We check in with former Angus Youth member Tom Wilding-Davies to see where he is now and how Angus Youth influenced him.
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!
My earliest memories of involvement in Angus Youth date back to attending Angus Youth Roundups in Holbrook, Armidale and Hamilton with Rob Bulle and Ardrossan Angus.
What activity/event stands out to you the most (eg Roundup, leadership clinic, scholarships etc)?
The opportunity to take up a scholarship to study at one of the oldest, most reputable and established Ag schools in the US, Michigan State University, was certainly the standout event during my time with Angus Youth.
Despite having lived in North America previously, it was a fantastic experience and one I am forever grateful for. Although now this scholarship has moved to Kansas State I would strongly encourage those eligible to apply to do so.
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 believe the opportunities that came from my involvement in Angus Youth have had a big part in my development within the beef cattle industry. The opportunities to meet, interact and develop relationships with so many different individuals from not only across Australia but right across the globe that share a passion for the beef industry is by far the biggest. Be it through my career, business dealings or even lifelong friendships many have been initiated through contact that was made with people during my time with Angus Youth. Personally, Angus Youth allowed me to have exposure to and develop skills that I have since used throughout my career such as public speaking, interview, communication and leadership skills.
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?
The beef business is a great industry that has so many components to it. The whole supply chain is incredibly important; This includes all stakeholders and their roles or responsibilities to the provision of a great eating experience for our end customers. Despite the challenges we face and will continue to face domestically and globally, it is an exciting industry with a huge number of opportunities. We are fortunate to have some amazing people involved in the industry that are prepared to engage with and encourage those willing to learn and ask.
How are you involved in the beef cattle industry now/where are you now?
Currently I am employed by Woolworths Limited and manage their Beef procurement for the state of Western Australia where I have been located for the last 2 years. This involves managing the supply of both grain and grass-fed cattle 52 weeks a year for the business.
My family also run a small registered Red Angus operation and also a beef reproduction business in Southern NSW which I still take a keen interest in.
Why would you encourage others to become involved in the Angus Youth Program?
I honestly believe that the Angus Youth provide a wonderful platform for young people to develop an interest and skill set in this great industry we are a part of. It doesn’t matter whether they are fortunate enough to grow up on the land or simply have a genuine interest in the cattle business. Angus Youth enables this through their provision of great events, programs, scholarships, guidance and the amazing generosity of their sponsors. I think it’s a superb environment to mix with a group of people of different backgrounds, ages and levels of involvement within the industry and make some terrific friends and industry contacts along the way.
Top Image: Tom Wilding-Davies and AuctionsPlus CEO, Angus Street
Tom Wilding-Davies & Dion Brook