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."
The event dates for 2021 are:
- Dubbo Wednesday 25 to Friday 27 August 2021
- Melbourne Wednesday 2 to Friday 4 August 2021
- Brisbane Monday 30 and Tuesday 31 August 2021
- Perth October 2021
All three eastern events will be delivered in conjunction with an optional additional day of professional development being delivered through the Profitable Grazing Systems program.
The Livestock Advisor Updates working group have used the postponement of our eastern events in 2020 as an opportunity to build our on-line content and delivery to link advisors from around the country. To date we have delivered five webinars with a further three planned for 2020 (supporting client decision-making, confinement feeding and feed budgeting).
In early 2021 work will begin on refining the programs for our 2021 face to face events to deliver standout programs and exceptional networking and learning opportunities.
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 are available each year for two early career advisors to attend each event.
The Perth 2020 bursaries were awarded Bridie Luers from Mount Barker and Rob Kelly from Perth.
Bridie grew up on a sheep and cropping farm east of Kellerberrin, where her family also runs a stock and station agency, and so she became interested in agriculture and livestock from a young age.
After finishing school, she began 6 years of study at Murdoch University to complete her Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery. During her studies she completed numerous pracs on stations, farms, and at rural vet clinics all over the country, and was heavily involved in the intercollegiate meat judging (ICMJ) association which further enhanced her passion to be involved in the red meat supply chain.
Bridie has been working at the Mount Barker Veterinary Hospital for almost 2 years, where she works with a vast array of species, however the production animal work (mostly beef cattle and sheep) is her main area of interest.
“The Livestock Advisor Updates event in Perth was a fantastic opportunity for me. The connections I made will be invaluable, but on top of that I learnt so much. The presentations on the day were very informative, and a good balance between theory and practical information. The producer case-studies also helped me understand the context of the industry issues at the farm level. The bursary assisted with my travel costs to Perth, I am very grateful for the opportunity and would recommend it to anyone.”
Mount Barker Veterinary Hospital
Rob grew up on family farm in Kojonup, Western Australia. After helping develop, scale-up DailyGrain, the first online price discovery service for the WA grains industry, he spent a number of years in the finance industry.
In 2018 he started LIVEstock Pricing, a national price discovery service for the cattle, sheep and goat industries to give the livestock industry the same market based decision-making tools that grain producers have benefited from since the wheat market deregulated. LIVEstock Pricing now has over 9,000 users and helps drive efficiency throughout the supply chain by providing price grids, saleyard reports and commentary in an easy to use mobile platform.
“I am very grateful for the Livestock Advisor Updates bursary. I thoroughly enjoyed the day. The presentations were excellent, I particularly liked hearing from farmers during the day. There was plenty of opportunity to network with others which was great. The bursary funds allowed me to also attend the AAAC event the following day, it is difficult to take days away from a small business so I really appreciate the opportunity for that to happen.”
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.
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.