Young Guns Finalists announced for LambEx 2018

Nine up and coming lamb industry advocates from across Australia have been named as finalists in the LambEx 2018 Young Guns Competition.

Finalists in the early to mid-career producers and professionals (aged 40 years and under) section are Danila Marini, University of New England, Armidale, New South Wales; Andrea McKenzie, Department of Agriculture & Fisheries, Charleville, Queensland; John Gardner, South Mokanger, Cavendish, Victoria; in the High School section Zach Baker, Kojonup District High School, Kojonup, Western Australia; Hannah Haupt, Calvary Christian College, Carbrook, Qld; Lindsay Brown, Yanco Agricultural High School, NSW, and in the undergraduate, postgraduate, masters & PhD students section are Amy Lockwood, Murdoch University, Baldivis, WA; Jamie Nykiel, Murdoch University, Murdoch, WA and Georgia Reid, Ag Pro Management and University of New England, Mount Barker, WA.

All will fly to Perth to attend a Professional Development Workshop and LambEx 2018 on August 5-7, with the three category winners, who will each receive a $1000 prize, to be announced during the conference.

The LambEx 2018 Young Guns Competition is held thanks to sponsors the Australian White Suffolk Association and the National Australia Bank. The competition aims to reward and encourage young and upcoming producers, industry professionals and scientists to consider a future or ongoing career in the Australian lamb industry.

LambEx 2018 Chair Bindi Murray said she was excited by the strong field of entries and the nine finalists who had been selected.

“It’s important to help support and provide opportunities for young people in agriculture,” she said.

“We need to ensure more young people become involved in the sheep and lamb industry to build on the current buoyancy and help secure its ongoing success.”

NAB Head of Agribusiness SA & WA, Matt O’Dea said it was important to celebrate emerging leaders in the agriculture industry and give them the opportunity to provide input into the direction of their industry.

“NAB Agribusiness throws its support behind this event because we strongly believe in the importance of providing opportunities for young leaders,” he said.

“We have great confidence in the future of the sheep and lamb industry with the calibre of young people that the LambEx Young Guns Competition continues to attract.”

Australian White Suffolk Association Board Member Andrew Heinrich said the Young Guns concept was a great opportunity for youth, and his association was very proud to be a competition sponsor.

“It provides a wonderful example to help young people from within the industry to grow and develop more confidence and experience, as well as improve their networking skills,” he said.

“This is the third time that the competition has run, and the third time that the association has been involved in sponsoring it. It has been really wonderful to be involved in the process and see the growth of previous finalists.

“The competition stepped up another level last year with some of the strongest applicants yet and the 2018 competition has hosted another strong field of applicants.

“The Australian White Suffolk Association really look forward to seeing the nine finalists and the three winners at LambEx 2018.”

Category: Career Professionals

Danila Marini, University of New England, Armidale, New South Wales

Danila has always had a love for and desire to work with animals. She attended Urrbrae Agricultural High School in SA and studied a Bachelor of Animal Science at the University of Adelaide. In 2013 she was awarded a First-Class Honours degree for her thesis investigating the effects of intrauterine growth restriction on stress responses in sheep.

In 2013, she moved to Armidale, NSW, and commenced a PhD with the University of New England, in conjunction with the CSIRO, investigating self-medication methods in sheep. In 2014, she was selected as a Young Farming Champion as part of the Art4Agriculture program. She is also an active member of NSW Farmers, and is on their animal welfare committee. In 2017 she was awarded a PhD and, moved into a Post Doc with the University of New England, focusing on the use of virtual fencing to better manage sheep. The work she is currently undertaking is part of the Rural R&D for Profit programme, which enables research and development towards the implementation of virtual herding technology in livestock.

Andrea McKenzie, Department of Agriculture & Fisheries, Charleville, Queensland

Andrea graduated with first class honours from the Veterinary School at the University of Queensland Gatton Campus in 2014. She has worked in a mixed veterinary practice in Dubbo, NSW, as a locum in Katherine, Northern Territory and in St George, Queensland. After two years of clinical practice Andrea decided to pursue her true passion for livestock production.

She had gained good experience in production animal medicine but really wanted to focus on herd health and management – particularly reproduction and nutrition. She spent the end of 2016 and beginning of 2017 working full time on the family property – a sheep, cattle and goat enterprise 180km south east of Cunnamulla, QLD. She then began an extension job with the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries in mid-2017, focusing on a project supporting graziers to improve business and drought resilience.

John Gardner, South Mokanger, Cavendish, Victoria

John completed a Bachelor of Construction Management and Economics at the University of SA before working for GN Project Management, a residential construction company. He then moved to Sydney and worked as an Assistant Project Manager for a Development company called Central Element. He has recently taken over as managing director of his family farm, running 11,500 self-replacing composite breeding ewes on 1440 hectares and 220 hectares of crop.

He completed a Diploma in Agriculture in 2017 and is currently completing a Leadership course through Australian Rural Leadership and Sheep Producers Australia. He is involved in two Best Wool Best Lamb Groups and the local grasslands committee and is on the LDL advisory committee to represent producers.


Category: High School

Zach Baker, Kojonup District High School, Kojonup, WA

Zach is 15 years old and has lived on a family farm in Kojonup all his life. His hobbies include playing the guitar, playing hockey, drawing, swimming, motorbikes, computers, dogs, hanging with friends, farm life and sheep. He has been around sheep his whole life and has a great interest in them. He is a year 10 student at Kojonup District High School and has an active role with the sheep on the school farm as well at home on the farm.

He has attended some sheep information days, and this has helped to boost his interest in sheep. He likes sheep because they seem easy to handle and they are an interesting career path.

Hannah Haupt, Calvary Christian College, Carbrook, Qld

Lindsay is 17 years old and hails from a sheep and winter cropping farm near Beckom in the Riverina, NSW. He often helps with husbandry operations with his family’s prime lamb and wool enterprises, including crutching, lamb marking, shearing, drenching, backlining, drafting and selecting terminal meat breed rams for their first-cross ewe and prime lamb production enterprises.

Hannah has qualified for the 2018 Queensland Young Judges State Meat Sheep Finals and received a Scholarship to Queensland Agricultural Colleges TASTE program. This was the 2017 EKKA Young Judges (junior) Scholarship. This scholarship covers many areas of agriculture including sheep and lamb. Hannah plays an active part in her school’s Junior Ag program, helping out regularly with a variety of sheep husbandry and paddock maintenance. She is very passionate about the sheep and lamb industry and would gladly consider having a career in the sheep and lamb industry in the near future.

Lindsay Brown, Yanco Agricultural High School

Lindsay is 17 years old and hails from a sheep and winter cropping farm near Beckom in the Riverina, NSW. He often helps with husbandry operations with his family’s prime lamb and wool enterprises, including crutching, lamb marking, shearing, drenching, backlining, drafting and selecting terminal meat breed rams for their first-cross ewe and prime lamb production enterprises.

He recently bought a small mob of 20 head of first cross ewes to produce his own prime lambs with the White Suffolk sires he has selected. He aims to produce lambs for the light trade/domestic market to decrease inputs required to grow them out to heavier weights and to simplify production while he is still at school. He has completed a Certificate IV in Woolclassing course. He has also been heavily involved in the White Suffolk stud that his school owns and been involved with ram sales, showing sheep at shows and participating in junior judging competitions including the Sydney Royal Easter show at the state final.


Category: Undergraduate, postgraduate, masters & PhD

Amy Lockwood, Murdoch University, Baldivis, WA

Amy completed a Bachelor of Animal Science with First Class Honours at Murdoch University in 2014. Her Honours project, which was funded by MLA and an AWET scholarship, found supplementing ewes with large doses of vitamin D in late pregnancy has potential to improve lamb survival. She has completed her PhD at Murdoch University and her thesis has recently been submitted for examination.

Her thesis demonstrated that reducing the mob size of twin-bearing ewes at lambing improved lamb survival on commercial farms. Since 2015, she has played a major role in a large national project funded by AWI and MLA, “Improving lamb survival by optimising lambing density”, which is quantifying the impacts of mob size and stocking rate on lamb survival. Engagement in this research has enabled her to build a network with sheep producers in WA along with other researchers and members of the industry across Australia. In 2016 she was awarded a Science and Innovation Award for Young People in Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry which funded a multidisciplinary research project to investigate the potential use of drones for monitoring during lambing and research related to ewe-lamb behaviour and lamb survival.

Jamie Nykiel, Murdoch University, Murdoch, WA

Jamie is in her third year of a Bachelor of Science, majoring in Animal Science/Animal Health at Murdoch University in WA. Jamie has been selected to attend the New Colombo Study Tour China for Murdoch in June 2018, as well as the National Merino Challenge, and the UQBS Sheep Meat Value Chain Training Program. Jamie was an Associate Judge for Merino Section of Perth Royal Show in 2017.

In 2017 she also attended the AgVivo SIBI Sheep Camp and she has had Extramural Farm Experience at Balmoral Park Stud, Laterite Ridge Eggs, Peninsula Down Pty Ltd, Westland Acres and Ingle.

Georgia Reid, Ag Pro Management & University of New England, Mount Barker, WA

Georgia grew up on the family farm in Boyup Brook in the south west of WA, a 50:50 cropping and sheep operation with a self-replacing Merino flock has a focus on lamb and wool, and crossbred lambs produced for export and domestic markets. Georgia graduated from UWA with a Bachelor of Agricultural Science (honours) in 2014. As part of her degree her honours project investigated the impact of the media coverage of live export on WA producers.

Currently, she is midway through a Graduate Certificate in Agricultural Consulting, through the University of New England. She is completing this degree part time focusing on meat technology and production, while developing a career in livestock consulting. As part of MLA’s Future Livestock Consultant Program, she began a role as a livestock systems consultant with AgPro Management in February 2017.

 

Media: For further comment contact LambEx 2018 Chair Bindi Murray on 0409 347 299.

For high resolution photos of any of the finalists please email tina.brock@agcommunicators.com.au