Angus Foundation scholarship recipients Lochie McLauchlan and Lori Fogarty attended the LIVEXchange 2022 Conference in Darwin with Ruby Canning as the 2021 LIVEXchange conference was postponed.
As a result of informative and in-depth talks held over two days, the scholarship recipients gained a much deeper understanding of the live export market.
“These events are all about sharing information and insight into the livestock export trade, breaking down knowledge barriers, being open about industry challenges and demonstrating the industry’s commitment and ongoing effort to improve animal welfare in supply chains,” said Jake Phillips, Angus Australia Extension Manager.
“The overall aim of offering these scholarships is to build the knowledge of those selected about the live export industry and the beef industry while allowing them the opportunity to network with industry professionals and developing their personal skills.”
The following reports have been put together by Mr McLauchlan, Miss Fogarty and Miss Canning regarding their LIVEXchange experience.
Early in November I was lucky enough through Angus Australia to attend the 2022 live export conference in Darwin for the ‘Here, there, together’ forum. I applied for this scholarship as it appealed to me as a livestock agent for Charles Stewart based in Mortlake and a large percentage of our work is exporting Friesian calves to China.
This event is run every 2 years with a heavy focus on topics such as our livestock trade to Indonesia.
This conference had people attend from all parts of Australia whether it be Agents, Exporters, stockies (people who work on livestock boats) or farmers keen to learn more about what happens on boats behind the scenes.
I had many of key take away points from my week in Darwin but for me the connecting and engaging with different people in the same industry but from other parts of the supply chain made it worth my time.
For me now I can use the contacts I have made from this years forum and bounce ideas off them, as this is an industry that is always changing and can be challenging at times.
The opportunity the Angus Youth scholarship gave me to be able to attend the LIVEX conference in Darwin is one that I will be forever grateful for.
Over the two days, my knowledge of the Live Export industry was expanded and I really got an insight into all the different avenues that are involved in the industry. The networking opportunities from the week were unmatched, and I only wish that there was more time to meet different industry professionals.
Growing up in Central Australia, I understood live export, but that understanding was mainly based off the 2011 four corners documentary and what I heard from discussions with other pastoralists. As an impressionable 11 year old, this documentary was an incorrect representation of the industry. As stated at the conference, the effect of the documentary is still prevalent to this day.
Personally, the part of the conference that stood out most to me was Major General Stephen Days’ speech on leadership. I remember during this speech looking around the room, and the crowd was just as fixated on his powerful words as I was. Leadership is a powerful tool in the livestock industry, as good leaders are well respected, even after they pass on.
The legacy that good leadership provides will forever be a crucial aspect, and that’s why I resonated with Stephens’ speech. I also liked the point he made when talking about being “tough”. Mental toughness was a point he kept referring to, as this is often much more important than physical toughness.
Another part of the conference that I enjoyed was the number of young leaders in attendance. The age demographic at the conference was a good opportunity to network with industry professionals of all ages.
I would like to thank Angus Australia for the opportunity to attend the conference, and I look forward to seeing the Angus breed be more involved in Northern Australian industry events. For any youth involved in the Angus breed, applying for the many scholarships available is an amazing opportunity to network and learn new things about parts of the industry you may not know a lot about.
My time at LIVEXchange was an engaging and educational experience where I gained an insight into the live export industry along with developing a more comprehensive understanding of the northern beef industry. The theme at the conference – From here to there together: strengthening our foundations and creating connections was clearly represented throughout the conference.
An immediate observation which I encountered whilst at the conference, was the number of young individuals who are the next generation of the beef industry. I have always been a strong believer that for all agricultural industries to be sustainable, the next generation must be passionate about the prosperity of our industry also. There were multiple scholarship recipients at the event, including NTCA Future Leaders, Young Live Export Network bursary recipients and Angus Youth scholarship winners. We engaged as a group throughout the event, and we learnt about each of our experiences in the beef industry during the multiple networking events at the conference.
I began my time in Darwin attending the YLEN Western of the Waves boat cruise around Darwin harbour – which was incredible! I also attended the young Live Export Network AGM. Along with meeting many like-minded individuals, it was exciting to be in a room with so many young individuals who are passionate about the future of the live export trade.
We had an insightful Q & A session with Prue Bondfield, and a key message I valued from the session was understanding the importance of breaking down goals and understanding and accepting that your pathway might change along the way to the goal. YLEN & Angus Youth provide multiple opportunities for collaborative relationships through shared values, and this is something I look forward to progressing as I am part of the Angus Youth Consultative Committee and a YLEN member.
The presentations were strategically broken down into key topics and themes. We began day 1 discussing – strengthening our foundations, opportunities and challenges, international perspectives, and concluded with a focus on northern Australia. As I have had limited experience in northern Australia, I found this beneficial as I could understand the big picture of the live export trade and the importance of it, along with the challenges associated with the industry also.
It was valuable to learn about the NT buffalo industry evolution as this is not a sector which I had learnt about previously. Our export industry is diverse, and throughout presentations it was reiterated how we need to be transparent to a wider population, especially to the individuals who are not in our industry. As a rural photographer who focusses on capturing stories, and the essence of life on the land, I believe there is a powerful avenue of career development within the live export trade due to the changing nature of being more transparent and the interest in sharing our stories and values.
The starting keynote presentation by Major General Stephen Day highlighted thoughts on leadership. The development of moral courage, humbleness and the importance of it in great teams, he also outlined that leaders deal in hope, not hype. Following on from this presentation and hearing about the how the industry and key stakeholders have learnt from the 2011 halt in the export trade, it became apparent that the presentation aligned with key values of industry including moral courage and dealing with challenging situations.
Day 2 topics surrounded the themes of the global outlook, sustainability, innovation, and creating connections. A highlight from day 2 was an engaging presentation from Carolina Cucurella – Senior Veterinary Advisor, European Livestock and Meats Trade Union about the noteworthy review of animal welfare standards and regulations within the EU. We concluded the final day with an impressive gala dinner.
During the conference it was enjoyable spending time with Scott Wright & Bernard Beatty from Angus Australia. As a member of the Angus Youth Consultative Committee, I have been involved with Angus Youth for multiple years and I continue to see the benefits of being involved and exposed to different aspects of the beef industry.
If you have an appetite for learning and embracing educational experiences within the beef industry, I highly encourage you to apply for Angus Youth Scholarships. The opportunities you can benefit from are endless, along with networking with many likeminded individuals and likelihood of making lifelong friends. Having an ongoing interest in the southern live export trade, along with understanding the career opportunities which are embedded throughout the export supply chain, I gained an unforgettable experience from LIVEXchange.
I am very grateful for receiving this scholarship from Angus Australia. Finally, a sincere thankyou to all of the sponsors, event presenters, committee members, organisers and trade stall holders who made the event possible.
Feature Image: Ruby Canning, Lochie McLachlan, Lori Fogarty at 2022 LIVEXchange.