Livestock Advisor Updates
Livestock Advisor Updates are regionally relevant, one-day technical workshops held in northern, southern and western Australia.
The workshops provide opportunities for livestock advisors, leading producers and professional extension consultants to:
- learn about the latest red meat R&D
- gain skills, tools and knowledge to increase their offering to clients
- network with their peers.
The inaugural Livestock Advisor Updates events were held in Brisbane, Sydney and Perth in 2019. More than 130 livestock industry professionals attended, rating the workshops 7.8/10 for value and 91% of attendees would recommend the events to other advisors. Here’s what some attendees said:
"The day worked really well. Interest and attention maintained at all times."
"Good networking opportunity to make contacts and learn about current research findings."
"A worthwhile and informative day."
2021 events went ahead in Perth and Brisbane and the planned Dubbo and Melbourne events were combined to a southern online event due to ongoing COVID restrictions in those regions.
In 2020 COVID restrictions impacted the southern and northern events, with only the Perth event able to proceed.
LAU bursary opportunity
The Livestock Advisor Updates program aims to support the entry of less experienced/new industry participants into livestock industry roles. The events provide a great opportunity for new advisors to expand both their network and their knowledge base. Bursaries to the value of $400 and a ticket to the selected LAU event are available each year for two early career advisors to attend each event.
More information about the bursaries for 2022 events can be found here.
2022 bursaries have now closed
2022 Bursary recipients
Vicki Mayne is a Wagyu producer on the Western Downs, as well as being a Climate Mate with the Northern Australia Climate Program. The Northern Australia Climate Program (NACP) delivers innovative research, development, and extension outcomes to improve the capacity of the red meat industry in managing drought and climate risk across northern Australia. As a Climate Mate, Vicki’s aim is to help other producers and advisors throughout central and south-west Queensland improve the use and knowledge of weather and climate forecasts through engagement and training.
Kate Woolley is a Land Management Officer at Fitzroy Basin Association (FBA).
In this role, Kate works across the Fitzroy region educating and encouraging land managers to adopt best practice land management methods. With qualifications in rural business management, agriculture (beef production), and horse business management, and an insatiable eagerness to learn, Kate thrives in her often challenging role. Kate is passionate about finding the balance between utilising natural resources and protecting them for future generations to enjoy. Working in the largest catchment draining into the Great Barrier Reef, Kate is acutely aware of the global ramifications her job in the paddock has.
Ben grew up on small vineyard in McLaren Vale and has always been passionate about Agriculture. He attended Urrbrae Agricultural High School in Adelaide and then went on to complete a Bachelor of Agricultural Science at Adelaide University. Since completing university, he has worked for Agriculture Victoria's lamb production team in Hamilton and worked in managerial roles on family-owned cropping and sheep farms. At the start of 2021, he joined DIT Ag Tech as their Southern Territory Manager, as it provided him with an opportunity to focus on how technology can assist livestock farmers and use DIT's current technology to improve animal health and nutrition. The new role enables him to provide livestock producers and their clients advice in animal nutrition and tech adoption and he is always looking for opportunities to improve his skills and knowledge.
Claudia grew up on a mixed enterprise property at Gunnedah NSW. After studying a Bachelor of Rural Science, she moved to Broken Hill where she now works in the agriculture team for Western Local Land Services. In this role she has discovered a love for the challenges of rangelands production and promoting the linkages between landscape health, profitability, resilience, people and community. She has been in this role for almost three years, in which she is responsible for providing support and extension to build producers' capacity to manage their land sustainably and profitably. Claudia has worked on a variety of projects including monitoring pastures using drones, The Living Skin Project, grazing extension and business mentoring programs.
Ashlee Hunt is the principal consultant at Tailored Livestock Consulting (TLC) based at Robe in the South East of South Australia. Her passion for the sheep and beef industry developed from a young age working on her family’s sheep property. After completing a Bachelor of Agricultural Sciences at the University of Adelaide, Ashlee worked for 8 years in livestock health and nutrition advisory roles before starting her consulting business in 2020. TLC enables Ashlee to provide independent, tailored animal health and nutrition advice to sheep and beef producers on best practice management that drives performance and profit. Ashlee enjoys working one-on-one and with extension groups which is rewarding when producers can learn and share from each other’s experiences.
Olivia is an early career agribusiness consultant with Pinion Advisory. Olivia works in the livestock and agribusiness team which has a strong focus on red meat grazing strategies, business development, strategic planning and capacity building of producers across Tasmania. She also undertakes land capability assessments for implementation of irrigation for Tasmanian Irrigation and agricultural assessments for individuals wanting to build on agricultural zoned land to meet Council specifications. Her role exposes her to many variable aspects of the agriculture industry.
Tristan currently works at Elders in Bunbury Western Australia in a rural Products/ Livestock production role. Tristan has a degree in Accounting from Curtin university. Tristan’s mother is from England where they have been farming for 6-7 generations, and his father has been an agricultural accountant for 35 years. Tristan has a small trade steer operation with his brother where they turn off 30-40 finished steers a year. Tristan is very excited about the future in agriculture and is grateful for the opportunity to receive this bursary and looks to expand his networks and knowledge.
Since January Tracey has been the Head of Operations at Agora Livestock. Agora Livestock is an Agtech software as a service company, providing a livestock price discovery and market information app to sellers and agents and a software CRM system for buyers to manage their entire procurement process. Being a start-up, Tracey’s role covers a wide range of things including managing relationships with sellers, agents and buyers along with HR, finance and software development. With a background in grain trading, moving into the livestock industry was a new challenge and one she is really enjoying.
2021 Bursary recipients
Sinead is a born and bred Territorian. She was inspired to follow an agricultural career path by her father, who works as an agronomist in the NT.
In 2017 she completed a Bachelor of Science in Animal Science and Animal Health at Murdoch University. After graduation, her resume filled with numerous occupations, spanning from a station-hand on a large cattle property in the Kimberley to a ranch-hand in the beef capital province of Alberta, Canada.
She is now positioned in the beautiful Esperance, working for a family-run profit share, South Coastal Agencies (SCA). SCA is partnered with the multinational company of Nutrien. Her role at SCA is an Animal Health and Nutrition advisor, complementing her theoretical education as well as the skills she developed in more hands-on roles. She is enjoying getting to know the area and her clients and learning what it is to be an advisor.
Kelly grew up on a family farm in Kojonup, Western Australia. After studying Animal Science at Murdoch University and the University of New England, Kelly returned to WA where she worked on a progressive farm in Wagin while developing her business, KG Livestock Services. She offers advisory services to sheep and cattle producers who want advice on electronic tagging of their livestock, as well as data collection and data management services.
She recently began a part-time role at Stirlings to Coast Farmers in Albany. There she is a livestock project officer, where she works developing livestock projects of interest to the grower group’s members. She is particularly excited about this move as it will help build on her cattle knowledge, having worked predominantly with sheep in the past, and looks forward to learning about a new agricultural area and meeting local producers.
Casey is a Land Management Officer for the Fitzroy Basin Association based out of Theodore, Central Queensland. She studied a Bachelor of Sustainable Agriculture at the University of Queensland and completed a Certificate II in Agriculture at Charles Darwin University whilst working as a Jillaroo in the Northern Territory.
Fitzroy Basin Association (FBA) is Central Queensland’s leading natural resource management organisation, covering an area approximately twice the size of Tasmania. As an FBA Land Management Officer, Casey is responsible for delivering technical support and extension to landholders to promote the adoption of best practice grazing land management within the Fitzroy Basin.
Peta grew up on her family’s cattle station on the Sturt Plateau of the Northern Territory, where her interest in agricultural science and the beef industry was fostered from an early age. After boarding school in Brisbane and a gap year at home, Peta went on to study a Bachelor of Agricultural Science at UQ, completing a research honours project investigating phosphorus metabolism in the muscle of weaner cattle in her final year.
After graduating from UQ, Peta started with Queensland’s Department of Agriculture and Fisheries as a Beef Extension Officer in 2020. Based in Mackay, she travels throughout north Queensland working with producers on the wide range of topics involved in beef business.
Livestock Advisor Updates runs a webinar series to complement the events held each year.
The most recently delivered Livestock Advisor Updates webinar, ‘Understanding the value of the National Feedbase Monitor Tool to livestock advisors’ was very well received. The webinar featured Alistair Rayner, National Extension & Adoption Manager for the National Grazing Monitor Project with Cibo Labs. The webinar introduces the tool which has been developed by Cibo Labs and Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) to support increased use of fodder budgeting across grazing enterprises.
Following the launch of the tool, every levy-paying producer will be able to analyse pasture biomass trends through their MyMLA dashboard. The webinar recording is available here.
‘Managing boundaries in small communities’ was very well received. The webinar featured experienced agricultural advisors Jill Rigney from The Right Mind, Ken Solly from Solly Business Services and Basil Doonan from Pinion Advisory.
This webinar is valuable to advisors who need to balance social and professional relationships, which is made more challenging when working and living in small regional communities. Jill, Ken and Basil share their experiences, successes and learnings. Ken Solly shared “remember first and foremost we are in the people game, managing relationships is so important. Confidentiality is #1 is consulting”. The webinar recording is available here.
Livestock Advisor Updates runs a webinar series to complement the events held each year. The most recently delivered Livestock Advisor Updates webinar, ‘Tips for starting out in consulting’, was very well received. The webinar was intended primarily for those in the early stages of their consulting career or those considering taking the plunge into consulting. It provided an opportunity to learn from other consultants about the key elements of success and things to avoid. The webinar was delivered by Désirée Jackson and Laura Broughton.
In any workplace, good relationships are critical to the success of a business and agricultural businesses are certainly no exception. Clients regularly look to advisors for support in ensuring their people practices are fostering good relationships. In this webinar Jill Rigney, Andrew Beattie and Jo and Rob Bradley shared three different perspectives on cultivating company culture.
Jill Rigney from The Right Mind, introduced some of the high-level theory underpinning workplace culture, and insight into the difference between aspirational and reality when being people focused.
Andrew Beattie, a Director of ProAdvice, was able to draw on his many years of experience with working with clients, and introduced some of the processes and tools he has used to support his clients to be people focussed.
Rob and Jo Bradley, mixed farmers in Tasmania, shared their passion and drive to be people focussed. They discussed some of the strategies they have used to help build happy workplaces.
Completing a feed budget can be a daunting task. Advisors are often asked to support their clients through the process of creating a feed budget and to implement the strategies on farm. In seasons where there are feed supply challenges, knowledge of the available tools helps to make informed decisions and to implement appropriate management options.
This webinar was presented by experienced agricultural consultant Ashley Herbert from Agrarian Management. It provided insight into how to approach feed budgeting for sheep to address feed supply challenges. Ashley also walked attendees through the recently updated MLA feed budgeting tool, and explained how this tool can be used to give clients an understanding of the sensitivity behind what happens in your system if you change the different variables.
Confinement feeding is becoming known as a best practice strategy for many livestock producers to manage groundcover and protect the soil. This webinar featured a panel discussion with three experienced producers, David Counsell, Jason Stokes and Tom Sweeney, and was facilitated by Meg Bell. It provided insight into some of the success factors of confinement feeding sheep and cattle in three very different production regions around Australia.
Tom, Jason and David openly shared the factors they think have assisted them in setting up confinement feeding operations on their properties as well as highlighting what they would do differently if they had the opportunity. The advice is pitched to enable livestock advisors to support clients who may be thinking about starting confinement feeding systems.
Delivered by John James and John Francis. View the slides.
Delivered by John James and Desiree Jackson. View the slides.
Some of the top tips shared by John, John and Desiree are:
- Make it easy for your client, you need to be adaptive with the technology and use what they’re comfortable with. You may need to sell the benefits to them and invest some time in helping them get started and comfortable with using the technology.
- Be prepared for technology to let you down and have back up plans.
Engage early and often. Social connections are still important on-line. Since you can’t get visual clues from your audience use the tools you do have (hand signs, chat box, polls, questions).
- Don’t just do the same stuff you’d do face to face – you need to adapt it to suit the forum.
- Use shorter segments and mix your delivery up, amplify your energy levels. Go for radio interviewer style (speak confidently, don’t script your content, talk, pause, engage)
- Things that annoy attendees the most are poor audio and late start/finishing.
LAU Working Group
The Livestock Advisor Updates project team work closely with a technical working group to deliver the events that address key issues and opportunities for producers. They also guide the format, location and programs, and assist in promoting the event to their industry networks.
Each regional event has a separate group to ensure the content is regionally relevant and identifies the right speakers.
Members of the working group were selected through an independent expression of interest process that considered their past experience, professional capacity and work in similar capacity.
If you would like to be considered for future positions on a working group, or provide feedback to the regional team for future content or speakers, please email the contacts below.