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 Elders employee of the year, Goulburn livestock manager, Steve Ridley.

Elders employee of the year, Goulburn livestock manager, Steve Ridley.

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Goulburn livestock manager Steve Ridley has been named Elders employee of the year for 2015.

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Elders’ top agent

Goulburn livestock manager Steve Ridley has been named Elders employee of the year for 2015.

Well known in the NSW Southern Tablelands, Mr Ridley was recognised as the highest performing employee in the company at a recent ceremony in Adelaide.

He plans to use his $10,000 prize to visit the US on a study tour of cattle studs.

"While this is a definite highlight of my career, you don't have a business without your clients, and this wouldn't have been possible without the support and loyalty of my clients," Mr Ridley said. "Some of my clients are now third generation."

Mr Ridley joined Elders more than 40 years ago at the Mudgee, before taking up livestock and management roles across NSW from Bourke to Crookwell, Moree, Sydney and Scone.

Elders managing director, Mark Allison described Mr Ridley as a strong leader and performer within Elders and the wider industry.

"We actually have younger staff wanting to be in located in Goulburn to work with Steve and learn from a top performer," he said.

Rabobank research boss

Rabobank's dairy global strategist Tim Hunt is the agribusiness bank's new general manager of its Food and Agribusiness Research (FAR) division.

Mr Hunt returns to Australia to take on the role after five years with Rabobank in New York, where he was in the international dairy position.

He leads Rabobank's commodities research team - comprising 10 specialist analysts - in Australia and New Zealand, replacing Luke Chandler, who has left last year to work in the United States.

The FAR division is a specialist unit within the bank with 80 research analysts worldwide focused on research into the food and agribusiness sectors - including commodity outlooks, latest market trends and future industry developments.

A professional economist with more than 15 years' experience in the agri sector, Mr Hunt was earlier the senior dairy analyst in Australia and New Zealand between 2004 and 2010.

NZ co-op buys Beacon

New Zealand's LIC Livestock Improvement Corporation (LIC) has completed its acquisition of a majority stake in Australian-based Beacon Heat Detectors.

The farmer-owned co-operative, which supplies dairy genetics to breed approximately three-quarters of the NZ herd, has bought 75 per cent of Hunter Valley-based Beacon which makes heat patches to help farmers identify cows in oestrous and ready for artificial insemination.

Former owner and managing director, Jock Roberts, retains a 25pc share and will continue working in the business.

LIC had been a long-standing customer of Beacon supplying its heat patches to NZ farmers, including one that was specifically developed for the co-op's in-shed automated heat detection camera and drafting system (Protrack EZ Heat).

Chief executive Wayne McNee said as herd sizes have grown, heat detection products had become increasingly popular to help take pressure off staff during the busy mating season and allow more informed decisions to be made around the timing of insemination.

The story Agribusiness briefs first appeared on Farm Online.

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