We checked up with Hayley Robinson to see where they are now, and to learn about her Angus Youth experience.
Angus Youth taught me to have a go. I tried and sometimes wasn’t successful but always learnt a lot. The perseverance paid off in a lot of ways, honing skills, building networks and knowledge.”
As part of the centenary editions of the Angus Bulletins, we have been looking back to at Angus Youth and seeing where they are now!
Hayley Robinson (nee Mooreland)
What is your earliest memory participating in Angus Youth activities?
My first Round up was in 1996, I think at Hamilton.
What activity/event stands out to you the most (eg Roundup, leadership clinic, scholarships etc)?
There are so many great opportunities offered by Angus Youth. I was fortunate enough to be the recipient of the University of Illinois scholarship in 2001. The whole experience from application through to the scholarship itself was so rewarding. The process involved an application, interview, lots of cattle judging and public speaking. I remember when I was researching the scholarship and the University of Illinois I was determined that I would one day win it. I remember thinking “I’m 21 – I have 9 years to win this”. I was awarded the scholarship and it really changed my career trajectory and focus.
In terms of opportunities that you received for being part of Angus Youth, how did your involvement positively influence your development in the beef cattle industry?
I was involved in Angus youth at a number of levels for a number of years; Roundup competitor, Angus Youth Ambassador, Management Committee, Round Up committee and Scholarship winner. All of these experiences allowed me to develop leadership and communication skills. Importantly there was great networking opportunities and I have made many contacts and friends through Angus Youth which continue to positively influence me.
What were the key learnings you developed as a member of Angus Youth, through the program and then the additional scholarship experiences that you had?
In terms of development, I was always interested in science and the cattle industry and thought I would be involved in something to do with genetics. My experience at the University of Illinois and the introduction into meat science and technology really opened my eyes to a whole new line of opportunity. My focus shifted from being interested in breeding cattle to producing beef. Following my time in Illinois, I focussed my interest into the beef end of the supply chain.
A key learning through my Angus Youth experience was to have a go. As a younger person I shied away from big opportunities, always thinking that I wouldn’t be enough; have enough experience, be from a big enough Angus breeding family etc, and as a result I let opportunities pass me by. Angus Youth taught me to have a go. I tried and sometimes wasn’t successful but always learnt a lot. The perseverance paid off in a lot of ways, honing skills, building networks and knowledge. When I won the University of Illinois scholarship I really appreciated it. I also was prepared to make the most of it and other opportunities as they presented themselves.
How are you involved in the beef cattle industry now/where are you now?
I currently work for Meat and Livestock in the Meat Standards Australia (MSA) team. As Operations Manager, I work with processors, brand owners and producers to increase adoption and utilisation of MSA. This allows me to combine my interest in science, the beef industry and communication to help keep Australian beef and lamb on the menu around the world.
My husband and I have a small Angus stud of our own. It’s no Te Mania – but we enjoy being part of the Angus Australia world none-the-less.
Why would you encourage others to become involved in the Angus Youth Program?
As mentioned above, the Angus Youth gives you skills and opportunities that are valuable not only within the cattle industry but in many parts of life. Perseverance and responsibility are important to any career option. The ability to work with people of all ages and background makes networking and building relationships easier in future life. Making decisions and justifying them (like in Junior Judging) to get your point across is a valuable skill. Whether your involvement in Angus Youth is via Roundup and associated networks or through obtaining scholarships or further education opportunities, you will get something out of the program. How much you get out of it is up to you – have a go and you never know where Angus Youth can take you.
Feature Image: Hayley Robinson with husband Brad presenting the Pee Wee Herdsman Champions at the 2019 Thomas Foods International Angus Youth Roundup