“I guess there's been a history of people trying to make succession work, and we call that succession at all costs - so we're looking at that and how to make it work.”
Alison Larard is tackling succession planning in North Queensland head-on, as one of next year’s Nuffield scholars.
Ms Larard, from Evelyn on the Atherton Tablelands, works alongside her father and brothers at the family’s Limousin seed stock operation, and is also a mother to two young sons.
She has a professional background in succession planning, and said with her own family currently going through the process, it was perfect timing for her research.
“We're in the throes of working out what to do longterm with the business, which ties in perfectly with my Nuffield topic which is better business planning and succession planning in the northern beef industry, but with particular focus on how we look at succession,” she said.
“A fair bit of my work when I'm not on the farm, the other half of my time, is spent out on properties in places like Georgetown.
“We approach succession planning as part of broader business planning, but we always look at businesses from four key focus areas: how you manage the herd, grazing management, the business, and people in the business.”
She said being awarded the scholarship was a thrill, after aspiring to become a Nuffield scholar for most of her life.
“My father was interested in Nuffield, he was dairy farming as a young fella and didn't have the opportunity to do it, so I had always heard about it from a young age and always wanted to have that opportunity,” she said.
“In recent times I've had the opportunity to come back onto the home farm, so I could then qualify to do it - so it's a lifelong ambition, it's a bucket list thing to tick off.”
Ms Larard is also heavily involved in the Next Gen movement in the north, and is aiming to take a group of about 34 northern and southern gulf producers on a tour of Central Queensland and to Beef Australia next May.