Central Queensland launch of Advancing Beef Leaders

The Central Queensland Advancing Beef Leaders (ABL) program included the following 11 participants.

Meet the CQ ABL alumni

Deb Hatte

My name is Deborah Hatte. I grew up in Brisbane and studied civil engineering at UQ. I came to Emerald sixteen years ago for work at the mines, met my now husband (Charlie), and here I still am. And somewhere along the way, developed a passion and love for agriculture. We are in a family partnership and run a breeding and backgrounding cattle business just west of Emerald at Anakie. We follow regenerative principles and aim to have a productive cattle business whilst continually improving our soil and land. Charlie and I have three children, Charlotte (7), Isabella (5) and Juliette (almost 2). When I am not looking after our children, working for MaiaGrazing, working in our farm business, or doing the odd bit of engineering work you might find me in our vegetable garden or trying to get some time at the beach.

James Kent

My name is James Kent, I run alongside my wife our own (seedstock & commercial) cattle operation “Kent Beef” and in 2018 alongside my brother we started our own pasture renovation business “Agvanced”. Day to day I spend my time either working on my own or our family’s cattle operation or working in all aspects of our pasture renovation business from operating to admin. Previously to this I have worked as a livestock agent and auctioneer for Elders Rural Services in Moura and Theodore, Sourcing and Marketing EU Grain fed cattle for NBC Beef pty ltd and for Woody Weed Management which cleared vegetation along major powerlines throughout CQ. Outside of all this I really enjoy most sports including but not limited to rugby, cricket and golf. My wife Cass and I are expecting our first child in October this year.

Matt Quinn

My name is Matt, my time is fully invested in our family business, Essex Grazing Company. I work alongside my mother and father  operating an EU, PCAS, MSA, BMP accredited (formerly), crossbreeding and fattening enterprise. We do a three way cross using predominately purebred Charolais, Brahman and Shorthorn bulls. We operate over four properties, three of which are adjoining around Essex (where I am based) 20 km east of Middlemount, and also Taemas, 120 km south of Charters Towers. I generally spend my time doing development work, maintenance, repairs and everything to do with livestock management. I have been working here in a fulltime capacity since graduating school in 2006. I am very passionate about grass fed beef and believe there has never been a more exciting time to be a part of it! When I am not at work (not very often according to my wife), I enjoy spending time with my family, Sarah, Willow (6), Saige (4) and Elsie (2). We go exploring, fishing, pony riding and their favourite at the moment, bouncing on the trampoline! I also really enjoy clay target shooting when I get a chance.

Ross Newman

My name is Ross Newman, and I am a private agricultural and pastoral consultant operating throughout Central Queensland. Since graduating in 2000 with a Bachelor of Applied Science – Rural Technology (Hons) (University of Queensland), my professional career has been in the agronomy field, primarily focusing on pasture and fodder crop systems for beef production. This work has provided the opportunity to understand production systems in all mainland states of Australia and internationally. In 2008, I was a keynote speaker at the annual Paraguayan Cattlemen’s Conference, speaking on pasture rundown in semi-arid and wet tropics systems. Since returning to Central Queensland in 2013, my work has involved providing solutions to producers in combatting industry impacting issues such as giant rat’s tail, pasture dieback and productivity rundown. My client base ranges from small family operations through to corporate producers, government and mining companies.

In conjunction with my wife, we own and operate the Gracemere Veterinary Surgery, where we cater to companion animals and livestock of all sizes. As livestock welfare and land management become increasingly essential to the beef sector to mitigate external pressures, we view the demand for both veterinary and agronomic consultancy as critical to Central Queensland producers.

On weekends, you will find me showjumping, building courses for my eldest daughter Sydney (13), or taking my youngest daughter Sinclair (11) to either a campdraft or local cattle show to exhibit her Bullionaire Brahman Stud. In the competition offseason, I will be at the Rockhampton Racecourse either watching one of my racehorses or helping my wife, Bridget, with her fashion’s in the field outfits.

Steven Kirby

Hi, I’m Steve Kirby. Since 2010, I have been working for my family on their cattle stations in the Central Highlands and western Queensland. I currently live on the home aggregation, 135 km south west of Emerald. The family business mainly focuses on breeding and growing out cattle, only trading cattle when the opportunity arises. I love the rural lifestyle and am extremely passionate about livestock handling, working dogs, sustainable regenerative agriculture, business and start up technology.

My wife, Alice, and son, Hugo, have our own separate small cattle herd and are looking to expand further. We also have off farm investments, which we hope to continue to grow. When I’m not at work, I like to get down to our local community recreational club at Lochington. As a community we get together to socialise, play tennis, swim, watch state of origin and hold charity days. I am extremely lucky to live in such a great community full of good people who I consider lifelong friends.

Zoe Rickertt

Hi I’m Zoë Rickertt, a veterinarian with 10 years of experience as a mixed practitioner. I was raised on a grazing/farming operation in Central Queensland where I now reside, assisting in the day-to-day operations,
while also providing a veterinary service to the local community and surrounds. My profession has given me
endless opportunity to work and travel. Over the years it has seen my role morph from pregnancy testing thousands of Brahmans in the north, to managing the household cavalry horses in London, to advising the Guernsey dairy breed’s original studs on the Channel Islands, and everything mixed practice can throw at you in between.

Outside work, I love spending time with family and friends. I enjoy travelling (where/when allowed) and continue to use my profession to get away on ‘working holidays’ to explore our beautiful backyard of Australia. Although not an avid camper, I enjoy the outdoors and can frequently be found with a camera around my neck attempting to capture it in all its natural glory.

Ellie Carter

Hi, my names Ellie Carter. I am currently Assistant Manager at Gunthorpe Cattle co. which owns and leases approx. 20,000 acres across 5 properties in Central Queensland. My focus is the day to day running of the property and I am also heavily involved in decision making and planning for the business, I have worked here since the start of 2021. Prior to my current role, I was a Senior Land Management Officer at natural resource management organisation, Fitzroy Basin Association (FBA) for over 4 years where my role was advising CQ landholders on grazing management, erosion mitigation and incentive funding options. While working at FBA, I won the 2019 Reef Champion award in the Extension Officer category. Prior to this, I worked on multiple cattle properties throughout Queensland and regional Australia and studied a Bachelor of Business (Agriculture) from Marcus Oldham. I am on the local campdraft committee, secretary of the hall committee and volunteer at the local show as well as other community events. I am originally from the UK but have lived in Australia since 2010, I love the lifestyle in rural Australia and enjoy riding horses and training working dogs.

Kristie Lisle

My name is Kristie Lisle, I am proud owner/operator of ‘Moonkan Park’, Bushley with my husband, Matt Lisle. My primary role within our operation is maintaining the financial and administration components of our business, operating our local school bus service and caring for our two young children (Jack, 4 & Ella, 2). Although those are my main responsibilities, my passion of working within the beef industry also leads me into various other aspects of our operation. In addition, I am also a qualified Bookkeeper with over 11 years financial and administration experience throughout mining, labour hire and agriculture industries. To further enhance my skills within our agricultural business, I am currently studying a Diploma in Agribusiness Management, which I am anticipating to complete by the end of 2021.
Aside from our business, my husband & I take great passion in breeding and training quality bloodline working dogs which we have been involved with for the past five years. From a more personal front, I thoroughly enjoy photography and have had the opportunity to capture various professional settings from the paddock to family portraits.
From a community involvement perspective, I take great pride in being involved with local committees such as the CQ Carcase Classic Competition (Secretary since 2018) and Marlborough Show Society (Secretary 2013-2018).

Rachel Cruwys

G’day, my name is Rachael Cruwys and I was born and bred in Capella in the Central Highlands, where I continue to be involved with my family’s beef breeding and grain growing property. My family has been breeding Brahman cattle since the 1950s and this is where my passion lies. By following this passion in 2018 I was fortunate to be the recipient of the Samuel and Eileen Gluyas Winston Churchill Fellowship. My project and ongoing Fellowship saw me travel across the USA researching with the view of actively advancing the increase of the domestic marketability of Brahman cattle through improved marketing and genetics. More recently I was selected and became part of the Livestock Leaders alumni, sponsored by Meat & Livestock Australia in conjunction with the Livestock Collective to actively promote the livestock industry and supply chains by engaging with the consuming public. Along the way I have also held positions of Revenue Supervisor within Local Government and, also that of Returning Officer for the Queensland Electoral Commission. Outside of this, I advocate for rural issues and liaise with politicians at state and federal level with regards regulations and policy relating to rural and regional communities and agricultural, fishing and forestry issues. I believe that ultimately stronger leadership with unwavering voices amongst industry groups and organisations, with the best interests of the entire livestock supply chain at heart, will help build credibility and public trust. It also helps ensure that a broader understanding to the complexities in farm and livestock management underpins any government policy. I am an avid rugby league follower and long-suffering Brisbane Broncos supporter. This means like much of Queensland, I have not only seen droughts on the land, but also felt the disappointment of missed opportunities that extend the premiership drought.

Sarah Donovan

My name is Sarah Donovan and I am Manager of my family’s feedlot near Duaringa and along with other members of my family, work across multiple aspects of our mixed farming enterprise. I have spent in excess of 10 years working within the feedlot industry which involves many functions from ration formulation, mixing/feeding, nutrition and animal welfare to the buying of ingredients, client relationship management and the selling of cattle. I have also spent time away from the family property where I worked for numerous grain trading organizations. I gained the some of the most valuable experience working as a shipping and logistics manager for a large multinational which involved the movement and containerization of grain from all areas of the Australian wheat belt to ports in the Middle East and South-East Asia.
I completed a Bachelor of Applied Science through the University of Queensland externally whilst working fulltime and have continued my education through short courses in data analytics and data visualization. I am involved in numerous ag related groups and have a passion for technology, particularly Agtech and automation. Outside of work I spend my time with family, friends and my animals.

Stuart Buck

Hello, my name is Stuart Buck. I have over 25 years of experience in crop and pasture agronomy primarily in central Queensland. I currently work full time at the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF) in Rockhampton as a pasture agronomist. My main and current role is to coordinate the DAF Pasture Dieback program across Queensland. I also support graziers to improve productivity of their pastures through legume augmentation, fertiliser use, or other renovation techniques. Over the last 12 years or so I have developed specialised knowledge of perennial legume production systems, especially leucaena. I have developed close working relationships with grain producers and graziers in Central Queensland, and have successfully collaborated with consultants, industry groups and government agencies both within Queensland and other states. Outside work, I am married with four school-aged kids. We live on a small property south of Rockhampton where we run a small beef breeding and fattening enterprise. This consists of around 35 Brangus x Wagyu breeding females, a full blood Wagyu bull, and progeny. We also have a couple of Dachshund dogs that we breed from too, and not to mention an array of chooks, ducks, geese, and cats…never a dull moment! I’m also active in our local district and school communities.

An extensive expression of interest, application and interview process was undertaken to assess the 31 high quality applications received. The ABL delivery team sincerely thanks all those who took the time to participate in the process.

Advancing Beef Leaders is a leadership and professional development program, piloted in 2020/21 in the Charters Towers district. It recently expanded to include a group in north-west Queensland. Each intake includes producer, agribusiness and service provider participants striving to step up and have impact and influence in their businesses, industry, and community.

The program includes six training modules, mentoring and a group project.

The CQ ABL project was coordinated by DAF extension officers Kylie Hopkins in Central Queensland, in partnership with Meridian Agriculture (Ben Reeve, Paul Blackshaw & Mike Stephens), Evolve AGRi (Amanda Roughan), The Right Mind (Jill Rigney), Engage and Create Consulting (Julia Spicer), Black Box Co (Emma Black), and Concise Communications (Ann Burbrook).