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New MLA Directors elected at 2023 Annual General Meeting

24 November 2023

Red meat producers and industry representatives yesterday joined Meat & Livestock Australia’s (MLA) 2023 Annual General Meeting (AGM), held in-person in Bendigo, Victoria, and virtually.

The hybrid meeting format has broadened the accessibility of the meeting among MLA’s membership. The physical AGM was held in conjunction with the annual MLA Updates, allowing a large number of MLA Members to attend.

The formal proceedings of the AGM included consideration of MLA’s accounts and the election of two Directors to the Board.

MLA members voted to elect two Directors to the MLA Board (see biographies below):

  • Mr Russell Lethbridge was re-elected to the MLA Board, receiving 94.79% votes in favour. Mr Lethbridge has been on the Board since 2019 and runs a commercial beef enterprise in North and Central Queensland.
  • Ms Lucinda Hogan was elected to the MLA Board, receiving 91.54% votes in favour. Ms Hogan breeds prime lamb and trade beef cattle on the Northern Tablelands of NSW. She has worked in a range of agricultural research organisations in Australia.

The MLA Board is a skills-based Board. Directors and have complementary skills to make important decisions for the long-term benefit of the red meat and livestock industry.

MLA members also voted to elected representatives to the Director Selection Committee. Members voted in favour of electing Trent Radel as a cattle producer member of the committee (74.80% votes in favour); Michael Craig as a sheep producer member (97.49% votes in favour) and Tony Fitzgerald as a lot feeder member (99.88% votes in favour). Members also voted in favour of increasing the aggregate limit on Director remuneration fees from $750,000 to $850,000 (55.74% votes in favour).

MLA Chair Alan Beckett thanked the Members for participation in the 2023 AGM and welcomed Ms Hogan as a new MLA Director.

“On behalf of the MLA Board, I also extend my thanks to Andrew Michael, who concluded his tenure at the AGM,” Mr Beckett said. “Andrew has been on the Board since 2017 and we have highly valued his insights and contributions to MLA.”

Mr Beckett also provided the AGM with an overview of the industry over the last 12 months – a period of both challenges and opportunities.

“After three years of intense stock rebuilding, re-stocker demand has eased considerably in 2023 and the number of finished animals is considerably higher now that has been the case for several years,” he said.

“As we head towards 2024, the supply of goats, sheep, lambs, and cattle are all increasing as the national rebuild stabilises. This will translate into record volumes of Australian goat and lamb meat being slaughtered.

“With an El Nino declared, there is no disputing that conditions have become more challenging. However, our industry has exciting opportunities and is well positioned to take advantage of the global demand for protein.”

New MLA Directors

Russell Lethbridge

Qualifications: Dip Rural Business Management, Cert Animal Husbandry and Farm Engineering (Hons)

Mr Lethbridge, with his family, runs Werrington Cattle Company, a commercial beef cattle, breeding, growing and fattening enterprise. Werrington has been in the Lethbridge family for 124 years with the current branch of the family in ownership since 1980. The Werrington business runs over 13,000 head of cattle and comprises a breeding program on 120,000ha of natural eucalypt forest country, approximately 250km west of Townsville and 200km north of Hughenden in north Queensland. The business also consists of Rainmore Station, a 27,000ha property near Alpha in central Queensland. Mr Lethbridge has a deep understanding of cattle production systems, managing breeder and feeder cattle under extreme environmental conditions and pasture nutrition levels, utilising genetic selection and strategic herd management to achieve production and business success. Mr Lethbridge is a director of Meat & Livestock Australia Limited, Integrity Systems Company Limited and a member of the Audit, Finance & Risk Committee.

Previous roles: Mr Lethbridge was Chair of the Hann Highway Action Group, a member of the Rural Fire Board and a member of the Oak Race Club Committee. He was an elected representative of AgForce for seven years, beginning as Regional Vice President for the north region, then as Regional President and Board Member and member of AgForce Finance Audit and Risk and Agribusiness Finance Drought and Climate Policy Committees. He was a member of the steering committee for the Northern Gulf Resource Management Group to develop and promote a business improvement package for north Australian cattlemen.

Lucinda Hogan

Qualifications: B Agr Sc, Post Graduate Diploma Agricultural Consulting, GAICD

Lucinda Hogan has devoted her entire career to working in Australian agriculture as a livestock and grain producer, manager of research and development and deliverer of skills and training to farmers across Australia. She and her husband previously owned and managed a large-scale sheep and irrigated grain production business in western NSW and currently breed prime lamb and trade beef on the Northern Tablelands of NSW.

Throughout her career Mrs Hogan has worked in a range of research organisations including CSIRO, Victorian Department of Agriculture, Australian Wool Innovation, Sheep Cooperative Research Centre and the University of New England where she has managed large research and development projects and designed and delivered national training and extension programs particularly related to sheep production and climate resilience.