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RawAg Podcast

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 - Succession and Communication

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 - Adaptability and Endeavour

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 - Mentoring

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


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.