Over the last couple of months we have been looking back at Angus Youth and seeing where they are now!
We caught up with former Angus Youth member Rebecca Rundell to see what she is up to now, and how Angus Youth affected her development in the industry.
Make sure you check out the gallery of where are they now images featuring the former Angus Youth members featured in the bulletin series so far!
What is your earliest memory participating in Angus Youth activities?
In January 1996, I was given the opportunity to attend the Angus Youth Roundup in Hamilton, Victoria. I attended the 3-day event and borrowed a heifer ‘Banquet Wiven Q44’ kindly supplied by Banquet Angus. After the Roundup, this heifer I borrowed at the Roundup, we then purchased and this was the beginning of our family Angus Stud, Shadwell Park Angus.
What activity/event stands out to you the most (eg Roundup, leadership clinic, scholarships etc)?
in 2002 I attended the Angus Youth Roundup in Bathurst NSW and was fortunate to be awarded the Trans-Tasman New Zealand Exchange. This award gave me the chance to travel both North and South Islands of New Zealand to research the beef industry for 6 weeks.
This was an excellent opportunity provided by Angus Youth to learn about the Australasian beef industry, Angus cattle, attend various bull sales and work on several host farms while travelling.
The scholarship allowed me to meet a lot of Angus breeders during a short period of time, then in return we hosted the follow up Australian Exchange winners.
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?
One of the most important areas of Angus Youth involvement has been the links to industry experts who have assisted young people how to critically assess and justify cattle for structural characteristics and choose cattle for various markets, regions, breeding programs, also understanding carcass quality and suitability.
I have found cattle assessment an essential skill in breeding cattle- Angus Youth involvement has created the environment to help participants gain knowledge needed in all aspects of cattle breeding. From mock bull auctions, setting breeding objectives, interpretation of EBVs, through to managing and marketing the animals produced.
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 2000, my role as an Angus Ambassador allowed us to working closely with staff from ‘The Angus Society of Australia’ to promote the Angus Youth and the Angus Breed.
Events included Leadership clinics, Angus Nationals (Wodonga), Angus Feature Royal Shows, planning of regional events to promote youth, and working with committee in preparation for the next big Roundup!
This involved a lot of teamwork, planning and communication as the Roundup committee was based in several different states across Australia (we had regular phone hook ups as there was no social media!)
During many years of involvement with Angus Youth, and receiving the Trans Tasman Scholarship, there have been a lot of kilometres travelled… various letters of applications/ resumes written, interviews conducted, and judges, people and host families met and thanked along the way, Angus Youth provides many opportunities.
How are you involved in the beef cattle industry now/ where are you now?
In 2015, I purchased quality foundation breeding cows from Shadwell Park Angus to establish Shady Park Angus.
Located in Southwest Victoria, Shady Park Angus cattle run alongside commercial lamb production on property at Branxholme, 25 km south of Hamilton.
An annual breeding program is conducted mid-year using Artificial Insemination (AI), with autumn calving cows producing calves suitable for either preparation as herd replacing females, or quality study bulls for local producers. Performance recording on individual animals is an advantage for Shady Park Angus, as it assists in comparison and choosing cattle with characteristics suited for a particular breeding program, client or market.
Particular traits are selected to produce progeny suited for the commercial buyer in our local area.
After attending the 100 years of Angus Conference in Albury last year, it was special to meet again with the people who were contributing to Angus Youth back in 1996 and are still supporting today.
I wish to thank Angus Australia for providing the opportunities, my supportive family and people within the beef/agricultural industry who have assisted in our development.
Why would you encourage others to become involved in the Angus Youth Program?
Angus Youth is very supportive of young people coming into or currently involved in the beef industry.
The program provides many practical skills, encouragement and connections with industry experts who are often lifelong contacts.