THE first Australian Registered Cattle Breeds Association Young Breed Leaders workshop was given a resounding tick of approval from attendees but they were left asking, when is the next one?
While the beef industry has countless cattle schools and showing camps available for young enthusiasts, the age acceptance usually stops at 25 leaving those outside of the age bracket feeling forgotten.
A presentation by Santa Gerturdis General Manager Ben Noller created much discussion by the workshop participants aged 20-35 years when they were asked, how to create generational change in the seedstock industry to create more management opportunities for young breeders.
Experience, tenure, intimidation and financial restraints were seen to be barriers for people their age moving up the beef ladder.
In order to combat these challenge, delegates responded with ideas including mentor programs that would pair young people with someone further down the supply chain, to consider succession planning within breed societies and add young board members.
Western Australia Limousin representative Michael Mamo said emphasis had been put on developing young breed leaders aged 15 to 25 but those older than that were ‘now churning’ to get involved in the industry and were left out.
“One issue I see within youth programs is, define youth at what point?” he said.
“Some of our youth programs are too focused on an audience which is actually too young to take that step.
“Technically we are the youth sitting in this room and there are a lot of programs made available targeted to those students between the ages of 15 to 25 and there is very little on offer to aid and assist those guys that are actually here today doing a job between the age of 25 to 40.”
By ensuring that young people who wanted to stay a part of the industry were provided with network opportunities, Brahman representative James Kent said they wouldn’t be lost to the system and take the first job they were offered.
“Because as a society we have invested time and money into them over a period of time so we want them back involved somehow,” he said.