What does it mean to be recognised as a future leader?  

In opening the 2022 GenAngus Future Leaders program, Angus Australia Extension Manager, Jake Phillips noted that, ‘They are enthusiastic, positive and passionate’, three words that are not out of place when describing the twenty-nine GenAngus future leaders that came together in Adelaide at the end of May. 

With an eye on their future in the beef industry and the drive to push themselves out of their comfort zones, the 2020 and 2021 cohorts joined the 2022 Cohort, for the first two days for the leadership day and first day of presentations. 


Sage Advice From Industry Leaders

The GenAngus Future Leaders Program would not be possible without the industry alliance between Angus Australia and specialist farm insurer Achmea Australia and when opening GenAngus at the official dinner, Jake Phillips acknowledged the support that Achmea Australia provides Angus Australia, alongside the Angus Foundation and New Zealand Angus.  

‘The alliance from Achmea Australia to bring this program to life, along with the support from Achmea Australia staff has offered across four years, continues to be life changing for now 40 young passionate agricultural leaders in Australia and New Zealand.’ 

Jake also recognised the work that Angus Australia has had in developing the careers of your beef leaders since the formation of the Angus Youth programs in the 1970’s. 

‘Angus Australia has an amazing record of being the catalyst of opportunity for some of the brightest minds in the Australian beef industry. This commitment to the future is nothing short of remarkable’. 

‘For some of you this program may change your life, in fact I know it does. Personally, for me, to be able to bring this program to life is one of the greatest pleasures I have had in my working career.’ 

Setting Up For Business Success

Angus Australia’s Extension Manager Jake Phillips described the GenAngus Future Leaders Program as an incredible experience for all involved.  

‘Twenty-eight of the Angus breeds’ and Australian beef industry’s brightest young people have had access to some of Australia’s most leading speakers and have been given the knowledge skills and empowerment for them to make real life change in their businesses and on their farms.’  

Jake acknowledged that the wide range of topics covered meant that participants received a number of different outcomes out of the program that they can take home and implement.   

The program was designed to challenge the participants business perceptions, increase their knowledge and confidence and inspire them to put into practice the outcomes they gained from the event 

Presentations were made by:  

  • Pete Clark, 21 Whispers – Mindset 
  • Richard Officer & Danielle Whitelock, Achmea Australia – Risk Mitigation & Liability 
  • Simon Quilty, Global Agritrends – The Outlook for Australian beef 
  • Francis English, Rabobank & Matthew Merret, Bretnalls – Finance Fundamentals for Young Farmer 
  • Simon Vogt, Pinion Advisory – Implementing Change 
  • Cameron Parker, Primary Producers SA – Redefining our Success 
  • Angus Street, Auctions Plus – The Secrets to AuctionsPlus Success 
  • Diana Wood, Angus Australia – Marketing 101  
  • Heidi Wright – Wright Social – Secrets to Social Media 
  • Jake Phillips, Angus Australia – A breeding Program by Design 
  • Jess Cavanagh and Isobel Knight, Proagtive – Sucession Planning 
  • Milly Nolan, The Livestock Collective – DISC Profiling 

Forever Learning & Growing

Jarrod Koch, Barrabool, VIC, has been co-director and owner of Longview Agriculture for approximately five years.  Together with his wife, he runs an Angus and Simmental stud and commercial beef operation, including Angus breeders and grass fattening Angus steers across two properties in southwest VIC. 

Jarrod was blown away by the quality of the presenters during GenAngus. 

‘They have been really phenomenal, and I’ve tried to take a little bit out of every lesson, but the key takeaway is just trying to slowly improve every day in all different aspects of the business .’ 

 Jarrod also took a lot from the Risk Mitigation session, ‘Richard really honed in to us the importance of making sure that our businesses and our assets are protected and encouraging us to go through the whole gambit, of what level of risk are we comfortable with, what we can do to reduce that level or risk, right through to insurance.’ 

Peter Colliver, Meningie, SA, currently works as Stud Manager of Stoney Point Performance Angus and has been involved in the beef industry from the age of 16.  He also studied and obtained an advanced diploma in Agriculture and completed 21 months exchange with IAEA in Canada and Denmark. 

Peter applied for GenAngus because, ‘I thought it was a great opportunity for where I am in my career to further my knowledge, meet a lot of influential people to build my network and increase my skills.’ 

‘One presentation that I took the most out of was the one presented by Francis and Matt on banking and accounting. It was a great opportunity for someone like me that’s looking to get into land ownership and to know that there are still ways of getting into agribusiness and property ownership, which I thought had almost been beyond my grasp and that there are certainly still opportunities for young people to get into agriculture now.’ 

Emily Read, Coonabarabran, NSW, grew up working and contributing to her family cattle operation.  She returned to the business officially in 2018 and has since began growing her own herd with her husband, breeding commercial Angus cattle. 

For Emily being able to network and learn from some of the best in the industry was key.Everyone in the room is already passionate, but it just gives you that extra little push to go home and be like, yes, we can make this better, we can improve this.’ 

‘Learning about marketing has been huge because we have been a little bit lost, so it was great to hear from Di about product recognition and branding, but also learning from Heidi about social media, both giving us some things that we can go home and focus on.’ 

Damon Englund, Upper Stowport, TAS, is director of Deep Creek Cattle Services Pty Ltd, and also runs a small Angus stud DC Angus.  In its sixth year, Deep Creek Cattle Services is an Artificial Breeding service providing beef producers with genetic gain. Damon and his partner also own and run a small farm buying weaned Angus heifers from clients or weaner sales to develop into PTIC heifers to be sold on Auctions Plus annually.   

Damon joined GenAngus to further his business skills in areas like marketing, but Pete Clark’s presentation was something that really resonated with him.  

‘Starting with mindset set the program up, it highlighted that I need to be better both as a person and I need to become more disciplined in business and push myself out of my comfort zone.’ 

‘I would certainly recommend GenAngus to anyone that’s thinking about attending, along with the business skills you can pick up from this program, is the phenomenal networking.’  

Cara Fagan, Coonamble, NSW, has been involved in the beef industry from a young age through her family farming enterprise. Cara has been involved in the breeding programs, bull selection and all aspects of animal husbandry and management. 

GenAngus appealed to Cara because of the business support and knowledge opportunities that come from the program. 

‘I think it’s really important to be in a group of like-minded people because then you can build your ideas on each other, and you’ll find that there’s always a lot more growth and strength in the team.’ 

And in terms of putting her learning into practice, ‘I think the first thing that I’ll take home and implement will be the branding strategy. I’ve gotten a lot out of the marketing, social media and branding sessions. I will also be looking at the risk mitigation strategies we have in place.’ 

Bridget Watson, Coonalpyn, SA, and her family started a commercial herd in 2012 and recently began a seedstock enterprise, where they are developing their stud herd with the aim to host their first bull sale in 2023.  

Initially thinking she was too young to attend GenAngus, Bridget was glad that she was encouraged to apply and step outside her comfort zone. 

‘It’s such a good program and I’ve learned so much from it. And being so young, it’s not a weakness, it’s probably a strength. I am learning so many new things and it just opens my future for me.’ 

‘The mindset presentation also stood out for me because I do doubt myself and the mindset showed me that I can do this and I will do it fun.’ 

Nancy Crawshaw developed a passion for agriculture and genetics growing up on her parents’ sheep, beef, and Angus Stud property in New Zealand and is currently working as a Quality Assurance Manager for Teys Naracoorte. 

Being able to reconnect with a group of young people who are also passionate about Angus in the beef industry and wanting to gain improvement through further learning was key for Nancy.  

‘We’ve got a great network out of it, but the amount of information we’ve absorbed over the last few days has been very eye opening, it is going to take us a while to process all the information and then work out how can we start implementing what we have learned.’ 

For Nancy the DISC profiling was a highlight. ‘Being able to take this profile information back to my team at work could be quite a big advantage in our team, and in our next meeting, everyone can go through some of the processes, such as writing a post it note to describe the other team members to see how we all view each other.’ 

Samuel Finlayson was brought up on a cattle property based near Armidale, NSW, where his family developed Angus beef brand ‘Three Creek Beef’.  Sam has worked in the business’s international trading and finance sectors. 

Sam applied for the program to gain further knowledge and experience in how to take the next step in business. 

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

In summing up his experience, Sam took a lot from Angus Street. 

‘Be the change you want to see and the ‘Legacy’ quote of sweep the sheds reminds me how important humility and discipline is and how they come hand in hand.’  

The session on succession planning was also key for Sam, ‘After listening to that I realised how important succession planning is in a family.’ 

George Philip, Dannevirke NZ George Phillip is a sheep and beef farmer near Dannevirke on the east coast of the north island in New Zealand. The family runs 240 stud breeding cows and their progeny as well as 4300 breeding ewes with 1000 stud ewes.  

Coming out of GenAngus, George hopes to develop some structure and effort in his marketing program to try and keep this consistent. 

George also has a vision for having more involvement in the genetic direction of his herd. 

‘Listening to Jake and knowing how to set a breeding objective, getting that nailed down and making sure we are doing our best to collect the data needed for genetic evaluation will be important for me.’ 

George Giddings, Fairlie NZ runs Meadowslea Angus with his family. They mated 700 stud Angus cows this year as well as 3000 stud ewes and focus on breeding cattle suitable for the South Island hill and high-country environment. During the 2020 COVID lockdowns George and his family were unable to hold their annual in-calf female sale as a conventional auction, so developed their own Yourbid helmsman-style bidding platform to run that sale which was very successful. 

George went into the social media session thinking he knew a lot, but after listening to Heidi found himself learning so much more than he realised was possible and has some new ideas to take home and implement. 

Given his involvement in online auctions, George also took a lot out of Angus Street’s presentation. ‘Leaning how to turn friction points into positives is a key thing and knowing how to manage the business against the existing industry and make it work for everyone.’ 

Alexis Gandy, Diamond Tree, WA, is co-owner of Gandy Angus, a seedstock operation offering bulls at auction annually, which she has run for 15 years.    

Due to being in a rebuilding phase of their herd, following family succession. Alexis felt the need to develop some skills to help promote their business and remind people they are still there and so applied for GenAngus.  

The caliber of the speakers was something that stood out for Alexis, as well as the fact that there was something for everyone in each session. 

‘But the social media session was a standout for me, it’s something I really struggle with and always ends up at the bottom of my to do list. We got some practical tips on how to manage our social channels and really setting some strategy around that. I really need to take the time to make a plan, write it out, be a lot more deliberate about what I’m doing, because it can be really easy to rush to the outside and physical tasks that always seem to take priority.’ 

Ben Lucas, Book Book, NSW, has a background of over 10 years’ experience working on his family farm where they run approximately 1,000 Angus breeding stock.  Since 2020, he has operated Baylen Angus and in their first year the original focus of this business is to breed bulls for the everyday farmer.   

Ben ended up attending GenAngus because his wife applied for him and according to Ben, it was one of the best things she has done for him, ‘I am very grateful, because it was an absolutely fantastic program.’ 

‘It couldn’t have come at a better time, as we look to grow our business. I realised that even topics that don’t really interest me, that when you sit there and listen to that, you’re like, wow, it actually does play a massive part in your business.’ 

‘Succession planning was a highlight being on a family farm operation and Simon Quilty’s presentation about market trends gives you a little bit of confidence in going forward for the next five years. It’s given me a little bit of confidence to say, right, we’re doing the right thing, so let’s go in at 100 miles an hour and if we come out the other side and the market stays where it is, well, we feel confident in what we’re doing.’ 

Jack Laurie, Moppy, NSW, is the owner of Breeder Genetics, a genetics company focusing on the selling of semen. It is a breeder-to-breeder platform providing a marketplace for all beef producers.   

As well as business outcomes, Jack was driven by the connections to apply for GenAngus.  

‘Throughout my life, I’ve probably learned, it’s not always what you know, it’s who you know and at a lot of these events, the connections and the networking you can do at them is underrated.’ 

Jack highlighted that, ‘It’s a lot about the little things we could be doing better that sort of add up. I know it’s a bit of a cliche to talk about the one percenters, but if you can tweak some of those little things we’d be able to do a lot better.’ 

‘Talking about our mindset and how we can have a positive mindset and trying to actually understand how we’re going to receive information and give it back out, through to how can all be doing better with our social media, as well as looking at finance to get in a better financial position and have more security.’ 

Where to from here?

As the week ended Jake Phillips finished with some parting words of inspiration. 

‘The real magic happens when we are able to bring the right presenters and future leaders together in the same room, open their minds and facilitate their learning growth journey.’  

‘The most impressive component of the program is how everyone was able to learn from each other, identifying the strengths of others and offering pieces of experience and self-reflection that others may be able to use.’  

Most importantly the participants survey responses indicate that the likelihood they will make practice change by attending GenAngus was 97/100. 

‘The submitted scores of likelihood of the participants to make practice change is a clear sign that the program offers the right ingredients for the participants to think deeply, self-reflect, implement cultural changes and strategically think about the business they are in and the opportunities they will take to ensure that the Angus industry and its people will continue to be profitable and sustainable and offer the next generation a chance to enjoy the wonderful things the breed has to offer,’ said Jake. 

‘It is clear that the GenAngus program has cemented its position as Australia’s leading development program for young people with a passion for the Angus cattle industry.’ 

Image: Jake Phillips, Angus Australia Extension Manager at GenAngus. Image: Simon Casson 

Feature Image: The 2020, 2021 and 2022 cohorts of the GenAngus Future Leaders Program. Images Simon Casson

By Diana Wood, Marketing and Communications Manager