The Graeme Acton Beef Connections program was about developing the skills of young beef producers by providing training and personal development opportunities and a mentor to help them achieve their goals and participate in Beef Australia 2015.
The inaugural Beef Connections program was a new initiativeof Beef Australia and was proudly supported by Westpac Agribusiness. It was named in honour of the late Graeme Acton, who was a leading Queensland beef industry figure renowned for supporting young people in entering the sector, and sharing with them his extensive knowledge.
Meet the Beef Australia 2015 Participants
Blythe Calnan - Live Export
Blythe is from a pastoral cattle station back ground in the North West of WA. Now based on her property in South West WA, she and her partner run a small beef trading and boer goat operation.
Blythe has worked with the Live Export Program for five years as a consultant. She has worked across the Middle East and in Russia, as well as co-ordinating shipboard stockmen training in Australia and undertaking voyages.
In 2013 Blythe was awarded the Cattle Councils Rising Champion which has seen her represent live export and the Australian beef industry at events from Canberra to Texas.
In November 2014 Blythe has taken up a role with Allflex Livestock Identification as the Western Australia Area Sales Manager.
Adam Coffey - Producer
Adam is originally from the southern farming environment. He completed and Advanced Dip in Ag Management at Marcus Oldham College in 2005.
He and his wife moved to WA after being given the opportunity to work on a corporate-owned cattle station in the Kimberley. He now runs Stapleton Station, west of Katherine.
He also runs 1000 head of his own cattle and has developed an agistment and hay making enterprise.
Adam has two young children, Will and Sam.
Kenrick Cross - Producer
New South Wales
Kenrick grew up on various properties in the Warren area of NSW.
In 2002 headed north to Canobie to join the stock camp and for the next 8 years worked for AACo on Kalmeta, Wondoola, Lawn Hill, and Canobie.
He is currently the assistant manager at Oxley Station, owned by Paraway Pastoral Company.
He is married with two daughters and is proud to call Oxley home.
Donald Hook - Education
Donald’s family background is in farming.
He graduated from Curtin University with a Bachelor of Agribusiness (Farm Management), and was employed by Murdoch University as an assistant farm manager.
Donald is currently teaching agriculture at Morawa Ag School and would love to one day own and manage his own property.
Rachel Hoolihan - Agribusiness
Born, raised and educated in Longreach, Rachel is a keen sportsperson with a passion for horse sports.
Rachel thoroughly enjoys working with new technologies and innovations in the beef industry.
She is currently employed by as a graduate with AACo and counts herself lucky to be able to live, work and socialise in a lifestyle that she loves.
Ashley Kirk - Producer
Ashley lives at “Ungarra”, a cattle property 30km west of Moura, Central Qld.
He works as part of a family-owned business running a Red Brahman Stud and commercial operations with a focus on selling to EU.
A third generation cattleman, his family has been breeding Red Brahmans for 60 years.
His current focus is on injecting quality genetics into the Brahman stud herd using IVF.
Ashley has a passion for rugby union, having played for 13 years and represented Queensland Country.
Amanda Moohen - Producer
Amanda grew up on a beef grazing property north of Toowoomba.
She completed a Bachelor of Agricultural Science at UNE, Armidale, majoring in Animal Production and Genetics.
Her career has focussed on the beef supply chain and she is currently employed by Camm Agricultural Group as office manager.
Joanna Robertson - Government (DAFFQ)
Joanna grew up on her family’s mixed farming property in Central West NSW.
She was heavily involved in cattle showing and judging, and has since completed a Bachelor of Livestock Science from UNE.
Joanna is currently employed by DAFF Queensland as a Beef Extension Officer focussing on Grazing BMP and production of e-learning programs.
Sarah Rutledge - Marketing
Sarah was raised on a sheep and cattle station in South West Queensland.
She has since worked on Brunette Downs and various NT cattle stations, including Rockhampton Downs, Gunbalayna, Kirkimbie and Tipperary.
In 2012 she enrolled in Agribusiness at UNE majoring in marketing and would one day like to work in assisting producers to successfully market their products.