Seven young people have honed their skills ready to take on future leadership and policy roles in the beef industry thanks to the 2016 NAB Agribusiness Rising Champions Initiative.

According to the national winner, Kirsty McCormack, the finalists expanded their knowledge of the beef industry and the representative bodies in the grass fed sector.

Miss McCormack, 23, of Brisbane, pointed to learning key communication skills and sending the right message to the right people as outcomes of the Rising Champions Initiative.

She said the week-long exposure to a self-development program in Canberra had given finalists a goal and career path to aim towards.

“The three days (of the program) were incredible – not only the program itself but getting to spend time with the six other Rising Champions has allowed me to make a close knit network we can call upon further into our careers,’’ she said.

“The Initiative is important to give people like myself and the others coming up in the industry the opportunities in the leadership and policy segments.’’

Miss McCormack said it was a pleasure to share stories with finalists from every part of the red meat supply chain.

“It was great to get to know everyone at Cattle Council of Australia, learning, understanding and appreciating what they do, and the role Cattle Council has to play in our industry, not only within the grass fed sector but in agriculture in general,’’ she said.

“Cattle Council is a peak industry body representing producers and their point of view, and is effective at making policy changes so we can operate successfully in business.

“It’s paramount beef producers have a peak industry body so we can represent our industry as a whole with one voice, make change and influence people who aren’t in our industry to allow us to be efficient and sustainable.’’

Miss McCormack said sharing opinions with industry and government leaders was important for the finalists.

“Visiting the government departments and Ministers, learning how to make change and be effective will be what pushes us as team leaders in the future,’’ she said.

“Talk was on social licence, communication and collaboration, and I’m encouraging all to get on social media to share their stories to make a difference.’’

Kevin Stark, the 2015 NAB Agribusiness Rising Champion, expanded his knowledge of northern beef production, the Pasturefed Cattle Assurance System, and the drivers in demand through the supply chain during his 12-month term.

Mr Stark participated in the International Beef Alliance (formerly Five Nations Beef Alliance) conference in Mexico as a Rising Champion.

“This program has given me a great insight into the Cattle Council of Australia – not enough producers really understand the important role CCA has for the future of our beef industry,’’ he said.

“These youth network programs get this important message to the next generation of beef producers, helping to ensure the future of the CCA.

“It’s important to spread the word on Cattle Council, what it is, what it does and what great things it achieves for our industry.

“I hope many more of these Rising Champions can be responsible for leaving our industry in the great position they found it.’’


Photo Caption: 2017 Rising Champion Kirsty McCormack and the rest of the finalists are ready to take on leadership roles. 

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