will perform this role with the same zeal and commitment displayed in his time with us” Mr Gunthorpe said.

The ceremony to award Jason Strong with Life Membership was conducted as part of the Marcus Oldham Rural Leadership Program.

In accepting the award Mr Strong said “There is no service more rewarding than providing young members of our industry with the ability to expand their knowledge and networks in the formative period of their development. My career was changed when I won a scholarship to the United States and spent some time with a meat scientist understanding the US grading system.”

“This motivated me to return to Australia and devote the next few years of my career to developing a meat grading system reflecting eating quality for our consumer. This resulted in my becoming part of the team that formulated Meat Standards Australia. I encourage all here to find their special area of interest within our industry and follow your passion.”

Mr Strong was the honorary guest speaker at the event attended by ABIF board members and scholars of the leadership program, including seven scholars sponsored by ABIF. In his presentation Mr Strong discussed the qualities needed to lead Australia’s largest beef producer, AACo.

Jason Strong, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, Australian Agricultural Company with John Gunthorpe, Chairman, ABIF

Pictured: Jason Strong, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, Australian Agricultural Company with John Gunthorpe, Chairman ABIF

Contact: John Gunthorpe, Chairman ABIF
T: 0400 403 456

ABIF Awards Seven Scholarships to attend Marcus Oldham Rural Leadership Program

The Australian Beef Industry Foundation (ABIF) are pleased to have supported seven scholars again this year to attend the 2014 Marcus Oldham Rural Leadership Program.

“Sponsorship of our programs by Fairfax Agricultural Media, HV McKay Charitable Trust and Centralian Beef Breeders Association have made it possible to provide the 2014 Scholarships” ABIF Chairman John Gunthorpe said when reflecting on the scholarships today.

The ABIF scholars attending Marcus Oldham Rural Leadership Program this year were:-

HV McKay Charitable Trust Scholars: Kylie Stretton, Charters Towers, QLD; and Aleisha Finger, Dysart, QLD

Centralian Beef Breeders Association Scholars: Hamish Lee-Warner, Minderoo Station, WA

Fairfax Agricultural Media Scholars: Richard Sutton, King Island, TAS; Jim Guilfoyle, Kyneton, VIC; Meg Bell, Millicent, SA; and Rich Trigg, Adelong, NSW

“These seven scholars joined an impressive alumni of young people who attended the Marcus Oldham Leadership Program and are now making an important contribution to Australia’s agriculture” Mr Gunthorpe said.

The 2014 Marcus Oldham Rural Leadership Program ran 30th June to 04th July and is an intensive five-day workshop conducted on the college campus at Geelong. The prestigious leadership program assists young people by enhancing their personal development and leadership abilities to equip them in taking leadership roles in the agricultural sector. For young people involved in agriculture the course also provides excellent opportunities to network with other future leaders.

Fairfax Agricultural Media ABIF Scholarship recipient Jim Guilfoyle, Livestock Procurement Manager for Coles Supermarkets said “I was very impressed with the quality of the program particularly the calibre of the guest speakers and the diversity of the participants. The week was interactive, challenging and directly applicable to the modern agricultural industry”.

“The Marcus Oldham Rural Leadership Program provided an excellent networking opportunity. Participants gathered from across the country and all sectors of the agricultural industry including truffle farming, cotton, agribusiness and beef, and all up and coming leaders of their sector. I would highly recommend this program to anyone wanting to improve their leadership skills and thank Fairfax Agricultural Media and ABIF for the opportunity to attend” Mr Guilfoyle said.

ABIF Sponsored and delegates

Pictured: ABIF delegates with scholarship recipients

Meg Bell, Millicent SA; Lyn Davies, Director ABIF Education Fund; Jim Guilfoyle, Coles Supermarkets Victoria; Kylie Stretton, Charters Towers Queensland; Michael Pointer, past Director ABIF; Richard Sutton, King Island Tasmania; Aleisha Finger, Dysart Queensland; Jason Strong, CEO AACo; John Gunthorpe, Chairman ABIF; Brian Mobbs, Life Member ABIF; Rich Trigg, Adelong, NSW; Sam Inglis, Director of Corporate Training Marcus Oldham College ; Simon Falkiner, Director ABIF Education Fund; Ivan Pyke, Sales Manager Merial Australia; Hamish Lee-Warner, Minderoo, WA.

Contact: John Gunthorpe, Chairman ABIF


T: 0400 403 456

Foundation seeking levy funds to urge students into beef careers by James Nason

Senators at a public hearing in Albury this week were urged to support a recommendation calling for one percent of annual Grassfed cattle levy revenue to be diverted into a foundation to encourage more young students to pursue a career in the beef industry.

Scholarship Application Open to Marcus Oldham Rural Leadership Programme June 2014

Are you tomorrow’s leader in the Australian Beef Industry? Do you know someone who will be a leader tomorrow in the Australian Beef Industry? If you answered yes to either of these questions, then the Australian Beef Industry Foundation (ABIF) together with Fairfax Rural Media (Fairfax) are offering the opportunity for two people involved in the beef supply chain, aged between 21 and 40 to attend a one-week Marcus Oldham Rural Leadership program at the Marcus Oldham College in Geelong, Victoria at the end of next month.

Who is eligible?
• Applicants must be between the ages of 21-40 years in the year the scholarship is awarded.
• Applicants must be an Australian citizen.
• Preference will be given to those in or going into commercial cattle production

Conditions of applications
• Applicants must be available to attend the course 29th June to 4th July this year.
• An applicant who has previously attended the Marcus Oldham Leadership Course in this or any other capacity is ineligible for this scholarship.

Administration of scholarship
• ABIF and Fairfax will be offering financial support and Marcus Oldham College providing the course.
• ABIF and Fairfax will form a panel of independent local people to assess the applications.
• The panel members must not be related by family or employment to the applicants.

Selection process
• All applications will be strictly confidential.
• Assessment of all criteria will provide information toward selection.
• If in the opinion of the selection panel no suitable application is received, the scholarship will not be awarded.
• The decision of the panel will be final and a majority ruling applies.

Selection criteria– please limit responses to approx. 150 words
1. History of education and/or employment.
2. Explain how this course would be useful in your current and/or future work plans
3. How can you see yourself using the skills learnt in this course to benefit the beef industry, and/or its people and
/or your community?
4. Any other information about yourself you think we should know about to help your application.

Additional information:
• Name:
• Date of birth:
• Copy of proof of Australian residency: (birth certificate, passport etc..)
• Phone number:
• Email address:
• Current postal and living address:
• Current employer’s name and work address:

Details of the program are available at

If you would like to discuss the opportunity please call John Gunthorpe, Chairman of ABIF on 0400 403 456.

Closing date: COB Thursday 19th June 2014

All applicants will be advised of the outcome so that arrangements can be made.

Simon Gubbins Scholarship awarded to a bright young star of the Beef Industry.

The Simon Gubbins Scholarship for 2014 has been awarded to Alice Lodge from Gerogery West in New South Wales. Alice is a fourth year student at University of New England, studying a Bachelor of Agricultural Science majoring in plant production. In addition to this Alice is involved in a number of agricultural groups with a focus on youth activities. Namely, Alice is the vice chairperson for the Angus Youth Roundup 2015.

Alice is thrilled to be given the opportunity to travel to Lincoln University to study, with her grandfather being an ex Lincoln student and also having roots in New Zealand.
“I am so excited to be awarded the Simon Gubbins scholarship and would like to thank the Gubbins family for their investment in my future”, Alice said.

Sponsored by the Old Murroa Partnership, the Simon Gubbins Scholarship provides annually an Australian student with the opportunity to study a Degree or Diploma of Agriculture course at the prestigious Lincoln University in New Zealand. The Scholarship is also open to a student looking to undertake post graduate study.

The Gubbins family, Old Murroa Partnership, Hamilton, Victoria are once again proud to be sponsoring the scholarship. Named after the late Simon Gubbins, Jenny and John Gubbins said, “We feel this is something Simon would be very happy with”.

Simon’s sister Georgina was a member of this year’s interview panel and said, “The standard of applicants was high but Alice stood out as the applicant with a rich passion for the industry and engaging youth. We feel that Alice will gain a wealth of experience in New Zealand and importantly will in future be a leader in Australian Agriculture”.

Simon Gubbins studied agriculture at Lincoln College (now Lincoln University) in New Zealand, was awarded a Nuffield Scholarship in 1997 and went on to serve on the selection panel for that scholarship.

“Simon was a very strong supporter of ABIF and its aims of inspiring beef industry careers, and was one of the first seedstock breeders in Australia to donate the proceeds from the sale of a bull at his annual sale to ABIF” Frank Archer, ABIF director said.

This scholarship represents a once in a lifetime opportunity for Alice. Lincoln University is widely recognised as one of the world’s leading agricultural educational institutions. Lincoln University is situated in the middle of the Canterbury Plains, a rich agricultural production area and home to many of New Zealand and the world’s most innovative producers. “Alice will not only receive a tertiary education but will be engaged in a life changing experience”, Frank Archer concluded.

Contact: Frank Archer Director- Australian Beef Industry Foundation


Mobile: 0417 506 163

Contact: Alice Lodge Scholarship Recipient


Mobile: 0400 536 055

Contact: Georgina Gubbins Representative- Gubbins Family


Mobile: 0417 311 561