The Ballarat Foundation is proud to announce the winner of the Matthew George Young Stockman Award for 2023 is Lochie McLauchlan.
Lochie, aged 20, grew up on his family farm located in the south-west Victoria, Mortlake. His family own and operate an Angus stud and Lochie has been involved in livestock care, selling and industry shows and sales from a very young age. From this time, Lochie developed a great passion for the family operation.
He has previously been recognised with amazing awards like the 2017 gun fitters in Melbourne and state finals handlers, from which he went on to win the nationals competition.
When Lochie was 17, he was given the opportunity to travel to Canada for 3 months to live with a family and show cattle alongside them. In those 3 months he gained a passion for travelling and has since wanted to go back.
The Matthew George Young Stockman Award provides an opportunity for young breeders, aged 21 to 30 years, to undertake a study tour of beef cattle breeding programs, developments and practices. As well, they act as young ambassadors for the beef cattle industry in Australia.
Matthew George lived in the Stockyard Hill area in Victoria and at age 19 purchased a property about 7 kilometres from his parents’ farm. Matthew died in November 2007, aged 21, as a result of a motor vehicle crash close to home.
From the time Matthew could walk he was his father’s shadow. Matthew embraced farm life from that point on. He was a natural at handling stock whether it be sheep or cattle but as he grew older, cattle (and Black Angus cattle in particular) became his passion. He loved to prepare his animals for the show and the sale ring and provided the same service to other leading cattle studs in Victoria.
Matthew was like a sponge when it came to genetics. He would study every stud sale catalogue, American and Canadian Angus Journals and kept them as a ready reference. When Matthew went to a Stud cattle sale he would already have chosen the cattle he would like to purchase. He wasn’t successful in purchasing all the cattle he liked because the ones he had selected usually went for the highest prices.
Matthew’s dream was to travel to Canada on a working holiday. He wanted to stay at some of the Stud ranches where they welcomed the help and in exchange gave you a first-hand experience on how their operation worked. Matthew really wanted to see the Angus genetics in Canada as he believed this was where his own Angus Stud would benefit the most. His quest was to find the magic genetics that would elevate his Stud Stock to be the breeding stock that other cattle breeders wanted to place in their breeding herds.
Following Matthew’s death, the Angus cattle family of Australia rallied together, along with local business from Beaufort and Ballarat area in Victoria, to form The Matthew George Young Stockman Award in his memory.
The award is managed by the Ballarat Foundation, a long-standing charity established to support Ballarat and surrounding communities.
Award recipients have used funds from the Award to participate in overseas study tours. Lochie plans to travel to the United States of America in 2024 to fulfil the scholarship.