Seven of the beef industry’s brightest young leaders from across the country will descend on Canberra next week for the announcement of the 2017 NAB Agribusiness Rising Champion national winner.

The finalists are Rob Ewing, Victoria, Hannah Marshall, South Australia, Kirsty McCormack, Queensland, Kristy-Lee Fogarty, Northern Territory, Jeremy Cummins, NSW, Weldon Percy, Western Australia, and Laura Shepherd, Tasmania.

They will attend a three-day program in Canberra on August 22-24, networking with key decision makers from the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, learning effective communication techniques, developing their leadership skills and participating in Cattle Council of Australia sub-committee meetings.

The intensive agenda involves leading industry experts from the government and private sector covering topics such as export standards and systems, biosecurity, farm business resilience, and tariff and non-tariff barriers to trade.

The Rising Champions will have the opportunity to meet with the Minister for Small Business Michael McCormack and Shadow Minister for Agriculture Joel Fitzgibbon.

They will be mentored across the three days by past state Rising Champion finalists, including last year’s national winner, Kevin Stark, of Victoria.

The workshops will conclude with the inaugural Cattle Council of Australia forum on August 24 at 4pm at the Hotel Kurrajong, Canberra.

Titled “Innovation in Agriculture – the future of the beef industry’’, the forum is open to all members of the red meat supply chain and will include a Q & A session.

Participants will hear from Cattle Council of Australia president Howard Smith, Meat & Livestock Australia innovation development manager Rebecca Austin, McDonalds Australia supply chain director Tracey Monaghan and NAB Agribusiness NSW/ACT head of agribusiness Geoff Rose.

The forum will be the prelude to a gala dinner at the National Museum of Australia where the 2017 NAB Agribusiness Rising Champion national winner and runner-up will be announced.

The national winner will attend the International Beef Alliance conference in New Zealand on October 18-21, 2016.

The runner-up will receive a scholarship to the Marcus Oldham Rural Leadership program provided by the Australian Beef Industry Foundation.

Now in its sixth year, the NAB Agribusiness Rising Champions Initiative caters for 18 to 35-year-olds and aims to inspire, empower and support young people passionate about the Australian beef industry.

Cattle Council of Australia chief executive officer Jed Matz said the Federal Government, Opposition and Department of Agriculture and Water Resources had been strong supporters of the program since inception.

“It’s heartening to see such an important initiative receive strong bipartisan support,’’ Mr Matz said.

“The young leaders we will see in Canberra next week will lead our industry into the future.

“It’s critical we continue to provide this opportunity for them to get more involved in the policy setting side of the industry so they can fully appreciate their industry and lead it to the best of their abilities.

“Cattle Council looks forward to seeing the finalists shine during their time in Canberra and wishes them the best of luck.’’

Cattle Council of Australia extends its thanks to Rising Champion Initiative sponsors NAB Agribusiness, McDonalds Australia, Fairfax Media, Australian Beef Industry Foundation, RB Sellars, Teys Australia and Jim’s Jerky.

Council also extends thanks to the Victorian Farmers Federation, WA Farmers, Pastoralists and Graziers Association of WA, Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association, Livestock SA, Northern Territory Cattlemen’s Association, NSW Farmers’ Association and AgForce Queensland for their support.


For further details, contact Caitlin Boucher at or call (02) 6269 5600 or 0405 567 991.