The late Graeme Acton has joined the list of Santa Gertrudis industry greats receiving the Howard W Yelland beef industry award for outstanding service to the Australian beef industry.
The announcement was made at the Santa Gertrudis Breeders Association 50th Year dinner held during the Royal Queensland Show.
The award was accepted by Graeme’s widow Jennie Acton and his son Tom Acton.
The Howard W Yelland award was first presented in 1987 and is presented each year, with a total of 36 recipients to date.
It is presented by the Australian Beef Industry Foundation in conjunction with Marcus Oldham College and honours those who have given outstanding service to the industry.
ABIF chairman, John Gunthorpe made the announcement, saying they posthumously awarded Graeme in recognition of the contribution he made to the Australian beef industry through his vision, passion and innovative leadership.
He was a champion for the cattle community through his support for the development of Beef Australia, the Australian Stockman’s Hall of Fame, the Royal Flying Doctor Service, the sport of campdrafting, and the Santa Gertrudis Breeders Association, and he was a major supporter of youth in beef.
“Being a leader can be a lonely place,” Mr Gunthorpe said.
“The traditional northern beef industry was often sceptical of Graeme’s vision for the future of northern beef production but, as a leader and innovator, he shared his vision and was supported by people who saw value in the opportunities he saw for the northern beef industry.
Graeme lived to see the changes he advocated for – improved genetics and improved supply chain management – become the new direction for our industry
In accepting the award, Tom Acton said his father loved life.
“He was passionate about his livestock and committed to the Santa Gertrudis breed.
“Our thanks go to Don Lawson for nominating Dad for this prestigious award in recognition of his service to the beef industry.
“As a founding member of the Santa Gertrudis Breeders Association and later their president, he understood the importance of listening to others and then working to achieve common goals.
“He worked hard for youth in our industry. The Graeme Acton Beef Connections Mentor Programme continues to inspire careers in our industry and supports our future industry leaders.”