Meet the 2020 GenAngus Future Leaders Program participants

February 5, 2020 4:06 pm

Angus Australia and their partner, farm insurer Achmea Australia, are pleased to announce that ten young members of the beef industry have recently been selected for the 2020 GenAngus Future Leaders Program.

Following the success of the inaugural GenAngus Future Leaders Program in in 2019, the 2020 program will take place in Melbourne, March 18th – 20th.  Each participant will attend a three-day intensive workshop, followed by a twelve-month leadership journey with the assistance of professionals in the industry.

The GenAngus Program has been designed to support members of Angus Australia, aged 18-40 to either start their own beef business or grow their current business, and further develop their skills to propel them into future beef industry leaders.

Katie Fisher

Katie Fisher of Wallarobba, NSW, was brought up on an Angus commercial and stud operation, showing cattle from a young age.  She has recently started her own small Angus herd, working to grow the business whilst working full time for a local stock and station agency.

The ultimate goal for her business venture ­­­­is to continue the growth of her stud through the purchase of quality Angus females in order to eventually breed and sell Angus bulls.

“I have had a passion for the industry from a very young age and I hope I can continue my involvement in this great industry for the rest of my life.  I hope to be able to expand my business to a point that it is financially viable to become my full-time employment.”

Through her involvement in the GenAngus Future Leadership Program, Ms Fisher looks to further develop her personal skills in order to support her future endeavours for her business.

“I would love the opportunity to be a part of this program as I believe it will be an imperative part of growing my business and reaching my business goals.  I would love the opportunity to network with like-minded people and be able to learn from many experienced people”.


Rebecca Rundell

Rebecca Rundell of Branxholme, VIC, currently manages a small cattle stud, Shady Park Angus, with the breeding objective of breeding and marketing quality but affordable Angus cattle with ‘performance genetics for commercial producers.

Through her involvement in the GenAngus Program Ms Rundell will look to use what she learns during the program to assist in her future plans of further forward plan her business through improvement of risk management due to seasonal variation, integrating software and accounting systems into her operations and further marketing her business.

“I want to gain further direction for small business management and implement new skills to apply to my current business to ensure long term sustainability.”



Samuel Finlayson

Samuel Finlayson was brought up on a cattle property based near Armidale, NSW, where his family developed Verified Black Angus Beef brand ‘Three Creek Beef’.  Mr Finlayson is currently employed by ‘Three Creek Beef’ in the business’s international trading and finance sectors, a role which requires him to work alongside directors and Chinese clients.

Whilst working, Mr Finlayson also studies a Bachelor of Business and International Languages at the University of New England.

Mr Finlayson looks forward to his time as part of the program.

“As an employee of our family business, the opportunity to attend the GenAngus Future Leaders program will allow me the gain further knowledge and experience in how to take the next step for Three Creek Beef in expanding further into Asian markets,” said Mr Finlayson.

“I also believe that networking with other likeminded individuals and business professionals will be an invaluable opportunity for further development.”



Lachlan Woods, Estella, NSW, currently studies Veterinary Science at Charles Sturt University.

With a background in farming, Mr Woods’ family own and operate an Angus cow herd and Black Suffolk ewe flock near Bylong, NSW, with Mr Woods assisting his father with the management of the commercial breeding herd, with the aim to utilise Angus genetics and improve pasture management to drive beef yield per hectare.

Mr Woods is currently working towards a plan to continuing the genomic development of his family business to add value to their finished products into various premium beef markets both domestic and internationally, whilst also developing the marketing and branding of their products.

Mr Woods believes GenAngus will assist in his development within the industry.

“I believe that the aims of the GenAngus Program are in tune with my personal development goals of improving my understand of business benchmarking, fundamental financials, and marketing/branding of my beef business,” said Mr Woods.




Hugh McKay

Hugh McKay, Yea, VIC, currently manages a commercial 500 head stud, whilst also establishing his own enterprise, through operating a small-scale business of trading cattle.

Over the next five years Mr McKay plans to have a commercial beef breeding enterprise, with a focus on utilising genetics to drive business decisions.

Mr McKay looks to further develop his skills in risk management, financial budgeting and benchmarking to assist in making sound business decisions.

“As I take on further responsibility, I have identified several areas that I believe I could improve to further myself and improve my role as a producer within the industry.”

“Being part of the GenAngus Program would provide me an amazing opportunity to develop essential business skills and share my ideas with likeminded people,” Mr McKay.


Ellenor Nixon

Ellenor Nixon of Merriwa, NSW, currently studying a Grad Cert in Agriculture at the University of New England, having already completed a Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science.  She currently runs a small breeding herd alongside her family herd, whilst also being assistant manager of the family agricultural enterprise, whilst working full time in a role in Sydney.

In the future Ms Nixon would like to work towards continuing to upgrade and expand her agricultural and business skills whilst progressing to a full-time managing partner of her family’s breeding enterprise.

Ms Nixon would like to utilise the program to further progress her business skills in goal setting, marketing, risk management and benchmarking.

“The GenAngus Program presents a unique opportunity to gain, upgrade and enhance a wide range of skills which can be deployed through various avenues of industry involvement.”


Brenton Sessions

Brenton Sessions, Balmutton, VIC, is currently self-employed, having developed a 100 head Angus stud whilst also running a genetics business, marketing semen and embryos.

Within the next five years Mr Sessions looks further both his genetics company and his stud, integrating his Angus herd into the model herd for his genetics company.

Whilst he has had long running involvement in the beef industry through the development of his businesses, Mr Sessions looks to utilise the networking opportunities through the GenAngus Program to assist in further developing himself within the industry.

“I feel the opportunity to network with likeminded people is always beneficial and no doubt there will be plenty to learn along the way.”


Alkira Riley

Alkira Riley, Koonwarra, VIC currently works as a Trainee Stock Agent, and recently began her own Angus stud with HBR cattle, utilising embryo transfer.   She looks to further develop herself and her business in the coming years, to eventually migrate to selling high quality bulls and building her cow herd.

Miss Riley looks to utilise the GenAngus Future Leaders Program to development her understanding of developing an effective business plan and budget.

“I want to set up a successful beef enterprise and I want to learn as much as possible to do so.  I have never set up or run my own business before, so I am lacking skills and knowledge in the areas this program teaches.”





Damien Thomson

Damien Thomson, Berremangra, NSW, has a background in the agricultural industry through his family’s commercial and seedstock Angus operations, where he is involved within the management of the herds.  Mr Thomson has studied a Bachelor of Agricultural and Resource Economics.

Through his increased involvement in his family operation, Mr Thomson would like to further develop his skills in branding, marketing, communication as well as general skills essential to business management.

“The GenAngus Workshop will give me opportunity to develop skills and knowledge that I will directly take to family Angus stud to improve business and set it up for the next future steps,” said Mr Thomson.

It will also give me the unique opportunity to network and discuss ideas with speakers and other participants.”




Brodie Collins

Brodie Collins, Tennyson, VIC, currently works on farm for his family Angus Stud, Merridale Angus, whilst beginning the development of his own beef business.  Mr Collins looks to develop his business into a solid stud business with quality clientele with repeat buyers.

Mr Collins looks to use the GenAngus Program to develop his understanding of administrative processes for beef businesses.

“There are numerous opportunities in the industry to make money and promote a company but at the moment I don’t know how to do that properly or understand the best way to do it,” said Mr Collins.

“I want to a part of the program because I want to learn how to inflict change to the industry in particular to my own herd.”