The inaugural Annual General Meeting of Sheep Producers Australia Limited will be held on Tuesday 14 November, marking the start of a new era of advocacy and governance for the sheepmeat industry.
The decision to transition from Sheepmeat Council of Australia (an incorporated association) to a new governance framework was announced following a special general meeting of the members in August. Sheep Producers Australia, a company limited by guarantee, will be officially launched following the AGM on November 14.
The Transitional Board Directors, including Jeff Murray, David Boyle, John Wallace, Allan Piggott, Rupert Gregg, Michael Craig, Chris Wallace-Smith, Ron Cullen, Chris Kemp and Mark Murphy, have led the changes. These Directors will resign at the AGM after many years of service to the SCA and the sheep industry.
Five candidates have been provided for election at the AGM – Michael Craig, Harrow, Victoria; Jamie Heinrich, Kangaroo Island, SA; Ian McColl, Koorawatha, NSW; Bindi Murray, Woodanilling, WA; and Allan Piggott, Moorlands, SA.
If elected, these five candidates will be the inaugural board directors of the SPA skills-based board.
SCA CEO Dr Kat Giles said, under the new structure, a Board Selection Committee reviewed member-nominated candidates and made recommendations against selection criteria.
“Sheep Producers Australia is to be governed by a skills-based board. The selection committee assessment of candidates included determining an appropriate balance of skills and competencies to enable the board to effectively carry out its role,” Dr Giles said.
“In addition to the board, policy committees will operate in key areas such as Marketing, Market Access and Trade; Health and Welfare; Product Integrity; Research, Development and Adoption; and Industry Leadership and Community Engagement.”
The initial members are state members (state farming organisations), with provision for organisational members and individual members once the structure is established.
Biographies of the board candidates are:
Michael, with his wife and two boys, manages a broadacre mixed livestock business located at Harrow, in western Victoria. He started farming in 2000, and has focused on innovation to improve productivity and ease of management. Currently all 24,000 sheep and 900 cattle have complete lifetime traceability through electronic identification. Initially his business and interests focused on wool production, but over time the innovations being adopted in the sheepmeat sector, led to diversifying his business to include a sheepmeat focus and improving knowledge about the sheepmeat value chain. This change led to Michael completing a Nuffield Scholarship in 2016 titled, Australian Lamb/Sheepmeat – Commodity or Premium Product? The challenge of moving from a supply chain to a value chain. Michael has been a member of the VFF Livestock Council, and a Board Director of Sheepmeat Council of Australia. He has undertaken the Company Directors Course run by the Australian Institute of Company Directors and held Director positions for family businesses. Michael also holds a Bachelor in Commerce and a Diploma in Financial Markets.
Jamie works with his parents on their 880ha sheep farm Ella Matta on Kangaroo Island in South Australia, which comprises a White Suffolk, Poll Merino and Maternal Composite seed-stock operation. The main focus of the seed-stock operation is increasing genetic gain through the use of LAMBPLAN and MERINOSELECT. The other part of the business is a commercial self-replacing 18.5-micron ewe flock. He completed a Bachelor of Business (International Business) with a sub-major in Marketing at the University of South Australia. Following this he worked for three years at Thomas Foods International in its meat export and livestock departments. In 2014 Jamie was selected as the Sheepmeat Council of Australia Youth Ambassador, and over three years has worked with SCA to forge relationships in international markets and to build leadership capability in the sheep industry. Jamie holds a position on the Board of Livestock SA and is a Board Member at Ag Kangar...
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