NAB Agribusiness Rising Champions Initiative

Congratulations to the 2021 Cattle Council NAB Agribuisness Rising Champions!

Jump to: 2022 Biographies | The Program | Q&A | Apply | Sponsors | Videos | State Farming Organisations

Cattle Council is proud to welcome the latest cohort of NAB Agribusiness Rising Champions.

With all of this year’s winners already actively involved in the beef industry, the program presents an unrivalled opportunity for the group to accelerate their personal career development and network with industry and government representatives.

Cattle Council thanks the program’s sponsors, NAB Agribusiness, ACM Agriculture and Meat and Livestock Australia, who’s generosity made the event possible.

It is anticipated the next event will be held in 2023 with the selection process starting in late 2022. 


2022 Biographies

Sam Fryer, Prairie, Queensland

Sam is a grassfed beef producer, based near Hughenden, Queensland. He also works as Northern Accounts Manager for beef data analysis business, Black Box Co, which uses data collected by beef producers to develop insights into beef herds and businesses.

Sam and his wife Emily have three children, and he is an advocate for creating supported pathways into the industry for young people and supporting mental health awareness in rural communities.

He is also studying a Bachelor of Agribusiness through the University of New England, majoring in finance, marketing and management.


Annie Pumpa, Table Top, New South Wales

Based at Table Top in southern NSW, Annie is a Beef Sales and Beef InFocus Supply Chain Manager with ABS Global Australia, working with beef producers to improve their productivity and profitability through genetic progress.

A passionate advocate for youth in agriculture, she is currently Chair of the Angus Australia Round Up Committee, President of the National Hereford Youth Committee, and an active participant in cattle showing at agricultural shows.

Annie holds a Certificate II in Agriculture and is passionate about supporting capacity building programs for young people in the industry.

Tom Cosentino, Port Elliot, South Australia

Tom works as an Executive Officer for both Livestock SA and the SA Dairy Industry Fund and runs a small farm in the Hindmarsh Valley with his wife, Aimee, producing Murray Grey cattle.

Having been born and raised in the city, but with a lifelong fascination for agriculture, Tom hopes to use the experience he gains through the Rising Champions Initiative to positively contribute to building the pipeline of talent in agriculture, and specifically the cattle sector.

Tom holds both a Bachelor of Commerce and a Bachelor of Laws from University of Adelaide.

Kari-Melise Moffat, Darwin, Northern Territory

Having worked in the livestock export industry for the past seven years, Kari is currently the Animal Welfare Assurance Manager with AUSTREX, based in Darwin.

She is also Chair and Co-Founder of the Young Livestock Exporters Network (YLEN) and is passionate about developing the next generation of leaders in the live export supply chain.

Kari holds both a Bachelor of Business (Agriculture) from Marcus Oldham College and a Foundations of Directorship Certificate from the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Stafford Ives-Heres, Marrawah, Tasmania

Stafford is a fourth-generation beef producer from far north-west Tasmania, running 400 Angus breeders and share-farming and managing a neighbouring cattle property.

He is also a Councillor on the Circular Head Council, having been elected when he was just 23 years old.

Stafford is passionate about representing young people in his region and developing pathways for young farmers to enter and grow their careers in agriculture.

Jen Smith, East Gippsland, Victoria

Jen owns and operates a beef production enterprise near Bairnsdale, in East Gippsland and is the General Manager of Gippsland Agricultural Group, a producer-led group which operates the Gippsland Research Farm, trialling and demonstrating projects to assist the region’s producers to unlock their production potential.

Jen’s region and farm was devastated by the 2020 Black Summer bushfires, and she has played a major role in helping the region recover and rebuild.

She holds a Cert IV in Youth Development, a Diploma in Conservation and Land Management and an Associate Degree in Environmental Science. She is currently completing her MBA through Federation University.

Tamara Pfitzner, Gidgegannup, Western Australia

Tamara grew up on small black Angus farm in Naracoorte, South Australia, before moving to Gidgegannup in Western Australia, where she now runs her own beef herd with her partner.

After working in a range of key industry roles in the livestock export sector, including as a live export compliance manager in Australia and in export markets, Tamara is continuing her passion for animal welfare through her own rural contracting and consulting business, specialising in the livestock export sector.

She is currently working in conjunction with technology development companies to trial and implement new remote auditing systems and automated track and traceability systems within Australia for livestock.

The Program

For the past decade, Cattle Council has held the annual NAB Agribusiness Rising Champions Initiative, to foster up and coming leaders within the Australian beef industry.

The program selects one winner from each state and the Northern Territory to come to Canberra for intensive training and mentorship over several days, culminating in a cocktail event at Parliament House to network with decision-makers and to acknowledge the success of our champions.

Cattle Council is grateful for the ongoing support of NAB Regional & Agribusiness, McDonalds Australia and Australian Community Media, which has allowed us to stage this event for more than ten years. 

The program is now open for applications, details of how to apply are listed below.

Read more: 2019 Rising Champions Initiative | Elisha Parker’s Account in the CCA Yearbook

Online Q&A info session for applicants

Click the video (Left) to view the recording of the Q&A session

A free Q&A session for all Cattle Council NAB Agribusiness Rising Champions applicants.

Hear from our past champions Alison Hamilton (NSW, 2010), Shaun Byrnes (WA, 2017) and Ella Anderson (Tasmania, 2018) along with the programs convener, Maria Thompson.
Find out everything you want to know about the program, what it’s like, what’s involved and how to put forward your best application.

How do I apply?

Stage 1 How to apply: Applications for the 2021 Cattle Council NAB Agribusiness Rising Champion Initiative open at 9am, 19 July 2021 and close at 11.59pm, 16 August 2021.

Applicants will need to complete the application form, sign the Terms and Conditions and return these with a high resolution photo to: by 11.59pm, 16 August 2021.

Stage 2 State and Territory Selection: Applications will be shortlisted by the state and territory selection panel. Shortlisted applicants will have an interview (via a zoom or an online platform) with the state selection panel comprising of:

  1. The Cattle Council state director;
  2. State Farming Organisation Executive Officer representative; and
  3. The Gold Sponsor – NAB Agribusiness state representative.

State and Territory finalists will be announced in early September.

Stage 3 Leadership Development Workshop: State and territory winners will be invited to Canberra on an all-expenses paid trip to take part in an intensive professional development workshop where they will meet with leaders from across Australian agriculture, Ministers and Government Department staff to discuss the opportunities and challenges for the Australian beef industry and agriculture. Within this intensive workshop finalists develop key professional skills including leadership, communications, media and public speaking. Dates for the workshop are the 23-25 November with additional travel time to and from Canberra.

Rising Champions Alumni Program: State and territory winners will form part of the Rising Champions Alumni network comprising of Australian beef industry leaders selected from 2010.

Cattle Council Yearbook: One Rising Champion will be selected to tell their story, including their background and involvement in the Rising Champions’ Initiative for publication in the 2022 Cattle Council of Australia Yearbook.

If you have a strong passion for and commitment to the Australian beef industry, this program is for you. You don’t have to have specific qualifications or own cattle to be part of the NAB Agribusiness Rising Champions Initiative; you just need an open mind and vision to help take the Australian beef industry from strength to strength in the future.


Our Sponsors


State Farming Organisations