SHEEP Producers Australia will hold its inaugural annual general meeting on Tuesday, November 14, with two South Australians seeking election to the new entity’s board.
The decision to transition from Sheepmeat Council of Australia – an incorporated association – to a new body was announced in August. SPA, a company limited by guarantee, will be launched on Tuesday.
Five candidates have been provided for election at the AGM – Jamie Heinrich, Kangaroo Island, Allan Piggott, Moorlands, Michael Craig, Harrow, Vic, Ian McColl, Koorawatha, NSW and Bindi Murray, Woodanilling, WA.
If elected, these five candidates will be the inaugural board directors of SPA.
SCA chief executive officer Kat Giles said under the new structure, a Board Selection Committee reviewed member-nominated candidates and made recommendations against selection criteria.
“The selection committee assessment of candidates included determining an appropriate balance of skills and competencies,” Dr Giles said.
The transitional board directors, including Jeff Murray, David Boyle, John Wallace, Mr Piggott, Rupert Gregg, Michael Craig, Chris Wallace-Smith, Ron Cullen, Chris Kemp and Mark Murphy, have led the changes. These directors will resign at the AGM after many years of service to the SCA and the sheep industry.
The initial members are state members (state farming organisations), with provision for organisational members and individual members once the structure is established.
SPA BOARD CANDIDATES
Mr Heinrich works with his parents on their 880ha sheep farm Ella Matta on Kangaroo Island, which comprises a White Suffolk, Poll Merino and maternal composite seed-stock operation.
The main focus of the seed-stock operation is increasing genetic gain through the use of Lambplan and MerinoSelect. The other part of the business is a commercial self-replacing 18.5-micron ewe flock.
He completed a Bachelor of Business (International Business) with a sub-major in Marketing at the University of SA. Following this he worked for three years at Thomas Foods International in its meat export and livestock departments.
In 2014 Mr Heinrich was selected as the Sheepmeat Council of Australia Youth Ambassador, and for three years has worked with SCA to forge relationships in international markets and to build leadership capability in the sheep industry. He holds a position on the Livestock SA board and is a board member at Ag Kangaroo Island. He is currently undertaking a Nuffield Scholarship on the topic ‘Key factors needed to attract and retain young people in the sheep industry’. He completed the Sheepmeat Council of Australia ‘Governance in Action’ Course in 2016.
Mr Piggott and wife Sue own and manage a farming business and the Illoura White Suffolk stud at Moorlands, run across 2000 hectares and annually selling 600 White Suffolk rams for the prime lamb industry.
His roles in the industry have included many strategic and influential positions including, chair of the inaugural SA Sheep Industry Blueprint Working Group to set the strategic direction for the SA sheep industry for the next 10 years, chair of the SA Regional Committee of Southern Australian Meat Research Council, chair of LambEx 2014 Organising Committee and chair of the Australian White Suffolk Association.
He completed the Applied Science course at Roseworthy Agricultural College, and has completed the Australian Institute of Company Directors Company Directors Course. He holds a board position with Livestock SA and is an executive councillor of the Royal Adelaide Show Society. He has previously been the chair of numerous Natural Resource Management groups and held board positions with the SA Sheep Advisory Group and SA Murray-Darling Basin Natural Resource Management board.
Mr McColl owns and manages a mixed farming enterprise at Koorawatha, NSW, producing up to 2000 lambs and 100 steers. In 2017 he entered into a joint venture feedlotting lambs.
His experience as a past president of Sheepmeat Council of Australia, board director of the Red Meat Advisory Council, member of the National Farmers’ Federation and a partner of Safemeat has given him a diverse knowledge of sheep industry systems, markets, market access and food safety.
He has also held board positions with Central West Landcare and executive council and committee positions with NSW Farmers.
Mr McColl’s experience and depth of knowledge of animal health, welfare and biosecurity systems has been affirmed through his roles as chair of the NSW Farmers Biosecurity Committee, vice chair of the Johnes Disease Taskforce, SCA Animal Health and Welfare committee member and a long-term representative to the committee for National Livestock Identification System for Sheep & Goat Committee.
He was an active leader through the reform of the national ovine johnes disease changes in 2013, the changes to the live export industry through the implementation of ESCAS, the development of the Sheep Industry Strategic Plan 2020 and part of the industry negotiations for key free trade agreements, particularly with China.
Ms Murray is a commercial sheep producer at Woodanilling, WA, running about 6500 Merino ewes as part of the wool enterprise and 2000 Merino ewes mated to terminal sires.
The enterprise provides to local processors as well as the live export market, and works constructively to improve through strong relationships and developing knowledge of the supply chain as a whole.
Her belief that science is at the heart of agriculture led her to complete a Bachelor of Animal Science, where she focused her Honours thesis on the link between high wool production and meat quality. She has also been a research officer for breech-strike trial projects, and is a regular host of producer trials and technical updates.
She has taken on the role of chair of the LambEx 2018 organising committee, with a view to ensuring that producers are provided with good science and practical solutions.
She is a board director of the WA Meat Industry Authority Board. Her involvement in advocacy has been an important aspect of her career. She has held roles as a policy director, Pastoralists and Graziers Association committee member and involvement in national policy issues, such as traceability. In undertaking these roles Ms Murray has also built business development skills through small business management studies.
She has completed the SCA Governance in Action course, the Company Directors Course run by the Australian Institute of Company Directors and is undertaking the Rabobank Executive Leaders program.
Mr Craig, with his wife and two boys, manages a broadacre mixed livestock business located at Harrow, in Western Vic.
He started farming in 2000, and has focused on innovation to improve productivity and ease of management. All 24,000 sheep and 900 cattle have complete lifetime traceability through electronic identification.
Initially his business and interests focused on wool production, but in time the innovations being adopted in the sheepmeat sector led to diversifying his business to include a sheepmeat focus and improving knowledge about the sheepmeat value chain.
This change led to him completing a Nuffield Scholarship in 2016 titled ‘Australian Lamb/Sheepmeat – Commodity or Premium Product? The challenge of moving from a supply chain to a value chain’.
Mr Craig has been a member of the VFF Livestock Council, and a board director of Sheepmeat Council of Australia.
He has undertaken the Company Directors Course run by the Australian Institute of Company Directors and held Director positions for family businesses. He also holds a Bachelor in Commerce and a Diploma in Financial Markets.