NSW producer Tony Hegarty has been elected as the new president of Cattle Council of Australia, with incumbent president Howard Smith completing his four-year term at the peak industry council’s annual general meeting in Canberra today.
Mr Hegarty, who farms at Cassilis in NSW, has served as a Cattle Council board director for five years and has been vice president since 2014. He is also a National Farmers’ Federation board director and a member of NSW Farmers’ Cattle Committee.
Northern Territory cattle producer Markus Rathsmann was elected as Cattle Council’s new vice president.
Cattle Council chief executive officer Margo Andrae welcomed Mr Hegarty and Mr Rathsmann to their new positions.
“With Tony’s election today as president, we are embarking on a new chapter in beef industry representation,” Ms Andrae said. “And thanks to Howard’s leadership in the past four years, we are very well placed to serve producers in ensuring our day-to-day work and our over-arching advocacy structure delivers for our members and the beef industry more broadly.”
Mr Hegarty said he was committed to continuing Mr Smith’s legacy of transparent, accountable leadership and strong industry-level engagement with other stakeholders in the red meat sector.
Producers must be able to speak with a strong, united voice through Cattle Council and we must be outcomes-focused in our strategy.
“Producers must be able to speak with a strong, united voice through Cattle Council and we must be outcomes-focused in our strategy,” Mr Hegarty said.
“But our advocacy work can be even more compelling when we align with other players in the red meat supply chain to promote our shared objectives.
"The development of a direct election model for Cattle Council, which was presented in draft at today’s AGM, will make representation from the ground-up even stronger.
“Grassroots producer representation, combined with the existing industry structures via the Red Meat Advisory Council and the NFF, means producers will continue to be part of a robust national advocacy network.”
Mr Hegarty said a strong national network would be crucial as industry continued to prosecute key industry priorities including market access, biosecurity, traceability and animal welfare.
Also as part of today’s AGM, two new Victorian representatives were elected to the Cattle Council board, with Olivia Lawson endorsed as independent director (southern) and Peter Star as the VFF’s delegate.
AgForce nomination Lloyd Hick’s election was confirmed, while fellow Queenslander David Hill was unopposed in his re-election as independent director (northern). Incumbents Geoff Pearson (WA Farmers) and Amanda Giles (Livestock SA) were also re-elected as directors.
They join Markus Rathsmann (NT Cattlemen’s Association), Brett Hall (Tasmanian Farmers & Graziers Association) and David Lovelock (Pastoralists & Graziers Association of WA), who marked the half-way mark of their current two-year terms at today’s AGM.
The meeting brought to a close the terms of retiring directors Peter Hall (AgForce), Faye Tuchtan (Victorian Farmers’ Federation) and Marc Greening (independent director - southern).