2016 Speakers


Meeleebee Downs - Farm Tour

Meeleebee Downs, in the Roma District, has been in the Freeman family since the mid 1970’s and managed by Warrick and Kel Freeman since the early 1990’s. The property is located 60km north of Wallumbilla in Queensland’s Brigalow Belt. Water sheds to the north into the Dawson River System, and south into the Condamine River System. 

Meeleebee Downs, located south of the ‘tick line’, comprises 24,340 hectares of undulating quality grazing land. Soils are predominantly Brigalow Belah Softwood scrub, with areas of Box creek flats. 

An extensive and secure stock water infrastructure comprises numerous bores, dams and turkey nests reticulating to an extensive network of concrete stock troughs, supporting dispersed pasture utilisation. 

The breeding program is a self-replacing Hereford herd, with a percentage of Hereford cows joined to Braham bulls. Female F1 progeny are fattened for 24 to 36 months or sold as weaners. Meeleebee Downs is accredited for MSA, EU and PCAS supply


Jill Rigney, Senior Consultant & Trainer - The Right Mind (YBPF 2016 MC)

Jill Rigney grew up on a mixed farming business west of Goondiwindi.  Professionally she commenced her career in business support and in this role managed national benchmarking projects in a wide range of industries.

Her extreme perceptiveness has resulted in her now being recognised as a national leader in group facilitation and leadership. She is able to deftly recognise and work with the needs of each individual during her training or meeting sessions. 

Jill’s training activities include the co-design of The Rural Leader’s Bootcamp, SteppingUP and most recently, a series of internal programs for 130 Australian Agricultural staff. She is a presenter of the Australian Catholic University’s Graduate Certificate in Negotiation.

Jill is a Certified Professional member of the Australian Human Resource Institute and a member of the Australian Institute of Training and Development. She is also a qualified wilderness medic. 


Lisa Lonsdale, Founder and Agribusiness Consultant - Lonsdale Agribusiness

Lisa has come from a rural background after growing up on a 20,000-acre property south West of Walcha NSW, and after completing a bachelor of Agribusiness she headed north to Central Queensland. Nearly 12 years ago she started work with Elders and then moved to Roma to start her career in rural finance with one of the major lenders. After 2 ½ years she moved to Rockhampton to continue her finance career and also get married and go on to start a family.

After 10 years in the Agribusiness banking sector within two finance institutions she thought it was time to branch out and start her own business. Lisa's business concentrates on assisting rural producers with their finance requirements for applications and negotiations with their bank. As everyone is time poor it’s good to have an independent party working with the producer to get the best possible outcome for their business and assess where their business is at and what the possibilities of their business are.


Kirsty McCormack, Representative - Cattle Council

Kirsty McCormack is a young 22-year-old woman passionate about making a change in the beef industry. She is currently working for OBE Organic, Australia’s oldest organic beef company as a Sales and Production Executive overseeing Asian and domestic sales, based in Brisbane. Hailing from the New England region in NSW Australia, Kirsty’s experience in industry has spanned across the supply chain - from working alongside her family contract mustering, leading Stud cattle, meat judging and now to her role at OBE.

Kirsty has completed a Bachelor of Rural Science from the University of New England (UNE) - she has been heavily involved in a number of committees and programs completing agricultural tours through Cambodia, Vietnam and China with UNE and the Syngenta Connections Program in the Philippines. Kirsty realised the ability and obligation we have in Australia to continue providing safe quality food for the world, and is actively engaged in social communications and initiatives to help increase this awareness.

Recently Kirsty was a part of the Cattle Council of Australia’s Rising Champion Initiative in Canberra, where she was successful in claiming the national title. This will take her to NZ to the International Beef Alliance Conference in October to take part in the Young Leaders section of the conference.

Through being active on social media, she is now also aiding Stock and Station Agencies to transition to having an online presence engaging with online selling platforms, whilst maintaining a blog to increase transparency within agriculture. Even though living in the city, Kirsty regularly competes in campdrafts across Australia and takes pride in being a part of the Australian quality grass-fed beef industry.

#cowgirlinthecity, https://countrygirlinthecityblog.wordpress.com/


Janet Reddan - "Lookout Feedlot," Roma

Former agronomist now cattle producer, Janet hails from Roma where together with husband Donald and their three children they own and manage aspects of the families breeding, backgrounding and feedlotting business. With qualifications in Agriculture, business and project management, Janet has combined knowledge and industry experience to develop the family business. Her experience in the field of agronomy has led to different opportunities in agriculture including involvement into finding a treatment for Pimelea poisoning and being a Grant recipient from the Foundation for Young Australians to conduct three weeks of agricultural research at Rothamsted, England.

A keen interest in promoting agriculture and policy, Janet is President of her local AgForce branch and most recently been elected to the role of Cattle Board Director for the Southern Inland region.


John Moore, AgForce Valuer/Producer - "Glenmorgan"

John Moore is a beef producer from Glenmorgan and offers a Valuation Service to AgForce and its members. As John says “A farmers most valuable asset is their property and the valuation service is here to help members ensure they have good advice on matters that affect the valuation of their property”.

John started his Valuing career as a cadet at age 19 with the Department of Natural Resources and Mines. Over the 11 years whilst working with the Department, John worked in large areas of Queensland and rose to become a senior valuer specialising in Rural Valuations.

John and his wife Louise, run a backgrounding and fattening operation at Glenmorgan as well as grow Oats, Barley and Sorghum to be used as crop assisted fattening. In 2011 they started out with cattle on agistment and bought the property where they live now in partnership with John’s parents.

John is well aware of the challenges for young people starting out in the industry and it is something that he likes to use his 11 years of valuation experience to help them into owning their first property.


Ian McLean, Director - Bush AgriBusiness

Ian works with pastoral businesses across Northern Australia who want to better understand and improve their business performance. Ian grew up on a sheep and cattle property in southern inland Queensland. He studied accounting at university and worked for a major accounting firm where he learnt a lot of things, including that he didn’t want to be an accountant.

He spent 8 years in the Northern Territory, during which time he worked for the NT DPI and the NT Cattlemen’s Association. Ian returned to Queensland to do a stint on the family property, after which he established Bush AgriBusiness Pty Ltd.

Bush AgriBusiness’ vision is to contribute to a sustainable pastoral industry by delivering value to the profitable pastoral businesses of the future. Ian was lead author of the Northern Beef Report, leads the delivery of the Business EDGE workshop across Northern Australia and has recently completed a Master of Business Administration degree.



David Greenup, Co-Principal - Rosevale Santa Gertrudis Stud

David Greenup is co-principal of the Rosevale Santa Gertrudis Stud in south east Queensland.  With his wife Sonya and three sons, David manages the family-owned operation alongside his parents Grahame and Peggy.

Properties owned offer a variety of soil types ranging from forest country where breeders are run, to fertile scrub soils where cattle are grown and fattened on pasture and forage crops.

The Rosevale herd comprises both stud and commercial cattle, focusing on the EU market.  300-350 bulls are sold annually.  The 60th Rosevale Sale was recently held in September – the longest running on-property, annual bull sale of any breed in Australia.

The Rosevale stud herd, which comprises 700 breeders, is one of the most extensively performance recorded herds in northern Australia.  The Rosevale commercial herd (also comprising 700 breeders) includes a small percentage of British and European blood composite with the ultimate aim to produce polled cattle that are extremely fertile and meet market specifications at an early age, off pasture.

Rosevale cattle are renowned for being functional, easy doing types.  Breeder herd fertility is priority #1 with Days to Calving EBVs and semen morphology testing being tools that are used to drive high fertility.  Particular focus is put on breeding trim sheathed bulls that are bred and prepared to have long working lives.  All Rosevale bulls sold are semen morphology tested and results are supplied to prospective buyers. 


Jim Guilfoyle, Senior Beef Livestock Buyer - Coles

Jim Guilfoyle is the Senior Beef Livestock Buyer for Coles supermarkets. Based in Brisbane and covering the Queensland market, Jim has strong beef industry credentials – having worked in beef trading and feedlotting before joining Coles in 2012.


At Coles, Jim aligns buying strategy with the businesses’ expansion of premium, branded products – which is being led by consumer demand. Jim will speak to how consumer trends are determining Coles’ buying strategy and how this flows through to the farm gate.

Susan McDonald, Managing Director - Super Butcher

Susan is Managing Director of Super Butcher, a retail group of six stores and online butchers, serving 10,000 people a week in south east Queensland.  Raised in the state’s north-west, she was educated on Mt Isa School of the Air and at boarding school in Brisbane, before studying at the University of Queensland. With degrees in Commerce and Economics, and as a registered CPA, she has over 20 years of experience in accountancy and business management, and most recently was Chief of Staff to the Minister for Natural Resources and Mines in the Queensland Government. Susan brings a wealth of expertise to Super Butcher, which is a truly “paddock to plate” retailer.   


Susan is Queensland Divisional Councillor of the Retail and General Industry Group of Australian Meat Industry Council, and a councillor on the Queensland Futures Institute.


David Harland, Managing Director - FINH

David Harland has been working exclusively with family businesses for almost 25 years. As the Managing Director of FINH, David advises on family governance strategies and implementation, business transitions and succession planning and sourcing capital and finance options. 

David has worked with family businesses across Australia, New Zealand and South East Asia, many of whom have transitioned into and beyond their third generations. He holds both national and international accreditation in the field of family advising and family wealth.  

David is a respected commentator and speaker in the family business sector. He provides thought leadership and writes regular columns in The Australian, Smart Company and InTheBlack


Kim Harland, Managing Director - Insights

Kim Harland is the Managing Director of Insights, an online learning platform designed for family businesses.

Insights provides access to over 500 short videos on family business challenges from successful family businesses and those who advise them. In addition there are over 20 online courses for families to choose from and for the very time-poor, the opportunity to have your learning customised. Insights content can be achieved at your own pace, in your own time and on any device.

With over twenty years of experience in the family business sector, Kim believes that specialised tools and information play a vital role in managing the risks and challenges family businesses commonly face.  

Kim has served on the Qld committee of Family Business Australia and writes a regular blog commenting on tips and best practice for family businesses.


Emma Robinson, Founder - The Beef Co-op Project

Emma is an enthusiastic advocate for family farming and is interested in exploring how technology, farmer collaboration and consumers can come together to reshape supply chains. 

A beef producer from North Queensland, Emma has formed The Beef Co-op Project, which aims to explore opportunities to create new value through collaborative business models. 
She was recently named the Queensland 2016 RIRDC Rural Women of the Year and in 2015 undertook a Winston Churchill Trust Fellowship to research farmer cooperatives and beef supply chain innovations in the UK, US and Canada.

Emma has previously worked in the Queensland Department of Agriculture and is a former director of Beef CRC Limited. She has formal qualifications in agricultural science and strategic foresight. 

Emma is the mum of three raucous bush kids and juggles her drive for co-ops with teaching distance education and helping to manage the family’s three beef properties.

Anthony Brick, Far North Queensland Regional Manager - AustSafe Super

Anthony Brick is the Far North Queensland Regional Manager for AustSafe Super, covering the region north of Townsville and west to the Queensland border. He has nine years’ experience in financial services of which three has been with AustSafe Super. His role as Regional Manager allows him to combine his passion for finance and numbers with his love of rural and regional Australia by being based in his home town of Atherton. Anthony loves that he can help members achieve their superannuation goals through AustSafe Super by offering his expert service to members at no extra cost and without the motivation of commissions or sales incentives.



Jamie Woods, North Queensland Regional Manager - AustSafe Super

Jamie Woods is the Regional Manager for AustSafe Super in North Queensland, covering the region between Rockhampton and the Burdekin and out west to the Queensland border. He has over 10 years’ experience in the financial services industry, with the past two years working with AustSafe Super. Jamie is a born and bred Mackay local and has spent his entire life living and working in the surrounding regional areas.  Given his background in banking and financial planning, he has a real passion for improving financial and superannuation literacy and assisting to secure the financial future for the people of rural and regional Australia.


Sally Leigo, Research Leader - Precision Pastoral Management Tools Project

Sally is the research leader for the Precision Pastoral Management Tools Project. Based in Alice Springs, over the past 5 years Sally and her team have been researching and developing the Precision Pastoral Management System, new technology for the beef industry of Northern Australia. Sally originates from far-western NSW where her family still hold a beef, sheep & goat property. A former Director for the Future Farmers Network, Sally also holds an Agriculture Science degree and Masters of Rangeland Management. 

The research that Sally has been leading is world-first and has caught the attention of numerous beef producers and media outlets around the world. The research has been featured in stories from over 40 media outlets in 13 countries and was even featured on the front page of the Wall Street Journal earlier this year. 


Richard Holcombe, Producer - “Kinma”, Moura

Richard & Amy Holcombe run a 1600ha backgrounding property at Moura, in central Queensland. Having spent nine years on the family cropping, sheep & cattle property at Walgett in north-west NSW, Richard & Amy moved to Moura three years ago with their young family. Taking a strong focus on balancing animal production with regenerative grazing management, Richard & Amy see the long-term viability of their business closely tied to land condition.

Following degrees in Ag. Science and Animal Science at the University of Queensland, Richard & Amy developed a strong appreciation for continual knowledge and skill development, which has seen them further their learning through courses such as Grazing for Profit, MLA Business EDGE and Holistic Management. Last year, Richard & Amy attended an Accelerated Grazing BMP Course and went on to complete the audit process and become Grazing BMP Accredited producers and are strong advocates of the initiative.


Jessira Perovic, Project Manager for Eating Quality and Data Analytics  - Meat & Livestock Australia

Jessira comes from a farming background in the Central Highlands region of Victoria and holds a Bachelor of Animal Science from Charles Sturt University. Her introduction to the meat industry came through her selection for the 2010 Australian National Meat Judging Team which toured and competed in the US and has remained a committee member for this program since.


Jessira is currently the Project Manager for Eating Quality and Data Analytics at MLA, based in Armidale NSW. Jessira’s role involves managing all research and development projects pertaining to the Meat Standards Australia and MLA eating quality programs, as well as providing analytical data and technical support to all MSA research and development activities. She has played an integral role in providing industry insight into the eating quality of the Australian beef industry through analysis of the newly introduced MSA Index and MSA Annual Benchmarking report.    


Tim Ryan, Market Analyst - Meat & Livestock Australia

Tim Ryan is part of Meat and Livestock Australia’s (MLA) market information team, as a Market Analyst. In his role, Tim tracks the domestic and international supply and demand dynamic and analyses how these forces impact the Australian cattle market. In addition, Tim supports the role of the National Livestock Reporting Service in delivering accurate and timely market reports.


Tim grew up on a sheep property in Baynton, central Victoria. Prior to joining MLA, Tim studied economics at the University of Melbourne, as part which he researched the relationship between livestock and retail lamb prices. Outside of his role, Tim is also involved in the Intercollegiate Meat Judging (ICMJ) program, in which he is coach of the Australian team which travels to and competes in the US once a year.