Passionate about agriculture and its people
GUNNEE Feedlot livestock supervisor Brooke Flanagan's entire working life has been in agriculture.
She started working in lotfeeding while at school, completing a two-year school-based traineeship and studying a Certificate II in Agriculture.
"My parents were working at that feedlot at the time so I hit them up for it," Ms Flanagan said.
"I learnt about every aspect of the feedlot from animal health and pen riding to the mill side of it, and the bunk calls.
"I used to spend a bit of time with the nutritionist and the vet when they came out, and it was another opportunity to learn more about the whole operation.
"I stayed there or another few years, doing a bit of everything, from feeding to penriding, and from there I went to a stock and station agency for two years, then a sheep and cattle property.
"While I was on that property I had the chance to step up while they were trying to find somebody for the overseer role, so that was my first leadership opportunity.
"In nearly every job I've had, once I get a feel for the job, I somehow end up being an informal leader that people look to, to get stuff done."
When her current job was advertised, she saw it as an opportunity to step up in her career.
Ms Flanagan manages a team of five, looking after all the planning of livestock movements, including managing feedlot placement and scheduling drafts.
"I'm fairly hands on so I like to be outside doing the cattle work with the guys.
"I'm not an office person - I get bored quite quickly if I'm in the office all day."
She applied for the MPM program after her manager, Mark Byrne, said to give it a go.
"I'd done a leadership course last year and thought it would be an opportunity to learn more in a group situation," Ms Flanagan said.
"I think it's good to hear feedback from other people from different feedlots and situations.
"The DiSC profiling session was really good. It was spot on with how I think I am, and it was good to learn how you can use that to know how to deal with staff to get the best out of them.
"I'm always looking for things I can do that might benefit me down the track.
"Mark's big on putting us through whatever training we can get, and he's a good mentor too. I can always go to him with questions, he's always giving us advice."
Communication the focus for Condamine livestock manager
HE'S only been in the lotfeeding industry for four years, but David Duncan is already making his mark, rising through the ranks to become livestock manager at Teys Australia's Condamine Feedlot in Queensland.
Mr Duncan began his career at Smithfield feedlot at Proston, starting in the livestock team.
He was a head stockman for three years and has been livestock manager with Teys for the past eight months, where he manages a team of 16 people.
While he's a relative newcomer to lotfeeding, he has plenty of experience in agriculture.
He grew up on a small beef cattle property near Kilcoy and drove cattle trucks for nine years before working on a small property at Tambo.
"Being a family-owned property there was no room for me to grow," Mr Duncan said.
"I compete in campdrafts so the horse and cattle work attracted me to feedlots."
The 34-year-old enjoys his role, which is "90 per cent managing people", he said.
"I love being able to see green people come in and get them to a level where I can trust them to do everyday jobs, so I can delegate to them and not have to micromanage them."
Mr Duncan was encouraged to apply for the MPM program by Condamine Feedlot general manager Phil Lambert, a past participant of the ALFA initiative.
"We've only had one session so far but it's been excellent," he said.
"We've got a diverse group, and people from a range of positions, but we've all got the same challenges, maybe just on different sides of the feedlot.
"It's good for me to learn how to deal with different people and different levels of experience.
"I think the course will help in the way that I communicate with them."