A PASSION for the Northern Beef industry has inspired young gun Hamish Lamond to pursue a plan he hopes can future proof the industry.
Hamish, 22, is one of seven participants to undertake the Graeme Acton Beef Connections mentoring program, in which up and comers in the beef industry are partnered with seasoned leaders in a mentoring capacity.
Hamish grew up in York, Western Australia, which is predominantly a broadacre cropping area where sheep and wheat abound.
But after finishing school in 2012, he headed North to try his hand at a cattle station near Halls Creek in Western Australia and found his passion.
He has since worked for Heytesbury Pastoral’s Moolooloo Station in the Northern Territory and is currently head stockman at Paraway Pastoral’s Rocklands Station at Camooweal, on the Queensland/Northern Territory boarder.
On being accepted into the program last June last, Hamish was matched with mentor Greg Chappell and has since been working on a project to broaden options for Northern graziers to protect against the vulnerability of live export.
“My time in the north is where my project has developed from, so my project is to look at strategies to mitigate the potential vulnerability of northern beef producers to the live export market,” Hamish said.
“With Heytesbury Cattle Co 85 per cent of our turnoff went to the live export market and it seemed pretty obvious to me that if anything happens to that market, then where do we go?
“Speaking to a few producers up North I sort of got the same response, that it's been good to us for a long period of time, what happens if it's not?
“So this is a big picture concept and sort of a dare to dream vision that we've been talking about.
“Initially we were looking at processing facilities and finishing operations in the North to eliminate the cost of transport, but now we've sort of refined the project looking at production systems to improve production efficiencies in the north and we're going toward cross breeding.
“The real concern is that if the live export market ever collapses the high grade Brahman cattle will be penalised when sent to domestic markets in southern Australia.”
Hamish said he was excited about the opportunities for future growth in the North.
“We have 37,000 breeders (at Rocklands) at the moment and we're putting in about 100 new watering points and reducing our grazing radius to three kilometres around each bore so it's pretty exciting to be a part of something like that,” he said.