Six young people from across Australia have been announced as finalists in the Australian Lot Feeders' Association Young Lot Feeder of the Year Award.
The award, which has been running since 1994, seeks out the feedlot industry's emerging leaders and has remained resilient in 2020, attracting an enviable talent pool of entries. It is sponsored by Performance Feeds.
The award embodies passion, leadership, development and initiative and encourages emerging, dedicated employees to contribute their ideas and vision for lot feeding at a national level.
The finalists in the 2020 award are:
- Bec Donnelly, Roma Feedlot and Spelling Yards - QLD
- Edward Hobson, Five Star Beef - NZ
- Kailen Hodgson, Teys Australia Charlton - VIC
- Kelly Dudley, B Feeders - QLD
- Louise Rush, Iranda Beef - SA
- Molly Sage, JBS Beef City - QLD
ALFA president Bryce Camm said the award continued to be instrumental in discovering and encouraging some of the industry's up-and-coming talent.
"We are extremely proud of the feedlot industry's young talent, and we are enthusiastic about supporting their professional development through ALFA's Recognition of Excellence Program, of which this award sits within," he said.
"Our finalists this year are bold in their ideas, courageous in their thinking and provide confidence in a bright future for the lot feeding industry in Australia.
"Their ideas and solutions for the industry, expressed through their competition essays, have demonstrated to the judging panel that our industry is attracting and retaining the very best bright young minds, who will no doubt carry our industry into a prosperous future."
Finalists will now progress to a second round of judging, including an interview with the independent judging panel in November and partake in an advocacy program. The outcome of this round will decide who will progress in the competition as one of three grand finalists.
Mr Camm said ALFA encouraged the growth and development of youth in the feedlot industry, and it was humbling to see the continued support received for this award from our sponsor, Performance Feeds, and feedlot managers and their staff, especially in such uncertain times.
"Having such strong support for the award really highlights the resilience of our industry, and the strong people within it," he said.
Several past winners have gone onto strong leadership roles in the industry, including Stephen Reynolds (1999 Winner), Grant Garey (2000 Winner), Gina Lincoln (2002 Winner), Geoff Cornford (2004 Winner) and Stephen Martin (2013 Winner). Ben Emery at Rangers Valley was last announced as ALFA Young Lot Feeder of the Year in 2019.
"The lifetime contacts and business networks that winning the ALFA Young Lot Feeder of the Year Award has brought to previous winners is testament to the personal and professional benefits of this prestigious feedlot industry award," Mr Camm said.