TOM Cosentino is proving a country background is no requisite for a successful career in the beef industry, with the 29-year-old named the SA winner of the 2021 Cattle Council of Australia NAB Agribusiness Rising Champions Initiative.
Mr Cosentino is an executive officer of Livestock SA and the SA Dairy Industry Fund, and runs a small farm at Hindmarsh Valley with his wife, Aimee, producing Murray Grey cattle.
As the SA winner, he will attend an all-expenses paid leadership development week in Canberra with the 2021 Rising Champions from other states across Australia.
Now in its 11th year, the Rising Champions Initiative is a joint program of the Cattle Council of Australia and NAB Agribusiness to foster the leadership and business skills of emerging beef industry leaders.
It provides an opportunity for beef industry participants aged between 21 and 40 years old to kickstart their personal career development and network with industry and government representatives.
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Having been born and raised in the city, but with a lifelong fascination for agriculture, Mr Cosentino hopes to use the experience he gains through the Rising Champions Initiative to positively contribute to building the pipeline of talent in agriculture, and specifically the cattle sector.
"The agriculture industry is often impacted by labour shortages, but I see such growth potential in the talent pool of young people who would love to be involved if they knew more about the industry," he said.
"I grew up in the city and knew nothing about farming, and I think there are many others out there with talent to offer, but no corresponding pathway to crack into the industry.
"I hope to be able to help share and communicate the great things about the Australian beef industry, with a view to boosting the number of new entrants willing to contribute their time and skills for the overall benefit of the sector."
NAB regional and agribusiness executive Julie Rynski said Mr Cosentino was an exceptional role model for other young members of the beef industry.
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"Fostering the professional development and leadership skills of the next generation of Australian beef industry leaders like Tom is vital to ensure the ongoing success of the industry and the many rural and regional communities who depend on it," Ms Rynski said.
CCA president Markus Rathsmann congratulated Mr Cosentino on his achievement and dedication to the Australian beef industry.
"Tom reflects the high calibre of candidates that the Rising Champions program continues to attract and bodes well for the future of the Australian beef industry," Mr Rathsmann said.
Mr Cosentino will attend the leadership development course with interstate winners Kari-Melise Moffat, Darwin; Annie Pumpa, Table Top, NSW; Jen Smith, East Gippsland, Vic; Sam Fryer, Prairie, Qld; Stafford Ives-Heres, Marrawah, Tas; and Tamara Pfitzner, Gidgegannup, WA.
The publisher of Stock Journal, Australian Community Media, is a proud supporter of the Rising Champions Initiative.
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