Home » 2022 GenAngus Speaker Spotlights
The program is designed for individuals seeking further knowledge, skills and confidence on a range of elements associated with conducting a successful business no matter what your background. The program has key elements of key business skills success, marketing and communications, Breeding and Genetics for Beef Cattle, teamwork, leadership and creating key networks and as such an exciting line up of speakers have been invited.
Simon Vogt – Partner and Farm Business Management Consultant, Pinion Advisory
Simon Vogt is a partner and farm business management consultant with Pinion Advisory. Simon chairs a large number of Advisory Boards for farming families and family corporates working on strategy, growth, and optimising profitability. Simon has also delivered a number of Pasture Principles courses and MLA Southern BusinessEDGE workshops. Simon enjoys combining his financial knowledge with ‘mud under the boots’ experience to create valued outcomes for clients.
Simon has also lead a number of national benchmarking projects across Southern Australia for MLA and the GRDC. These projects have provided excellent insights into the key profit drivers in livestock and cropping businesses. They have also provided valuable insights into the management characteristics or traits of Top 20% farm business managers.
Milly Nolan – Program Manager, The Livestock Collective
Milly is a farmer/shearer’s daughter from regional VIC, just a stone’s throw from the SA border. Milly completed her Agricultural Science degree at Murdoch University with a particular focus on sheep, wool and client service skills through the University of New England. She has experience across many agricultural supply chains all over Australia, including live export, extensive grazing in Western QLD, wool testing and meat research.
Milly has been recognised for her leadership through various awards and scholarships, most recently a Semi-finalist 2021 7News Young Achiever in Agriculture. Milly travels all over Australia to deliver professional development and supply chain capacity building workshops.
Milly is also a well known public speaker and presenter, having spoken at events on both a national and international level. She is a regular guest on various radio channels and podcasts, while also hosting the Livestock Leaders podcast.
Now the Program Manager for The Livestock Collective, Milly is keen to unite the livestock industry and ensure our voice is heard.
Matthew Merrett – Manager, Brentalls SA
With almost a decade of experience in the taxation and business advisory sector, Matthew has a broad cross-section of expertise in many different industries. An upbringing in the rich agricultural area in the South-East of South Australia provided the platform for a considered understanding and appreciation for all kinds of farming businesses. It fostered Matthew’s keen interest in small business. He specialises in many areas, including management reporting, budgeting and forecasting, compliance and tax planning.
A practical, minimal fuss attitude is the backbone for Matthew’s approach in working with clients. This philosophy is driven simply by listening to clients and understanding their challenges, finding the best strategies and solutions for each situation, and then communicating and implementing the processes required in easy to understand language.
Matthew has a keen interest in budgeting and management reporting, particularly as a tool to help clients understand their current financial performance, establish goals, and employ strategies to meet those goals. Utilising the latest technology and software allows Matthew to drive these processes and minimise the bookkeeping burden for many clients, allowing them to focus their energy on core business operations and strategy.
Simon Quilty – Global Agritrends
Simon graduated from a bachelor of Melbourne University Agricultural Science in 1987. His first job was as a research officer with the Victorian Farmers Federation Pastoral Group for four years and was involved with bringing farmers and the meat processing sector together in Victoria with initiatives like establishing a direct shipping service from Victoria into Japan to open up the Victorian chilled beef market in Japan.
Simon moved into the meat trading and processing sector in 1990 working for Louis Dreyfus Australia for four years – spending part of his training in North America – at the time LDC was the largest single buyer of export beef in Australia. Simon’s career moved to ConAgra Foods who at the time owned Australian Meat Holdings and DR Johnston where he worked for seven years and once again resided overseas – his involvement with meat trading remained until 2010 with his own trading company and established his own brand names in various countries.
In recent years Simon has moved into the risk management sector and developed derivatives and meat swaps that are used by companies in both North America and Australia on managing price risk in processed meat and livestock. Simon spent two years working as a consultant with FC Stone in started up the livestock and meat desk and in 2015 co-founded the Southern Aurora Group.
Today he is an independent meat and livestock analyst and also brokers swaps on behalf of large financial institutions in Australia and the US and brokers physical meat products around the world (namely from Australia, NZ and India) working with large international companies that have interests in China, Australia, New Zealand, Japan and the US.
In the last two years Simon has spoken at 62 Australian and international meetings and conferences on global meat trends giving his thoughts and views on where meat and livestock prices could head giving detailed analysis behind demand and supply trends across key global markets.
In 2020, Simon established Global Agritrends Downunder subscription business with the US parent company, Global Agritrends founded by Brett Stuart and Richard Fritz. Global Agritrends looks at beef, pork and poultry trends across the world and gives in depth analysis two to three times a week on what current global events are impacting the market.
Simon also has a very active meat and livestock consulting business and works closely with medium size to large meat processors, live cattle exporters, Australian feedlotters, backgrounders and Australian farmers and importers in China, Japan and the US.
Heidi Wright – Founder & Director, Wright Social Pty Ltd
Heidi Wright is the Director of Wright Social Pty Ltd, a resourceful and strategic team of social media experts specialising in Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn Marketing for the agri-rural sector. Our purpose is to help organisations that add-value to the agriculture, food and fibre sectors to GROW, through providing ongoing access to world-class social media strategy and tactics, executed in a way that aligns with their core values. Heidi shares a connection to grass roots agriculture with a passion for authenticity unique to every single business and client.
Angus Street – CEO, AuctionsPlus
A global agribusiness executive with success achieving business growth objectives within start-up, corporate and rapid-change environments. Angus has extensive experience with technology systems, which require deep understanding of critical business drivers in multiple markets and industries, opening of new markets through strong sales and trade marketing as well as growing businesses through innovation, process improvement and transformational technologies. CEO of AuctionsPlus, Angus is focused on taking the $2.3 billion GMS business to the next level. Angus wants to add value right along the supply chain and sees online marketplaces as a key enabler of success. Passionate about helping businesses evolve to stay ahead of the pack through the use of digital technology, Angus believes that with a little country music, genuine conversations and a motto of ‘the sum of us beats the one of us’ we can shape the future of the Ag sector.
Francis English – Rural Manager, Rabobank
Passionate about finance and agriculture, Francis’ role as a Rural Manager with Rabobank is the ideal combination. This is supported by previous work with the Federal Department of Agriculture in Canberra, and as a CPA accountant working with primary producers in South East SA. Now based in Adelaide, he travels across SA to see clients at their kitchen table and help them to manage and grow their business. He has a straightforward approach, and is enthusiastic about financial literacy and having an organised approach to business ownership.
Jess Cavanagh – Succession Planner, Proagtive
She is passionate about the evolution of modern agriculture and seeing that farming families use best practices to ensure longevity and sustainability of the industry. Jess holds a degree in Arts/Laws and worked in private practice in Dubbo before moving to her hometown of Harden and working in the field of Economic Development for Local Government. Jess has been with the Proagtive team since 2018.
Jess is fourth generation in a family farming business. Her husband, Brad works in the business and also runs his own Angus stud. Jess sees family farm living as the best type of lifestyle for raising her three children and teaching them to realise the major role that agriculture plays both domestically and internationally.
Jess’ dream is that Australian families will continue to have the passion, drive and skill to continue in their roles as custodians of Australian farms, well into the future. Jess believes the Proagtive team has the expertise to assist families in upholding this dream.
Pete Clark – Director, 21 Whispers
Uncertain times require certain minds. As the world changes and adjusts to our new normal our mindset will be the difference that makes the difference. 21 Whispers was born to build that very capability. We believe life whispers to us, and occasionally – it shouts. When it shouts, we tend to do something about it.
Pete specialises in leadership team alignment and executive facilitation using mindset and behavioural methodologies to bridge the performance potential gap. Results are achieved by providing tools and strategies to close the gap and offering support along the way. Pete has engaged with C-suite executives and leadership teams for over 20 years. Previously, he was a Partner with full-service training organisation rogenSi heading up the leadership & mindset practice within the APAC region.
Pete is more interested in your progress than your comfort and client feedback is that his style is engaging and interactive; pragmatic yet stretching; empowering but edgy. His clients include: Air NZ, NAB, ANZ, KPMG, Discovery, Novartis, Unilever, CoreLogic and Arup.
Diana Wood – Marketing & Communications Manager, Angus Australia
The Angus breed is in Diana’s blood, she grew up on parents property at Coonamble NSW where Outwest Angus has been run since its inception in 1989. Diana’s grandfather is a life member of Angus Australia.
Diana is a product of the Angus Youth program having been an Angus Youth Ambassador in 2002 and involved in the Angus Youth Management Committee in subsequent years. In 2004, Diana won the Angus Youth National Judging Competition and subsequently studied at the University of Illinois in 2005 on a scholarship as the award for winning that competition.
Diana has completed a Bachelor of Economics with a Marketing Major at the University of Sydney and has worked as a Marketing and Administration Assistant at the Balmain Leagues Club, as a TACE processor at ABRI, Executive Officer at Murray Grey Beef Cattle Society, Marketing Assistant and Marketing & Communications Manager at Angus Australia.
Given her involvement in the Angus Youth program, Diana has a passion for supporting youth in agriculture and believes it is integral for the up and coming stars of the beef industry to be provided access to the tools which can help them succeed, in particular in the areas of marketing and communications.
Cam Parker – Policy Manager, Primary Producers SA
Cam Parker has had a wide and varied career. From growing up in suburban Melbourne, a career in large grocery retail, working in broadacre agriculture, and developing a first-generation hay and grain enterprise. After actively contributing to policy setting bodies and representative groups as a producer in Victoria and in Queensland, Cam has shifted to a full-time policy career, working to bridge the gap between producers and those who influence and make decisions that affect Australian Agriculture.
Cam has extensive experience and success in navigating complex matters on behalf of producers at a state and national level, working closely with governments, bureaucracies, and the National Farmers Federation.
Cam believes he has found ‘his fit’ in an industry that he is passionate about and identifies with. He is passionate about giving back and building the capacity of the current and future industry leaders of agriculture.
Jake Phillips – Extension Manager, Angus Australia
Jake Phillips is the Extension manager at Angus Australia, based in Naracoorte SA. Jake has wealth of industry experience and knowledge and has worked across Australia in a variety of positions in the beef supply chain. Jakes role is considered front line with Angus members and breeders of Angus cattle to assist them in understanding the variety of breeding and genetics selection tools and information available to them. This also includes overseeing the expansive Angus Youth scholarships, awards and bursaries offered to industry.
Prior to joining Angus Australia , Jake worked for one of Australia’s largest processing companies in a variety of roles including livestock procurement, supply chain and branded beef programs, quality assurance and processing plant management. Jake also previously held positions with MLA and was heavily involved in the Meat Standards Australia program from on farm production to retail and food service and everywhere in-between.
Jake also serves on the committee of the largest beef carcase competition in world , overseeing the grading and competition and also serves on the South Australian Junior Heifer Expo committee.
Jake enjoys judging cattle and has been fortunate to judge cattle across Australia at several royal shows including the largest led steer show in Australia.
In his spare time Jake and his wife run Phillips Cattle Company, a registered cattle business selling Angus and Murray Grey bulls to local commercial producers looking for modern day genetics.
Isobel Knight – Director, Proagtive
Isobel Knight is a succession planning specialist and has been the owner and a director of Australia’s leading family farm succession planning business Proagtive for the last decade. Isobel is a mother of three, has degrees in business law and psychology and is a trained counselor and mediator.
Isobel was awarded the 2013 NSW-ACT Rural Industries Research & Development Corporation (RIRDC) Rural Women’s Award and National Runner up. Isobel’s association with family farm businesses stems backs to her family’s farm near Junee and now Loomberah NSW where she and her husband Rod run a cattle-trading enterprise. Being part of two family farms and experiencing firsthand the challenges of planning for the future has been the catalyst for Isobel’s interest in farm succession planning.
Isobel’s passion is to ensure that the next generation has an opportunity to participate in agriculture and believes a lack of succession planning is costing farming families, rural communities and agriculture dearly. Isobel has worked closely with hundreds of individual farming families. This remarkable level of training and experience sets Isobel apart from anyone else in the field of succession planning.
Richard Officer – National Strategic Alliance Manager, Achmea Australia
Richard Officer joined Achmea Australia in February 2016 as Risk Specialist for the border regions of Moree (NSW) and Goondiwindi (QLD).
Richard was promoted to Senior Risk Specialist in 2018 and in January 2019 joined the company’s senior leadership group as the NSW Regional Manager.
During this time Richard developed industry partnerships to increase brand awareness and became the National Strategic Alliance Manager in November 2020.
Born and raised on a broad acre farming enterprise outside of Boomi in Northern NSW, he has a strong understanding and knowledge of farming communities and their exposure to risk.
Richard has a Bachelor of Business (Economics) and, prior to Achmea Australia, was a director of a Commodity Brokers firm servicing agricultural clients and their marketing exposure.