MLA Seminar - Fostering beef's prosperity: fork to farm

2:00pm Monday, 7 May 2018 | Gallagher Livestock Manager Room (James Lawrence Pavilion)

What are the opportunities to drive your business profit in the coming years?
How do we ensure our supply chain can meet changing consumer demands?
And how does our industry remain globally competitive into the future?

Event details

Featuring some of the ‘best in their field’ speakers discussing the latest innovation and marketing insights, the Fostering beef’s prosperity seminar will focus on the beef industry’s path to prosperity and how your business can benefit. The seminar opens with an exploration of emerging consumer trends and high value opportunities. Session two canvasses the innovation that can keep our supply chain agile in an increasingly competitive global market place. Finally, we’ll translate all that into what it means for the beef you produce and how you can drive productivity and beef quality through current and future genetic innovation.

Registration information

There is no cost to attend the MLA Fostering Beef’s Prosperity seminar, however registration is essential. Register your attendance through the Beef Australia 2018 ticketing website in the Symposium & Seminar Program section:

MLA Seminar Registration

Program Overview

Session Speaker(s)
Welcome Richard Norton, Managing Director, MLA
Session 1: High value opportunities for Australian Beef
The seminar opens with an exploration of emerging consumer trends and high value opportunities. What are the global trends influencing consumers and shaping what they want and why. MLA insights will highlight the attractive markets of today and the future, and how to best position Australian beef and your own business to realise the opportunities.
Lisa Sharp, Chief Marketing & Communications Officer, MLA
Session 2: Innovation – the key to keeping your business competitive
What is innovation and why is it critical for the future prosperity of your business and the Australian beef industry? This session will explore the latest R&D investments and what's on the horizon. You'll find out how these new tools can help drive productivity gains on-farm and across the value chain. You will also learn how you can work with MLA and our partners to unlock the potential of your own ideas for innovation within your business.
Session 3: Driving prosperity through genetics
MLA's seminar culminates with a showcase of speakers from across the international beef value chain discussing how genetic innovation will aid in meeting consumer needs and delivering industry-wide productivity. You'll hear about the latest international advances in genetic gain through phenotypic and genomic data capture, and how current and future genomic Australian beef research may help with hard to measure genetic traits such as fertility. We'll also canvass the use of genetics to improve overall productivity with a particular focus on reproductive performance, and share MLA's approach to genetics across the whole value chain.

Speaker Profiles

Richard Norton

Managing Director, Meat & Livestock Australia

Richard NortonMr Norton is the fifth generation of a beef and sheep farming family from Monaro, NSW. He began his working life as a roustabout and jackaroo and then for more than 20 years served livestock producers as a stock agent and auctioneer across NSW. Mr Norton is Managing Director of Meat & Livestock Australia Ltd and is a director of Integrity Systems Company Limited, MLA Donor Company Limited, AUS-MEAT Limited and Red Meat Traceability Systems Pty Ltd.

Mr Norton has held executive positions in retail, manufacturing, logistics and warehousing with Woolworths, Coca Cola, Wesfarmers and Toll Holdings and was a non-executive director of Agrium Asia Pacific, the Australian Wheat Board, RD1 New Zealand, Landmark Harcourts and Australian Wool Handlers. He was head of Live Export and International Trade and then Managing Director of Landmark Operations Australia. He was Chairman of Integrated Traceability Solutions (Global) and AuctionsPlus.

Lisa Sharp

Chief Marketing and Communications Officer, Meat & Livestock Australia

Lisa SharpLisa joined MLA in April 2015 and leads the Communications, Marketing and Industry Insights (CMII) functions. The team is responsible for global consumer and customer marketing initiatives, nutrition research, global markets strategy and operations, production and economic data and analysis to industry, stakeholder engagement activities and MLA corporate communications.

Lisa has an extensive background in marketing, product innovation, global strategy development and general management. Lisa has held executive team positions in a number of Australian and multinational organisations including SPC Ardmona, Coca Cola Amatil, PZ Cussons and Novartis Consumer Health. Lisa has also held business analyst and brand management roles at Kraft Foods and Uncle Tobys.

Sean Starling

General Manager – Research, Development and Innovation, Meat & Livestock Australia

Sean StarlingSean Starling is General Manager – Research, Development and Innovation. A member of MLA’s executive team, Sean is responsible for $170 million annual R&D investment across the Australian red meat industry value chain. Innovation areas cover: global innovation insights; value chain innovation; food safety and industry traceability and integrity systems; product development and value-adding; automation technology; and building industry innovation capability.

Sean has been engaged in food value chains for most of his career working across a range of organisations and positions from factory engineer to general manager in manufacturing, R&D and engineering organisations. This experience underpins Sean’s ability to work with business and scientific thinkers to facilitate delivery of their concepts into commercial reality. In addition to ensuring no good opportunity is wasted, Sean has a passion of supporting young people to strive and deliver in an ever changing and complex environment.

Ben Dwyer

Chief Executive Officer, Australian Cattle & Beef Holdings Pty Ltd

Ben DwyerBen Dwyer is responsible for all livestock production, property development and maintenance, human resources, livestock logistics and financial operations on six pastoral properties, two large-scale breeding operations in North West Queensland, and four backgrounding properties in Central Queensland totalling 3.765 million acres with the capacity to run 150,000 head of cattle.

Ben has worked in the cattle industry over the past 31 years in four states of Australia and has been involved in most areas of the industry with a focus on live animal production, sustainability, profitability, staff development and the use of technology to enhance production efficiency.

Salah Sukkarieh

Associate Dean, Industry and Innovation, Faculty of Engineering and Information Technologies, The University of Sydney, Director of Research and Innovation, The Australian Centre for Field Robotics

Salah SukkariehProfessor Salah Sukkarieh is an international expert in the research, development and commercialisation of field robotic systems. He has led a number of robotics and intelligent systems R&D projects in logistics, commercial aviation, aerospace, education, environment monitoring, agriculture and mining. He was awarded the NSW Science and Engineering Award for Excellence in Engineering and Information and Communications Technologies in 2014, and the 2017 CSIRO Eureka Prize for Leadership in Innovation and Science. Salah is a Fellow of Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (ATSE).


Johann Schröder

Project Manager – Animal Health, Welfare & Biosecurity, Meat & Livestock Australia

Johan SchroderJohann Schröder is a veterinary parasitologist who spent 31 years working in the chemical industry on the development of a variety of anti-parasitic livestock remedies. Much of that work entailed the efficacy testing of chemicals against a variety of tick species on cattle. This work included the evaluation of pour-on, injectable and impregnated ear tag formulations of organophosphates, pyrethroids and macrocyclic lactones.

Johann joined MLA in 2009 with responsibility to manage producer-funded Animal Health, Biosecurity and Welfare research projects for cattle, sheep and goats. Parasite management forms a major part of this portfolio of work.

Michael Crowley

General Manager, Producer Consultation and Adoption, Meat & Livestock Australia

Michael CrowleyMichael holds a bachelor’s degree, Rural Science from the University of New England and a Graduate Certificate in Business Administration from QUT.

His team are responsible for MLA’s investments in Adoption, R&D consultation, Livestock Genetics and MSA working closely with producers and the red meat value chain to drive adoption of R&D. Michael joined MLA in 2009 where he has held position of MSA Manager, International Business Manager (EU & Russia) and now GM Producer Consultation & Adoption. Prior to joining MLA, Michael held a number of commercial positions in the red meat supply chain including running his own business.

Michael Lyons

Michael LyonsMichael and Michelle Lyons manage Wambiana Station located 70km Southwest of Charters Towers in North Queensland, a mixed enterprise business with a focus on economic and ecological sustainability.

Michael has a Bachelor of Agricultural Science at UQ and is a 2014 Nuffield Scholar, which offered him the opportunity to travel around the globe, researching a number of topics including beef cattle genetics. Michael has a keen interest in helping improve the profitability of Northern Australian herds through genetics, and is the current Northern Beef Producer representative on the National Livestock Genetics Consortium Taskforce.

Russell Lethbridge

Russell LethbridgeMr 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 114 years with the current branch of the family in ownership since 1980. The business runs over 10,000 head of cattle and comprises a breeding program on 19,500ha of natural eucalypt forest country located west of Townsville and north of Hughenden in north Queensland. The business also consists of Rainmore Station, a 27,000ha property near Alpha in central Queensland. Adopting a strict fertility genetic selection program, the company has delivered sustainable production levels in extreme environmental conditions, at an acceptable cost of production.

Appointed to the MLA Board in December 2017, 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.

Dr Andrew Cromie

Technical Director, Irish Cattle Breeding Federation

Andrew CromieFrom a dairy and beef background, Andrew is the technical director of the Irish Cattle Breeding Federation (ICBF), with specific responsibility for delivery of services to the Irish cattle breeding industry, including genetics, genomics, breeding programs and the ICBF Herdplus service. He is a graduate of QUB, Belfast, University Edinburgh and University College Dublin, and holds an MBA from University College Cork.

His particular work areas at present is the Irish beef genomics scheme, which is the largest livestock genomics project globally, with some 2.5 million animals being genotyped as part of an EU funded project, with the Irish Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine. In addition to his role within ICBF, Andrew is the chairperson of Interbeef, which is an ICAR initiative to help establish global genetic evaluations for beef cattle.

Professor Ben Hayes

Ben HayesProf Hayes has extensive research experience in genetic improvement of livestock, crop, pasture and aquaculture species, with a focus on integration of genomic information into breeding programs. He was a co-inventor of genomic selection, and played a leading role in developing and implementing this technology in the Australian dairy industry.

He also led research programs to develop genomic breeding values for new traits such as feed efficiency and heat tolerance. Currently Prof Hayes is working on enhancing genomic selection in beef cattle and a number of the cropping industries.