AS Beef Australia wrapped up for 2018, a familiar and iconic face left the fold.
Beef Australia’s chairman, Blair Angus, officially resigned from his position this year, initially taking on the role in 2012.
He said this year’s event had been “fantastic” and his best yet.
“It made us all pretty proud, it came off very well,” he said.
“There were a lot of new initiatives that got a lot of support and came off really well.”
It was 15 years ago that Graeme Acton asked Blair to join the board, and Blair said he was happy with the work he had done, and it was time to step away.
“I think it's in very good hands, plus all my children will be home next year – it's time to start working on some other dreams,” he said.
He can be a tough chairman but that’s only because he’s so passionate about the industry.
Blair thanked the board and all of the staff involved in Beef 2018, but especially vice chairmen Russell Hughes and Bryce Camm.
“They made it lighter work for me certainly because they've done an exceptional job,” Blair said.
“I get a lot of acknowledgement but they did an exceptional job pulling it all together.”
Beef Australia chief executive officer, Denis Cox, said Blair’s time as chair had shown his passion and dedication to not only the industry as a whole, but the organisation.
“Blair lives in Clermont, which is 500km away and you know so it’s 1000km round trip and he’d do that at least once a month, so even travel alone, he’s done 180,000km for Beef,” Mr Cox said.
“But on top of that it’s the phone calls, the emails and everything else, and he’s always quite quick to respond.
“He can be a tough chairman but that’s only because he’s so passionate about the industry.”
Mr Cox said under Blair, Beef had seen a big turnaround.
“He has been able to transform this beef expo, in conjunction with other board members, to turn it from a cattle show to the event it is today,” he said.
“It’s also around that sustainability with the whole-of-carcase approach.”
Mr Cox said with most of the next generation wanting cheaper cuts of beef, Blair’s focus on education about alternative cuts was invaluable.
“When you’re teaching them how cheaper cuts can be cooked correctly, you see a movement begin,” Mr Cox said.
In September, Mr Cox’s own contract with Beef Australia will come up.
“I’ve had two terms, and I reckon I have another one or two in me for sure,” he said. “I still have fresh ideas to bring to the table to make 2021 even better.”
Mr Cox said after the big success of the past three Beef Australia events under Blair, it will be “interesting” to see who next takes the chair.
He said he would expect an announcement to be made in November.