ALFA program attracts next generation of bright stars

Sisters are doing it for themselves

April Kratzmann, who works at Smithfield Cattle Company, is a participant of ALFA's 2021-22 MPM program.

April Kratzmann, who works at Smithfield Cattle Company, is a participant of ALFA's 2021-22 MPM program.

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April Kratzmann, of the Smithfield Cattle Company, is enjoying innovative management program.

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April Kratzmann loves her job as a livestock movement supervisor at Smithfield Cattle Company's major Queensland beef feedlot.

The 22-year-old lives with her family at Proston, which is close to the facility in the South Burnett region.

Her parents were born and raised in the area and own a cropping and beef cattle property.

Ms Kratzmann followed in the footsteps of her sister, Cassie, who has worked at Goonoo feedlot and station for the past five years.

She said she initially pursued a career in lotfeeding because she wanted to join part of Cassie's world and share experiences.

"I've always been interested in developing stockmanship and horsemanship skills to excel my career in this industry," she said.

I only hope to inspire another girl to claim her space in the lotfeeding industry, just like these women have inspired me to do just that. - ALFA MPM program participant April Kratzmann.

Ms Kratzmann is also participating in the latest ALFA Margin and People Management (MPM) program.

This was initiated by ALFA in 2008 to help up-and-coming feedlot participants develop skills needed to run any successful business.

These include people management and an understanding of business financials.

Program sessions cover topics including basic financial margin and time management, setting priorities, human behaviour and how to work more effectively with other people - especially in difficult situations.

These forums and face-to-face (where possible) events are run across several months and involve training and networking.

There is now a strong MPM alumni network consisting of more than 110 lot feeders and industry professionals. Many are now prominent industry leaders.

Ms Kratzmann said her main area of interest in the lotfeeding sector was just that - lotfeeding.

"I have been a part of the livestock crew at Smithfield for almost three years and have learned a new skill each and every day," she said.

"I would love to further my career by expanding and deepening my knowledge of all sections in the feedlot.

"I thoroughly enjoy each aspect of my job.

"Whether it is inducting fresh cattle into pens, mustering backgrounding cattle or sharing lunchtime giggles around the smoko table with the old cowboys, this job gives my life a sense of purpose.

"Each day I go home feeling fulfilled, and tired - well, mostly tired.

"I am extremely grateful to have the support and care of Smithfield Cattle Company.

"The feedlot is my second home, and I am unequivocally happy to further my career here."

Ms Kratzmann said she was excited to be participating in the MPM 2021-22 course.

She said she hoped to build strong connections and friends in this industry, further her personal and people skills and have a great experience.

"I am lucky enough to have exceptional role models, such as Caela Dye and Sally Halstead, who have previously completed the MPM course during their time at Smithfield.

"I only hope to inspire another girl to claim her space in the lotfeeding industry, just like these women have inspired me to do just that."

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