RawAg Podcast

  • Episode 26: Garry and Leanne Hall - living and thriving in the wetlands and the dry

    Garry and Leanne Hall are cattle producers from the Macquarie Marshes in north central NSW.

    Part of their property is Ramsar (International Convention on Wetlands) listed, which creates an extra level of responsibility and connection with their landscape.

    The Halls, with their two children, are passionate about the sustainability of their production system and their role as an ecosystem service provider, managing their land to ensure they have positive environmental outcomes. They are involved in water management at all levels on a daily basis and regularly host visits from political level to government agency staff.

    The Hall family have cared for their property for four generations and their families have had landholdings in the area for seven generations.

    With a strong interest in traditional land use practices and how they can learn from the ability of a culture to survive for 50,000 years prior to European settlement.

    Garry and Leanne are passionate about building strong business relationships and never lose sight of the fact that every kg of beef they produce is destined for human consumption.

    They live and work with their livestock on a daily basis and are well over 100km from the nearest town, as such, they are believers in a strong local community and surrounding themselves with positive people.

  • Episode 25: James Wagstaff - A Voice for Agriculture

    James Wagstaff is editor of The Weekly Times. Having grown up on a sheep station in the NSW Riverina he started his career as a journalist at the Daily Advertiser in Wagga Wagga in 1998. In 2004, he shifted to Melbourne and The Weekly Times and served in a number of roles including Deputy Editor, Chief of Staff and Business Editor. During his time at The Weekly Times he has spearheaded such successful projects as The Weekly Times Coles Farmer of the Year Awards, which has grown into Australia’s leading agricultural awards, and the multi-platform Who Owns Australia’s Farms series. He is a four-time Rural Press Club of Victoria journalism award winner.

  • Episode 24: Doug Avery - Being a Resilient Farmer

    20 years ago, Doug embarked on a journey of change. Driven by the need to survive drought, it's been the most rewarding journey of his life. Writing the Resilient Farmer was Doug’s way of saying thank you to the people and processes that drove his change.

    Doug, his wife Wendy and their family, live in Eastern Marlborough, New Zealand. Bonavaree is a 2343 ha owned and 420 ha leased dry land farm. Over the last two decades, huge changes to pasture type and use, stock type and farming systems have seen a dramatic change in the fortunes of that farm and the Avery family.

    The changes achieved at Bonavaree are now being applied on many other properties across the country.

    A large part of the change was driven by Dr Derrick Moot of Lincoln University and his Lucerne (alfalfa) based pasture system. It was taken to its ultimate development by a New Zealand Land Care Trust facilitated project, the Starborough Soil Conservation Project which was funded by the Sustainable Farming Fund. This was a six pronged science effort which systemised a package of activities to make Bonavaree the amazing property it is today.

    Doug wrote The Resilient Farmer in 2017. He writes with great insight, romance for the land and people he loves, and is a genuine and skilled storyteller. He is working on his next book, which we eagerly await.

    To find out more about Doug or to order The Resilient Farmer, click here.  Should this episode cause distress, please contact your local crisis centre or in Aust. call lifeline on 13 11 14.

  • Episode 23: Colin Henke - The Power of Genetic Turnover

    Colin Henke grew up in the South East of South Australia. He pursued a farming career by starting at the bottom as a jackaroo before purchasing his own land (courtesy of an initiative of the Rural Finance Corporation of Victoria targeting young farmers). By combining management of the family farm and running his own land, enabled the eventual purchase of a stand alone property in 1998 in South Western Victoria, which is being farmed by Colin and his wife Karen today.
    An initial 50 : 50 split between cattle and sheep has been transformed into a cattle only enterprise, encompassing a 1,000 cow, spring calving , Angus herd, producing feeder steers for the medium to long fed feeder steer market. Relatively high interest rates in the 1980’s and 90’s ( from 10 to 16% ) has ensured a pursuit of productivity and profitability along the way which continues to this day.

  • Episode 22: Tom Gubbins on Quality Meat Scotland Podcast

    The Quality Meat Scotland podcast began in April 2020. With guests including Diana Rogers, author of the Sacred Cow and topics ranging from market trends, profitability and resilience, best practice and developments in the red meat sector. In this episode, Tom Gubbins, host of the RawAg podcast and Director of Te Mania Angus Australia, chats with Mark Stephen about the Te Mania Angus programme. Data is central to what we do, in this discussion Tom highlights that we first need to identify what drives profit, the requirements of the target market and how the animal fits in to the environment. From there, we can discover, collect and utilise the data to improve the genetics and increase profitability.

  • Episode 21: Rob Banks - Genetic Gain from Bees to Bulls

    Professor Robert Banks has been involved in developing and managing RDE projects with very high impact nationally. This includes the establishment and growth of LAMBPLAN and MERINOSELECT, the significant increase in the rate of genetic progress in beef cattle in Australia, and the development and implementation of the Information Nucleus concept to underpin implementation of genomic technologies in sheep and beef cattle. Together, these programs have helped make rates of genetic improvement in sheep in Australia as fast as or faster than in any other country in the world, and in beef the rates are close to those of our major competitors including the US. His contributions have been recognised via several awards from professional associations and the wider community.

  • Episode 20: Shawn Andrews - An indigenous perspective on farming and education

    Shawn is a descendant of the Mununjali people of South East Queensland and the Palawa people of Tasmania. Shawn is a graduate of Monash University with a Bachelor Education and Sport and Outdoor Recreation, recently graduated Murra Indigenous Business Masterclass at Melbourne Business School and is currently an MBA Candidate at the Australian Graduate School of Management at the University of New South Wales. Shawn has held positions across National Australia Bank, Melbourne Grammar School and Indigenous Accountants Australia. He is currently the director of Indigicate a majority owned Indigenous company and Supply Aus a 100% owned Indigenous company. Shawn is a highly respected Indigenous educator, public speaker and keynote presenter, thought leader and passionate advocate for equality.
    Shawn’s life and career has been shaped by his commitment to educate Australians with the truth about Australian history and the desire to demonstrate that Indigenous Australian culture is sophisticated, beautiful and strong.

  • Episode 19: James Playfair - Hannay - Farming for the future in an ancient landscape

    James Playfair - Hannay is a fourth generation farmer from Morebattle Tofts, near Kelso in the Scottish Borders.
    Farming 4,300 acres in the Cheviot Hills, an area of low rainfall ( by UK standards ) and free draining soils rising from 300 ft above sea level to 1,200.
    Home to the Tofts herds of 450 pedigree Aberdeen Angus and Beef Shorthorn cattle along with a commercial herd of crossbred cows. Bulls are sold directly off farm for breeding, while steers are sold for finishing for branded retail markets. Heifers are kept for herd replacements, or sold for breeding.
    The farm also runs 1,500 Hill North Country Cheviot ewes, some pure and some crossed with a Bluefaced Leicester to produce Cheviot Mule ewes for prime lamb production.
    Morebattle Tofts cultivate 700 acres and grow a variety of crops. Spring Barley grown for the malting market, Winter Wheat goes in a similar direction to make spirit. Winter and Spring Oats head for human food production, porridge, muesli and oatcakes, whilst Triticale and Winter Barley along with Forage Kale are grown for animal feed on farm.
    Away from the farm James has been President of both the Aberdeen Angus and Beef Shorthorn cattle societies which has helped him meet lots of interesting people around the world. The cattle industry has taken James to Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Mexico, New Zealand and South Africa.
    James has been heavily involved in the establishment and development of Machinery Rings ( a co-operative society of farmers and agricultural businesses who have the mutual aim of reducing machinery and labour costs) in the UK and Europe. He is currently Chairman of the Scottish Machinery Ring Association.
    James' wife Debbie, is a farmer’s daughter from Somerset in the south of England. Having recently sold her mobile toilet business she is now embarking on a political journey with the National Farmers Union for Scotland.
    James and Debbie’s son Robert is now part of the family business after studying at Harper Adam’s University College. He is married to Charlotte.
    Their daughter Anna, is in Australia working for Woolworths as Sustainable Agriculture and Animal Welfare Manager. She graduated at Newcastle University and worked with Marks and Spencer in their Agricultural team.

  • Episode 18: Enoch Bergman - Ramped up rebreeding

    Dr Enoch Bergman is a vet from Swans Veterinary Services in Esperance, Western Australia. Enoch grew up in Wild Horse, Colorado and after graduating from University, moved to Australia, fell in love and fortunately for us, never left.
    Since his arrival, Enoch has been actively involved in Australian BVDV (Pestivirus) research. In 2006 he established Australia’s first commercial laboratory for the diagnosis of animals Persistently Infected with BVDV.
    He travels throughout Australia delivering lectures on BVDV and many other cattle topics, such as fertility and artificial breeding programs. He does all this with great insight and application, a genuine love for his work and the people he works with.

  • Episode 17: Jason Trompf - Farming Enterprise Profitability

    Dr Jason Trompf - Farmer Bahavourial Change. Jason Trompf from Lambs Alive has been working as an Agricultural Consultant for over 20 years. Jason has a strong background in understanding the drivers and motivators of sheep and beef producers and designing programs that support and enable practice change.
    Jason undertook his PhD research into farmer behavioral change and adoptive context.
    Jason has had significant input into the design, delivery and evaluation of programs such as the Triple P Program, Lifetime Ewe Management (LTEM), Bred Well Fed Well (BWFW) and More Lambs More Often. Each of these programs are widely recognized for the industry leading impact they have had on changing knowledge, attitude, skills and aspiration (KASA) and practice, as well as lifting productivity, profitability and resilience. Jason has extensive experience in lamb survival, consulting with and educating producers on a national and international basis.

    LTEM is a national extension program using a small group extension model, for which Jason is the lead author and has had more than 4000 farmers involved. Participants have increased their whole-farm stocking rates by 10% and increased lamb marking percentages by 7% irrespective of enterprise type, which equates to almost a 20% increase in lambs weaned per hectare, while reducing ewe mortality by 33%. BWFW is a national 1-day workshop that Jason co-developed and has now been delivered to over 4000 sheep producers, that coaches producers to use genes, nutrition and best-practice husbandry to improve sheep reproduction rates.

    Jason also manages his family’s 3000 composite ewe and 250 Angus and Shorthorn cow enterprise. These self-replacing high productivity enterprises provide Jason with a strong practical background and a constant reality check of the challenges that producers face on a day-to-day basis.

  • Episode 16: Steven Brain - The Ideas Man

    Stephen Brain – ideas man. Steve grew up on his parents mixed enterprise farm between Willaura and Lake Bolac in Western Victoria.
    A Merino sheep, Angus cattle and cereal cropping property, they also ran an earthmoving business.

    After school and studying Humanities at Ballarat Uni and Psychiatric Nursing at Lakeside, Steve made the decision to return to agriculture and moved back to the family farm.

    Steve and his wife Sue moved to Mumbannar in Western Victoria in the mid 1980’s and presently run an Angus self replacing herd of around 1,100 breeding cows. Their main focus is on producing high marbling steers for the long fed market.

  • Episode 15: Shannon Speight - Beef Industry Innovations

    Shannon Speight is the CEO and Cofounder of Black Box Co, an innovative Saas product solving big data problems in the livestock industry. Aside from Black Box, Shannon is a wife, mother, farmer and qualified veterinarian. She has extensive experience across the beef industry from beginning work as a jillaroo in the Northern Territory to coordinating a large scale beef genomics project. Shannon was the 2019 co-winner of the Zanda McDonald Award with Luke Evans. She is passionate about the beef industry and innovation to make it more sustainable productive and profitable.

  • Episode 14: Lyn Sykes

    Lyn is a recognised leader in the traditionally male world of agriculture. For more than three decades she has made a significant contribution to improving skills relating to communication and succession. Lyn is recognised as the pioneer of a family-focused approach to succession planning, centred on a facilitated family meeting clarifying the visions and goals of each member in order to develop a shared way forward. At the height of this work she was facilitating 100 family meetings a year in all states. Lyn was the independent chair of the Environmental Flows Group in the Macquarie River from its inception until 2013. She has had considerable involvement in leadership roles, communication and conflict resolution workshops and believes when groups work cooperatively and harness the strengths of these differences great things are possible.

  • Episode 13: Dr Craig Wood

    Woody has been a vet at Terang and Mortlake vet clinic since 2002 after completing his studies at Murdoch university in WA. He was a previous owner after selling to Apiam in 2018.

    A mixed practice vet specialising in large animals, Woody works closely with many well recognised Australian beef studs as well as being one of the lead Prodairy vets. Woody lives in the picturesque town of Noorat in Western Victoria and plays a pivotal role in supporting his local community.

  • Episode 12: Richard Rains

    Richard Rains grew up on a mixed farm near Dunedoo in the central west of NSW. Educated at boarding school in Sydney and went on to a cadetship with Dalgety. Whilst there, in 1974, he sold the first beef to Korea that the country ever imported and it quickly grew to become Australia’s third-largest export market for beef, which it remains today. Richard then joined Sanger Australia (a meat export marketing co) in 1976 and by 2000 he owned a majority stake in the business. He sold his equity in the company in 2013 in a management buy-out. In the late 1990’s he convinced McDonald's that they should use Aussie beef in their burgers in North America and was instrumental in establishing that trade for Australia. Richard also helped establish the prominent processor/marketer of organic beef and lamb, The Arcadian Organic and Natural Meat Co. Richard has Chaired The Zanda McDonald Award since 2015.

    Richard’s roles:

    • Sanger Australia 1976~2013 (CEO from 2000~2013).
    • A founding director of The Arcadian Organic and Natural Meat Co, a significant processor and marketer to domestic and export markets of organic and natural beef and lamb from 2005~2015.
    • The Australian Export Council ~ Member of the Advisory Board from 2013 ~ 2015.
    • Cattle Council of Australia ~ Member of the Marketing, Market Access and Trade committee from 2013 ~ 2015
    • The Co-operative Research Centre for Beef Genetic Technologies (Beef CRC) ~ director from 2008 to 2012.
    • A Director of CAG (Certified Angus Group) representing the Angus beef brands CAAB and Angus Pure 2013~2017.
    • Member of the 1st year of The Industry Steering Group for the Australian Beef Industry Sustainability Framework.
    • A Director of Paraway Pastoral Co (Paraway owns and operates large-scale sheep and cattle enterprises across Australia).
    • Country Education Foundation. 2016 ~ 2021.
    • Richard was a mentor in the Beef Connections Graeme Acton Mentoring Program leading up to the 2018 Beef Australia event.
    • Australian Export Heroes award ~ recipient 2012
  • Episode 11: Mike Carroll - evidence based decisions

    Mike Carroll has more than 35 years of experience in food and agribusiness with current directorships including Select Harvests, Paraway Pastoral Company, Viridis Ag and Rural Funds Management. Mike is also chair of the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation. Former board roles include Sunny Queen Farms, Tassal, Warrnambool Cheese & Butter, Queensland Sugar, Rural Finance Corporation, Elders, the Australian Farm Institute, the Gardiner Dairy Foundation and Meat and Livestock Australia. During his executive career, Mike held senior executive positions at the National Australia Bank (NAB) and was responsible for establishing and leading NAB’s Agribusiness division. Roles prior to this included several years as a senior advisor in NAB’s internal investment banking and corporate advisory department. Before joining NAB, Mr Carroll worked for companies involved in the agricultural sector including Monsanto Agricultural Products and a biotechnology venture capital company. He comes from a family who has been involved in farming for over 150 years and has his own property in western Victoria. Mike holds a Bachelor of Agricultural Science from La Trobe University and a Master of Business Administration from The University of Melbourne’s Melbourne Business School. He has also completed the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School, Boston and is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

  • Episode 10: Jack and Jen Roxburgh - teamwork

    Jack and Jen Roxburgh, from Coomete in Western Victoria, run one of Vic­toria’s longest continually held family farms. Coomete was selected in 1860 and has never been sold. The operation is fairly evenly split between beef cattle­, sheep and crops. This multifaceted business is only possible because they run it together as a team, with both of them playing different roles and tapping into their different skill sets.

  • Episode 9: Alison Van Eenennaam - cultured meat

    Dr. Alison Van Eenennaam is a Cooperative Extension Specialist in the field of Animal Genomics and Biotechnology at the University of California. Alison has a Bachelor of Agricultural Science, a Masters in Animal Science, and a PhD in Genetics. The mission of her extension program is “to provide research and education on the use of animal genomics and biotechnology in livestock production systems”.

    Alison has given over 700 presentations and is the recipient of many awards for her work. Determined to get the facts out there and understood, Alison is a passionate truth seeker, who uses a multitude of media to inform the general public about science and technology.

    In this episode, Alison explains the complexities and difficulties in the production of cultured meat. We already have the perfect system for producing meat - the cow! The rumen has a magical super power - taking inedible forage and turning it into a product suitable for human consumption.

  • Episode 8 - Thomas McDonald - Mentors, Masterpieces and Milking Sheep

    Thomas Macdonald was the winner of the prestigious Zanda McDonald award in 2018. A third-generation dairy farmer from Gordonton in the Waikato, he has a strong desire to see New Zealand products championed on the world stage. He is the General Manager of Milk Supply for Spring Sheep, a growing dairy company specialising in nutritional products from NZ sheep milk. Thomas has a Masters of Management (First Class Honours) in Agricultural Economics and a Bachelor of Business, Agribusiness and Finance. He is also involved with several groups exploring new and alternative land uses in New Zealand.

  • Episode 7 - George King - Triple Bottom Line

    George King is the Managing Director of “The Whitney Pastoral Company” and the fifth generation to live at historic "Coombing Park" in central west NSW. George is a passionate regenerative farmer and an outspoken advocate for agriculture. He has a fascinating and rational insight into agricultural topics and concerns.

  • Episode 6 - David Beggs - Animal Welfare

    Dr. David Beggs has been a vet in Warrnambool for over 30 years. He is a senior lecturer in Cattle Medicine at Melbourne University, Editor in Chief of the Australian Veterinary Journal and has a Ph.D. in animal welfare. David is currently undertaking research into dairy cattle medicine, reproduction and animal welfare. A witty raconteur, he engages in all of these topics with a great deal of insight and understanding. The focus of episode 6 of RawAg is on animal welfare, we hope you enjoy listening.

  • Episode 5 - Susie Chisholm

    Susie Chisholm is a passionate cattle farmer from Adelong in NSW. Susie moved to her property, Gwalia in 1984 with her husband, who died not long after the move. Susie has been running the operation ever since. An advocate for performance recording and data capture, Susie has built her herd into what it is today, and knowing her, she won’t rest on her laurels. A joyful and enthusiastic farmer, it is my pleasure to introduce Susie Chisholm to the Raw Ag podcast.

    Find out more about Susie and her operation at Gwalia on our website: https://www.temaniaangus.com/team-te-mania/members/gwalia.

  • Episode 4 - Nic Kentish - Low Stress Stock Handling

    Nic Kentish was born in 1964 and raised on his families' farm near Mt. Gambier in South Australia. After leaving school, Nic set about pursuing a career that often led him "somewhere east of the sunrise". Now settled in the Adelaide Hills with his wife Alexi and three children, Nic combines his passions for livestock and people in pretty much everything he does. He is a facilitator for Resource Consulting Services and a trainer at Low Stress Stockhandling Schools. He does all this with skill and humour.

    Head to lss.net.au to find out more.

  • Episode 3 - Fiona Conroy - Carbon Neutral Farming

    Fiona Conroy and her husband Cam Nicholson, run a mixed farming enterprise in south western Victoria. Their journey to a carbon neutral farm began over 25 years ago and this episode highlights how they have been able to achieve carbon neutrality, increased productivity, soil health and biodiversity on their farm.

    You can find out more about Fiona and Knewleave on our website: https://www.temaniaangus.com/team-te-mania/members/knewleave-partnership.

  • Episode 2 - Dr David Johnston - Genetic Gain

    In our second episode of RawAg, we are chatting with David Johnston, Principal Scientist at the Animal Genetics and Breeding Unit in Armidale NSW. David has a Doctorate of Philosophy, a Master of Rural Science and a Bachelor of Rural Science. He is currently involved in some very exciting research focused on improving the reproductive rates of cattle in the north. David explains why capturing and using data is so important for improving the genetic gain and resultant profitability of the national beef herd.

    Find out more about David's work on our website or head to agbu.une.edu.au for more information.

  • Episode 1 - Dr Terry McCosker - Loving the Land

    Dr Terry McCosker is the founder and Director of Resource Consulting Services (RCS), he is an internationally acclaimed teacher and has worked in research, extension and property management in both government and private sectors for 45 years.

    In this episode, Terry talks to us about loving the land, his deep connection with the environment and the resultant solutions that can be found for many agricultural issues throughout Australia.

    More information on Dr Terry McCosker can be found at rcsaustralia.com.au

  • Trailer

    RawAg is your link to the food chain – and every episode will take you somewhere along that chain. From conception to consumption, you will hear from the cutting-edge players in Australian agriculture with industry news, unique views and presentations. We can all be better farmers, sustainable, regenerative, and innovative. We can all be more informed and aware consumers. And RawAg, brought to you by Te Mania Angus, is your next big step in that direction.

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