Australian Beef Industry Foundation (ABIF) seeking applicants for the ANZ and ABIF Rural Leadership Scholarship

ABIF is calling for applications from those interested in pursuing leadership positions in the beef industry to apply for the ANZ/ ABIF Rural Leadership Scholarship to attend the 2013 Kellogg Rural Leaders Program at Lincoln University, Christchurch, New Zealand.

Lincoln University Agriculture faculty is world renowned for the scope of its activities. Many Australians now in industry leadership positions achieved their tertiary training at Lincoln, including those who have attended the Leaders Program.

ABIF is very fortunate to have partnered with the ANZ Bank to make this Trans Tasman scholarship available to young Australians who are keen to enhance their leadership qualifications and bring this training to bear in productive careers in Australian Agriculture, particularly in the Australian beef industry.

Full details of the scholarship are available in the accompanying advertisement and on the ABIF website at

ABIF Chairman Frank Archer, also a graduate of Lincoln University said “There are many members of the Lincoln Alumni now in leadership positions in agriculture and agribusiness in Australia, and this scholarship represents an outstanding opportunity for someone to join this cohort of contributors to a major component of the Australian national economy”.

The recipient of this scholarship will be the first Australian to attend the prestigious Kellogg Rural Leaders Program at Lincoln University.

Applications for this scholarship close on Friday 22nd September. Further information is available from

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

Future Farmers Network (FFN) ABIF Marcus Oldham Rural Leadership Program Awarded

The Future Farmers Network (FFN) and ABIF are pleased to announce Kirstie Fossett, from Queensland, as the recipient of the 2012 FFN & ABIF Marcus Oldham Scholarship. FFN  annually hosts the Young Beef Producers Forum in Roma, Queensland, and in 2011 held a successful auction to raise funds towards providing one recipient the opportunity to complete the Marcus Oldham Rural Leadership Program.


The prestigious leadership program is 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. Kirstie will attend the 2012 Program in June along with four other successful ABIF Marcus Oldham Scholars.


Kirstie is from Barmoya, Queensland and is the Central Queensland Territory Manager for Elanco Animal Health.  She is currently Chair of the Royal National Agricultural and Industrial Association of Queensland’s (RNA) Future Directions Committee and was educated at Bond University completing degrees in both commerce and sports management and from the University of Queensland a Bachelor of Applied Science (Rural and Regional Management/Animal Production). Kirstie grew up in a rural community where her parents ran a commercial beef enterprise. She is the youngest and the first female chairperson of the RNA Future Directions Committee, as well as the Chief Instructor at the Caves Pony Club and a member of the Regional Instructors Panel in Central Queensland. Her ambition is to gain leadership roles within the community and beef industry.


“The success of the agricultural industry is vitally important to me, not only because I primarily work in the beef industry, but also because of my family’s dependence on the industry, being beef producers,” Kirstie said upon accepting the scholarship.


“I am also very mindful that our industry requires effective youth advocates to increase the momentum and enthusiasm our predecessors have created and I believe that by attending the Rural Leadership Program offered by Marcus Oldham I will be able to develop the skills required for me to fulfil this role.”


The 2012 Marcus Oldham Leadership Program will run from 24th to 29th June, and is an intensive five-day workshop conducted on the college campus at Geelong. This year marks the 20th Anniversary of the College running this important program. The course dinner will be the venue for the presentation of the 2012 Merial Howard Yelland Award that recognises an individual’s outstanding contribution to Australia’s beef industry supply chain.

Pictured: FFN and ABIF Marcus Oldham Leadership Program Scholar Kirstie Fossett.

Primary Industries Education Foundation

The Primary Industries Education Foundation is a tripartite not-for-profit company limited by guarantee, formed through the collaboration of the Australian Government, primary industries organisations and the education sector.

Primary Industries Education Foundation’s vision is to be the preferred provider on credible, relevant and factual information on all matters relating to agriculture, fisheries and forestry for Australia’s teachers, students and the community.

For more information on the activities of the foundation and to read its latest newsletter, please click here.

Merial Australia to sponsor Howard Yelland Award


The Australian Beef Industry Foundation welcomes the agreement by Merial Australia to join with Marcus Oldham College and the foundation to support the Merial Howard Yelland Award for the next three years.

Mr Michael Pointer, a director of ABIF said Merial is a world leading, innovation driven animal health company. “It is entirey appropriate that the Merial Howard Yelland Award which supports and recognises individuals whose innovation and excellence have contributed nationally and internationally to the development of the Australian beef industry and its supply chain, is to be sponsored by a company such as Merial”.

Closing date for nominations is Monday, 21 May 2012.

An industry panel will select the recipient and the 2012 Merial Howard Yelland Award will be presented at the Marcus Oldham Rural Leadership Program Agribusiness Dinner on Thursday, 28 June 2012.

Nominations for the award are invited and are available on the ABIF and Marcus Oldham websites here or

Frank Archer re-appointed ABIF chairman

At the recent Annual General Meeting of the Australian Beef Industry Foundation (ABIF), the directors unanimously elected outgoing chairman Frank Archer to continue to lead the organisation.

In the only change to the board, Daryl Schipp (NSW), who has been assisting the board as treasurer, was elected as a director and treasurer following the retirement of Nick Sher.

In presenting his Chairman’s Report for the 2011 year, Mr Archer commented on the significance of the new initiatives that ABIF developed during the year under review, and he specifically mentioned: –

  • Five scholarships to the Marcus Oldham Rural Leadership Program, including one for indigenous students.
  • An annual scholarship to Lincoln University (NZ) Rural Leadership Program.
  • An additional scholarship to Lincoln University (NZ) for an Australian student to study agriculture.
  • The offer from the Royal Agricultural College, Cirencester (UK) for an Australian student to study agriculture, with a particular emphasis on marketing.
  • The funding of two students from Calrossy School in Armidale NSW to participate in a northern NSW production study tour arranged by Angus Youth.
  • The funding of a study tour for students from Murdoch University (WA) to visit all aspects of a beef supply chain.
  • Positive discussions with Kansas State University, Colorado State University and Texas A&M University to develop scholarships for Australian students to study animal science.

“We are also pleased to announce the re-instatement of the Howard Yelland Award to be sponsored by Merial Australia. This generous sponsorship from Merial will cover the cost of one of the Marcus Oldham Leadership Program courses, and the Merial Howard Yelland Award will be presented at the Marcus Oldham Rural Leadership Program official dinner.” Mr Archer informed the meeting.

The Chairman’s Report also referred to the significance of the establishment, during the year under review, of the ABIF Education Fund as an Australian Taxation Office-approved deductable gift recipient (DGR) status fund that has already received a substantial and generous donation from the Thyne Reid Foundation.

Mr Archer acknowledged the role of Professor Bob Officer, Mr Richard Morgan AM, Mr Lyn Davies, Mr Greg Hunt and Mr Bill Gurry AO as trustees of the ABIF Education Fund.

The meeting acknowledged Mr Archer’s leadership during 2011 in which a new constitution was adopted and the board expanded to include nine directors covering a wide geographical spread throughout Australia.

In addition to Mr Archer’s appointment as Chairman and Mr Schipp as Treasurer, the meeting elected Mr John Gunthorpe as Deputy Chairman.

Marcus Oldham Rural Leadership Program scholarship application

The Australian Beef Industry Foundation (ABIF) together with the Future Farmers Network (FFN) are offering the opportunity for one commercial cattle producer, aged between 21 and 40 to attend the one-week Marcus Oldham Rural Leadership Program at the Marcus Oldham College in Geelong, Victoria in June this year.

For further information and to see the form, please click here

The Merial Howard Yelland Award – a legacy lives on

In 1996 Howard Yelland, regarded as a pioneer in the beef industry, passed away leaving a legacy of measured performance to the Australian beef industry.

His championing of objective selection and his contribution to performance recording spanned a lifetime, and his contribution to the industry thrives today.

The Merial Howard Yelland Award recognises the outstanding contribution of an individual to the development of the beef industry and is seen as one of the highest accolades in the Australian beef industry.

Nominations are unrestricted and open to people connected with any aspect of the beef industry.

The final selection has traditionally looked for nominees who have made a contribution above and beyond their normal role.

Since the commencement of the Award in 1987, twenty-five recipients have been recognised for their contribution to the Australian beef industry.

Marcus Oldham College in Geelong Victoria, in conjunction with the Australian Beef Industry Foundation (ABIF) invites industry nominations for the 2012 Merial Howard Yelland Award.

Selection criteria to be addressed in the nomination include:

  • Extent of contribution to the Australian beef industry
  • Recognition of this contribution both nationally and internationally
  • Leadership role as a change agent
  • Contribution above and beyond normal role in the industry.

Closing date for nominations is Monday, 21 May 2012.

An industry panel will select the recipient and the 2012 Merial Howard Yelland Award will be presented at the Marcus Oldham Rural Leadership Program Agribusiness Dinner on Thursday, 28 June 2012.

Nomination forms are available here or on the Marcus Oldham College website.

2012 NAB Agribusiness Rising Beef Industry Champion announced

The Cattle Council Rising Champion Initiative commenced in 2010 and aims to inspire, empower and support young people, who are passionate about the Australian beef industry and to provide them with an opportunity to be directly involved.

Alison McIntosh was the 2011 NAB Agribusiness Rising Beef Industry Champion and is now a director of ABIF.

The 2012 NAB Agribusiness Rising Beef Industry Champion was awarded to Ian McConnel from Queensland ahead of the other 2012 Rising Champion State Finalists:

South Australia – Jake Phillips
Victoria – Trent Anderson
New South Wales – Marc Greening
Tasmania – Lauchie Cole (also awarded the NAB Acknowledgement Award)
Western Australia – Clinton Gartrell

Click here to view the photos and bios of the finalists.

All six finalists travelled to Longreach, QLD, to participate in a week of activities from 14-18 November 2011. This included touring a beef property at Alpha with industry stakeholders; developing leadership and public speaking skills through tailored workshops; engaging in a round table discussion about youth in agriculture with the 2011 Rising Champion Finalists; attending the Cattle Council meeting and the MLA AGM and Producer Forum.

The state finalists were celebrated by industry at the ‘Beef Industry Gala Dinner’, at the Stockman’s Hall of Fame in Longreach.

Yoghurt is not a plant and cotton socks do not come from animals

A recent Primary Industries Education Foundation (PIEF) survey shows worrying levels of basic knowledge about agriculture and indicates that student and teacher knowledge related to food and fibre production has declined to worrying levels.

The groundbreaking survey, undertaken by the Australian Council of Educational Research (ACER) with the support of Woolworths, reveals that 75 per cent of students thought cotton socks were an animal product and 45 per cent of students could not identify that everyday lunchbox items such as a banana, bread and cheese originated from farms.

“This survey is a wake-­up call to government, industry and educators and comes at a time when the Primary Industries are being excluded from the national curriculum,” PIEF Chair, Cameron Archer said.

“The survey results are clear in demonstrating that this approach is not working. Our young students do not have enough of a basic understanding of where their food, clothing and building materials come from.”

For further information on this survey, please click here


ABIF supporting 2012 Australian Year of the Farmer

This year’s Australian Year of the Farmer is a celebration of the fundamental role farmers play in feeding, clothing and providing building materials to house us all. From small farms handed down over generations, to our largest agribusinesses, farming is inherent to the Australian way of life.

The Australian Beef Industry Foundation is a Proud Supporter of the initiative.

Activities and events across the country will remind everyone, from those in our most remote areas to those in our biggest cities, of the crucial role of farming in Australia.

Agriculture has always made a significant contribution to Australia’s economy and prosperity and the Year of the Farmer will make sure every Australian learns more about this vital industry.

You can learn more about the 2012 Australian Year of the Farmer by visiting this link