Young beef industry leader Kirsty McCormack is the national 2017 NAB Agribusiness Rising Champion.

The announcement was made by National Australia Bank’s (NAB) general manager agribusiness Khan Horne at Cattle Council of Australia’s annual Rising Champions gala dinner at the National Museum of Australia in Canberra last night.

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

Jeremy Cummins, New South Wales, was named as the runner-up and received 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 is run by Cattle Council of Australia and caters for 18 to 35-year-olds and aims to inspire, empower and support young people passionate about the Australian beef industry.

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

They attended a three-day program in Canberra this week, 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.

Cattle Council of Australia president Howard Smith congratulated Miss McCormack on taking out the 2017 title as part of the Cattle Council’s NAB Agribusiness Rising Champions Initiative.

“I believe Kirsty will be an outstanding leader for the beef industry over the next year and I look forward to seeing the wonderful things he/she can achieve,’’ Mr Smith said.

“Providing opportunities for young leaders to get involved and learn more about the policy-setting and decision making process is critical for the future of the beef industry.

“I encourage Kirsty to take advantage of the opportunities provided to her over the next year and in particular, during her trip to New Zealand as part of the International Beef Alliance.’’

Cattle Council of Australia is a member of the International Beef Alliance, which provides Australian beef producers with a voice at an international level.

NAB general manager agribusiness Khan Horne said NAB was proud to have sponsored Cattle Council’s Rising Champions Initiative since its inception in 2010.

“For the Australian beef industry to remain strong we need a new generation of smart and passionate leaders coming through,’’ Mr Horne said.

“The initiative helps to foster the development of a whole group of talented young people and we look forward to continuing our support into the future.’’

Howard Smith thanked 2016 Rising Champion winner Kevin Stark for his input into industry over the last twelve months.

“Kevin Stark has been an excellent mentor for young leaders in the beef industry,” Mr Smith said.

“Kevin has been a great contributor to the industry over the past year and we look forward to him being involved with Cattle Council into the future.”


Photo Caption: The 2017 Cattle Council NAB Agribusiness Rising Champion state finalists in Canberra. From the left the 2017 finalists: (front) Jeremy Cummins, Hannah Marshall, Kirsty McCormack, Laura Shepherd, Kristy-Lee Fogarty (back) Weldon Percy, Rob Ewing.

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