Conference Speaker Bios

Angus Australia is very excited by the line-up of speakers that we have planned for the #GrowAngus National Conference.

Susan Bibby, Specialised Breeders Australia – ‘Genetic Selection Technologies in the Poultry Industry’

Susan graduated from the University of Melbourne as a veterinarian in 2000.  Since this time she has worked in Government service, including in the 2001 Foot and Mouth disease response in the UK, in private mixed practice and as a commercial poultry veterinarian servicing all species including broiler breeders, broilers, layer breeders, laying hens and turkeys.  Her work has taken her all over the world with time spent in Scotland, Hungary and the USA, as well as Australia and New Zealand. She currently works part time for Specialised Breeders Australia as Veterinarian and National Started Pullet Manager, and runs a mixed species veterinary practice in Strathfieldsaye, just outside Bendigo.

Andrew Byrne, Angus Australia – ‘The Next Generation of Angus Genomic Technologies’

In his current role with Angus Australia, Andrew is responsible for the implementation of Angus Australia’s Breed Development & Extension program, and in turn, providing Angus Australia members and their customers with genetics tools to achieve continuous enhancement of Angus and Angus influenced cattle and beef products.

Andrew has considerable experience in delivering high level technical support and consultation to Breed Society Boards, Technical Committees, staff and members regarding the use and understanding of BREEDPLAN genetic evaluation software, BREEDPLAN companion products such as BreedObject selection indexes, Internet Solutions, MateSel and TakeStock, as well as genomic technologies for parentage verification, management of genetic conditions and genetic improvement for both qualitative and production traits.

Andrew has been heavily involved in the delivery of innovative extension activities, having involvement in developing, facilitating and delivering a comprehensive range of extension initiatives within the beef industry across Australia and New Zealand regarding the utilisation of genetic improvement technologies. These initiatives have varied considerably in scope, from targeted one on one activities, to broad extension activities such as the delivery of presentations at workshops, field days and conferences across Australia and abroad, to the development of electronic educational material for media and web delivery, to the development of tip sheets, booklets, promotional brochures, technical notes and electronic newsletters.


Jon Condon, Beef Central – ‘Digital disruption and the social media evolution’

As one of Australia’s most experienced and respected agricultural journalists and commentators, Jon Condon has been part of the fabric of the nation’s beef industry for his entire life.  For 34 years he has specialised in reporting on the red meat and livestock industries, earning the trust and confidence of key stakeholders across the industry and developing a reputation for accurate, credible, informed and informative reporting.  He spent his early life in the Northern Territory, where his family built and operated a successful export beef processing plant at Katherine, and an extensive cattle property in the East Kimberley.  He holds a Business degree in marketing and communications and spent the majority of his early career in agricultural print media with Fairfax’s Rural Press division, including 15 years as national beef writer.

In 2011 he established a new online news business with fellow journalist, James Nason, launching the Beef Central website (http://www.beefcentral.com). Sheep Central and Grain Central have since been added to the stable. Beef Central website today attracts more than 70,000 Unique Browsers visiting the site on a regular basis, from across the Australian red meat supply chain and overseas.  Jon has also engaged on a consultancy basis with red meat sector clients, both Australian and overseas, in special project work associated with the Australian red meat industry. Clients have included major Australian processors, Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fishery, and Japan’s Agriculture & Livestock Industries Corporation.

He has received numerous industry and government awards and acknowledgements for his professional writing over three decades, including:

  • The Premier of Queensland’s Export Achievement Award 1997
  • Dalgety National Rural Journalism Awards 1985, 1990
  • Red Meat Industry Innovation Awards (Excellence in media category) 2002.

He is widely regarded as an authoritative commentator on industry affairs and regularly chairs significant national and regional industry events for the lotfeeding, live export and production sectors.  As a communications specialist, Jon has contributed towards the development of major industry programs such as the Red Meat Industry Strategic Plans 2010-15, and 2015-2020. He also sat for some years on the National Beef Genetics Extension Committee.  He has co-authored two books on industry affairs – both histories – based on the Australian lotfeeding industry and Stanbroke Pastoral Company.


 

Garry Edwards – AAM Investment Group – ‘The Evolution of livestock selling systems’

Garry Edwards is the Founder and Managing Director of the AAM Investment Group Pty Ltd (AAMIG).  He has over 20 years’ experience in investments and management within the Australian agribusiness sector.  As an equity investor, he has developed assets and opportunities in livestock production, livestock marketing, value added marketing and processing, and consistently delivered superior financial returns.

Garry studied a Bachelor of Applied Science, Systems Agriculture at the University of Western Sydney, Hawkesbury where he graduated as dux of his course and also received a scholarship to attend the University of Illinois in the United States.

In his early career, Garry created Livestock Exchange and developed the technology and systems that today underpin Australia’s multi-billion dollar livestock industry through the National Livestock Identification System (NLIS). These days, Australia is the envy of all other livestock export markets due to the value attributed to commodities that fall under the NLIS program.

Garry has extensive experience in a diverse range of agricultural businesses from family operations through to large scale integrated corporate agricultural operations across a range of industry sectors.  In 2007, AAMIG commenced the development, operation and management Operation and Management a portfolio of livestock selling facilities on behalf of Australian Superannuation funds which today trade over $1 billion of livestock annually.

Headquartered in Brisbane, our team of over 280, operate across regional Australia.


Sophia Edwards, Vetoquinol – ‘Advancements in management of assisted reproduction programs in Angus Cattle’

Sophia joined Vetoquinol Australia in November 2014, after completing her PhD and postdoctoral fellowship at The University of Queensland. Her research, funded by MLA and supported by Vetoquinol was focused on improving the management and understanding of FTAI in northern beef production herds. During this time Sophia consulted to various Dairy and Beef herds to assist in improving their reproductive management. Recently, Sophia completed a Masters of Business Administration to enhance her skills in this field. Having grown up on a commercial and seed stock beef operation she has an in depth understanding of the daily activities involved in livestock enterprises. With her background her aim is to build the bridge between the deep scientific understanding of reproduction in livestock, and the business aspects of livestock enterprises acknowledging that all activities are aimed at turning a profit. Sophia has a track record of improving and solving reproductive issues within livestock herds. Sophia has provided advice in the management of the FTAI programs for the Angus Sire Benchmarking Project since its inception.


Greg Farqharson, Bushy Park – ‘Growing an Angus Business’

He is a fourth generation farmer who has been in agriculture for more than 50 years. During this time, he has grown the family business from 60 cows to calving down 4000 Angus females per year across 6500ha.

The Bushy Park operation has been breeding commercial Angus bulls through AI since 1985 with a strict emphasis on fertility, structure, shape and temperament as the main drivers of the program, which aims to produce about 100-150 bulls per year for the business.

Greg has been a Cattle Council of Australia board member along with numerous other community positions but since the late 90s, has concentrated his efforts on business growth and next generation succession with his wife Dinah and sons Tim and Scott.

Drewe Ferguson, CSIRO – ‘Use of Digital Technologies in the Australian Red Meat Industry’

Dr Ferguson is a Research Director who leads the Livestock Systems Program within CSIRO Agriculture and Food.  He is an internationally recognised animal scientist with expertise in stress physiology, animal welfare and meat science.  He was a key member of the research team that led the development of Meat Standards Australia, the world’s first beef palatability grading system and he has been instrumental in the delivery of improvements in farm animal welfare.

The goal of his program is to transform the productivity and sustainability of Australian livestock industries through the delivery of innovative genetic and phenomic technologies, improvements to farm animal health and welfare, integrated farm management solutions and trusted advice.  Digital agriculture is a key research focus of the program and specifically, the development of precision livestock phenotyping and management technologies.

Brad Hine, CSRIO, – ‘Measuring Immune Competence for Improved Animal Health’

Brad completed a PhD in Chemistry at the University of New England in 2008. Following his PhD, Brad completed two Postdoctoral appointments, the first at the University of Guelph, Veterinary College, Canada and the second at AgResearch, New Zealand, before returning to a Postdoctoral position at CSIRO in 2012. Brad now works as a Research Scientist with CSIRO based in Armidale, NSW and specialising in ruminant immunology.

Brad’s current research is focussed on developing methods to assess the immune competence of livestock and investigating how immune competence and other resilience traits, such as stress-coping ability and temperament, are linked and how together these traits influence an animal’s ability to cope with challenges posed by their production environment. Brad is currently part of the Phenomics team at CSIRO which specialise in developing methodologies to assess difficult to measure traits of significant economic importance to the livestock industries. Working under the guidance of Dr Ian Colditz, Brad recently completed a large MLA/CSIRO co-funded project aimed at developing methods to assess immune competence in beef cattle (B.STU.0244). As part of the project, Brad was fortunate to work with Angus Australia to immune competence test calves from the Angus Sire Benchmarking Program on co-operator herd farms. By working with Angus Australia, Brad was able to ensure that his research was industry relevant and that animals used in the study were representative of those currently in industry.

Andrew Howie – MLA – ‘Beef is Best: Understanding the Nutritional Health Benefits of Beef’

Andrew is currently the Group Marketing Manager at Meat and Livestock Australia, responsible for the delivery of all marketing programs in the Australian market. He leads a team of 9 highly motivated individuals, all tasked with developing effective and creative marketing outcomes. Under Andrew’s leadership, the domestic marketing team has been consistently recognised as one of the leading marketing teams in the country. His team proudly deliver the highly effective “You’re better on Beef” marketing campaign for Australian Beef.

Adam Liaw – Celebrity Chef – ‘Raising the steaks’

In and out of the kitchen, ‘Destination Flavour’ presenter, author and ‘MasterChef’ winner Adam Liaw is never boring — always unique.

Instantly recognisable with his warm smile and topknot, SBS’s Award Winning Destination Flavour host and winner MasterChef Adam Liaw is one of Australia’s favourite cooks, authors and television presenters.

His talent for creating simple, approachable and exciting dishes has seen him author four best-selling cookbooks – Two Asian Kitchens, Asian After Work, Adam’s Big Pot and Asian Cookery School and his fifth book, The Zen Kitchen, released in 2016.

Articulate and witty, Adam brings a unique perspective to everything he does. He is a regular columnist for Fairfax – The Sydney Morning Herald, Sunday Life and The Age.  Adam also writes for international publications The Guardian, The Wall Street Journal, Hong Kong, SBS online and popular parenting website ‘KidSpot’.

Born in Malaysia to an English-Singaporean mother and Hainanese Chinese father, Adam’s family lived in several countries through his youth and his culinary influences are far-reaching. He was an active cook from an early age, regularly cooking for his parents and seven brothers and sisters since he was eight years old.

Adam holds university degrees in science and law and practiced law for 11 years, most recently as the Head of Legal and Business Affairs for Disney Interactive, Asia Pacific based in Tokyo. His love affair with food and cooking blossomed during this time and he returned to Australia in 2009 to compete in MasterChef. In July 2010 over 5 million people tuned in to watch him win the second series MasterChef. His victory still remains the most watched non-sporting event in Australian television history.

In 2012 he began filming Destination Flavour a food and travel series with SBS. Destination Flavour has since presented four highly successful series on the network – Destination Flavour, Destination Flavour Japan, Destination Flavour Down Under and Destination Flavour Scandinavia.  Destination Flavour Scandinavia took out the ACTAA award for Best Lifestyle Program for 2016.  The fifth series of Destination Flavour was shot in 2016 in Singapore and will air in 2017.

A keen social media influencer, Adam’s online presence was ranked by Klout in 2015 as the most influential in the Australian food industry. Adam is Unicef Australia’s National Ambassador for Nutrition and in June this year he was  given the honour of being named the Goodwill Ambassador for Japanese Cuisine acknowledging his significant contributions to promoting regional Japanese cuisine in Australia.

Adam lives in Sydney with his wife Asami and their son Christopher and daughter Anna. He speaks English, Japanese and basic Mandarin. Between his TV commitments and writing cookbooks, recipes and columns, he makes regular appearances at events and food festivals, and he usually has time to send a tweet or two.

CREDENTIALS

Television:     ‘Destination Flavour: Scandinavia’ 2016 (ACTAA for Best Lifestyle Program), ‘Destination Flavour: Down Under’ 2014, ‘Destination Flavour: Japan’ SBS Television                      2013, ‘Destination Flavour’ SBS Television 2012, ‘MasterChef Australia’ Network Ten 2010.

Publishing:     The Zen Kitchen 2016, Hachette Publishing, Adam’s Asian Cookery School 2015, Hachette Publishing, Adam’s Big Pot 2014, Hachette Publishing, Asian After Work 2013 Hachette Publishing, Two Asian Kitchens 2010 Random House

Endorsement:    Asko, Volkswagen, JNTO, Sanofi Australia, Jetstar, Vikings Cruises

Appearances:    Good Food and Wine Shows Australia and South Africa, Emerging Writers Festival, Regional Flavours Brisbane, Gourmet Escape Margaret River, City of Sydney, Park Hyatt, DBS Bank Singapore. The Interrobang Ideas Festival

Column:    The Age, Sydney Morning Herald, Good Food and Sunday Life Magazine, online for Wall St Journal, Scene Asia, The Guardian.

Tom Maguire, Teys – ‘Knowledge is Power: Improving Communication across the Australian Beef Supply Chain’

Tom Maguire is currently General Manager- Corporate Services with Teys Australia, a 50/50 joint venture between the Teys family and Cargill. Teys Australia is a substantial part of Australia’s beef industry, operating six beef processing plants, three cattle feedlots as well as other businesses in the value chain located across Australia’s eastern seaboard.  Tom has been involved in the Australian meat industry since 1997.  Tom holds post graduate qualifications in Economics, Industrial Relations and Human Resource Management.  He has also completed a Master in Business.

Dan Moser, AGI – ‘Development in genetic improvement technologies in American Angus’

Dr. Dan Moser is the President of Angus Genetics Inc. (AGI), and Director of Performance Programs for the American Angus Association, headquartered in St. Joseph, Missouri.  Dan was raised on a small seedstock cattle operation in northeast Kansas.  He earned his Bachelor’s degree in Animal Science from Kansas State University, and his M.S. and Ph.D. in Beef Cattle Genetics from the University of Georgia.  For twenty years, as a faculty member at the University of Georgia, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and Kansas State University, he taught courses in animal management, genetics and animal breeding, conducted applied research, advised undergraduate and graduate students, and coordinated university seedstock cattle herds.  In his current role, he oversees genetic evaluation programs, genomic testing services, business activities and member education efforts for AGI and the Angus association.  He has served the beef industry in a variety of leadership roles, and is currently a director of Beef Improvement Federation.

Liz Pearson – Angus Australia – ‘Making the Most of the Meat Market’

As the Commercial Development Manager at Angus Australia, Liz Pearson is responsible for Angus Australia’s most recent initiative, to develop greater engagement throughout the beef supply chain. Liz’s program will deliver collaborative programs with key beef supply chain participants that will generate value across the supply chain, in particular, for Angus Australia members. While the program’s initial phase has focused heavily on the feedlot and processing sectors, it will now move on to engage those across the agency sector and other service providers for beef production.

Liz’s area of expertise includes relationship and project management, animal health and productivity along with systems and logistics management over 13 years in the feedlot sector. Liz holds a Bachelor of Agribusiness from the University of New England. Liz has been involved in the commercial beef industry all her life, spending well over 20 years as an integral member of her family’s commercial Angus breeding and stock & station agency businesses.


Berry Reynolds, Mort & Co – ‘The value and development of strong relationships within the supply chain’

Berry Reynolds is the Private Client Manager for Mort & Co, based in Toowoomba. Berry’s role is to build and maintain Mort & Co’s private client business with particular focus on establishing producer relationships that feed into the Mort & Co Angus, Wagyu and Backgrounding programs. He has a strong background in livestock breeding, genetics, client and member services, marketing and has a strong commercial acumen. He accrued this experience while owning and operating his own Red Angus stud herd prior to his commencement at Mort & Co.

Ramesh Segaran, University of Adelaide – ‘Drones – Opportunities and Challenges in Australian Agriculture’

Ramesh is the Deputy Director of Research at the Unmanned Research Aircraft Facility (URAF). URAF is a research group in the University of Adelaide which focuses on the use of drones for conservation and agriculture. The common thread that runs throughout Ramesh’s career has been GIS and remote sensing. This hasn’t changed since joining URAF in 2015, but is focused on democratising the data collection, processing and analysis with new and exciting technologies.

Troy Setter, Consolidated Pastoral Company – ‘Future of Angus genetics in Northern Australian beef production’

Troy is one of the top agribusiness leaders in Australia and well-renowned for his achievements across the industry. CPC is Australia’s largest private beef producer with 367,500 head of cattle run on a portfolio of 16 stations across Australia’s three Northern States.  CPC’s stations are vertically integrated with its two joint venture feedlots in Indonesia. Throughout his career Troy has been responsible for all aspects of the supply chain; from cereal and fibre cropping, grain and grass fed cattle operations, domestic and international logistics, trading and shipping through to genetic improvement, beef and cattle marketing, broad strategy development, investment and finance

Prior to being appointed Chief Executive Officer at CPC in July 2014, Troy was the Chief Operating Officer of Australian Agricultural Company. Troy has held key management positions with agribusinesses including, North Australian Cattle Company, Torrens Investments, Killara Feedlot and Twynam Group. Along with having a degree in Rural Science from University of New England, he has also completed the Agribusiness program at Harvard Business School, The Australian Rural Leadership Program and is a Member Australian Institute of Company Directors. Troy also sits on the Board of the Australian Livestock Exporters’ Council and the advisory committee of Tocal.

Ben Simpson, Outcross Genetics Australia – ‘Marketing Angus in the Digital Age’

Ben Simpson is the Managing Director of Outcross Genetics Australia PTY Ltd. Established in 2000, the company trades as OGA Creative Agency. The agency works with large primary industry companies, developing strategic, branding and media pathways.

Ben has had a life time of experience in the beef industry and has managed the breeding and exporting of genetics around the world. He is a Royal Show Cattle Judge and has spoken internationally in the USA, Canada and New Zealand, covering topics from beef market development , strategic marketing and establishment of beef supply chains. Ben was also Senior Vice President of the national branch of the Beef Improvement Association.

OGA Creative Agency provides a full range of marketing services to industry & agribusiness across Australia and NZ, specializing in strategic marketing, branding, advertising, journalism, full visual and E media solutions.

Ben works with companies providing strategic mapping and management services. Starting with a sound strategic map, he and the team at OGA, provides ongoing service to companies who understand the importance of professional, independent outside opinion. This process keeps key goals in line with the overall strategic plan and allows for a collaborative approach to problem solving throughout the life of a company.

Ben’s networks and involvement in the agricultural industry is extensive. OGA Creative clients include The Cattle Council of Australia, Herefords Australia, Angus Australia, Elders, Landmark, Transpacific Clean Away, Consolidated Foods and Kotzur, as well as leading Australian Seedstock brands such as Palgrove, Millah Murrah, Clunie Range and Wattletop to name a few.

Ben and his wife Julia live on their cattle property in Holbrook, in southern NSW, with their 3 children, Louis, Matilda and Freddy.

Kev Sullivan, Bell Vet Services – ‘Plan or Perish: The Importance of Pre-feedlot Entry Preparation’

Kevin Sullivan BVSc is a veterinary feedlot consultant and principal veterinarian of Bell Veterinary Services and PAC (Production Animal Consultation) Australia based in the Darling Downs of south east Queensland. Kevin has been servicing small and large feedlots in eastern Australia for 25 years, and more recently in Indonesia and China.

Bell Veterinary Services consults to more than 40 feedlots with a combined one time capacity of more than 350,000 head; eight of these yards having more than 15,000 head one time capacity.

A large part of Kev’s work is conducting workshops and training programs for feedlot livestock staff. Kev teaches the Feedlot Production Medicine course at Queensland University, Gatton and James Cook University, Townsville. He has been a member of the presenting team for the ALFA animal health workshops since their inception and is a regular presenter at Veterinary, ALFA and industry conferences. Bell Veterinary Services has a data collection and analysis system which analyses health records for most of its clients and provides monthly reporting. There is a health benchmarking program which provides information on nine key health performance indicators.

Kev was integral in the early stages of the development of both the M.Haemolytica and IBR + M.Haemolytica vaccines which are currently marketed as Bovillis MH and Bovillis MH+IBR. He conducted the initial concept and registration studies for these vaccines. Kev was one of the team that worked on the MLA/ALFA Euthanasia project for the feedlot sector and was a participating veterinarian on the MLA BRD initiative.

Kev introduced the “Whisper electronic stethoscope and diagnostic software” to the Australian feedlot industry in 2015. This technology has improved the diagnosis of respiratory disease cases in feedlot cattle, redefined case definition and has improved the decision making with respect to antibiotic selection.

Kev has been a passionate advocate for improvement in animal welfare and handling of cattle in the feedlot sector and has been a driving force behind changes in handling facilities and the introduction of “Box and Alley” systems in the feedlot sector.

Ben Thomas, MLA – ‘Are Current Beef Prices Sustainable: Australian Beef Industry Projections’

Ben Thomas is the Market Information Manager at MLA, where he has been employed since 2012. Ben’s responsibilities include writing the quarterly beef and lamb industry projections, along with regular market analysis. Prior to working for MLA Ben completed a cadetship with Twynam Agricultural Group and spent two years working on a Canadian cattle farm. He has the qualifications of a Bachelor of Rural Science at the University of New England.

 

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