THAT a global health pandemic would create chaos, and in its wake leave society with a newfound appreciation of food supply chains, is something no one at the big Beef Australia event three years ago would have predicted.
However, the fact the beef industry had the resilience and the know-how to pivot, adapt and thrive has not surprised Dalene Wray, the trailblazing managing director of OBE Organic, Australia's first organic beef exporter.
Ms Wray was named the Queensland Country Life Beef Achiever of the Year at Beef 2018 and while she agrees the events that have unfolded since are extraordinary, she believes the fundamental strengths of Australia's beef industry are now more evident than ever.
And that places the industry in a very optimistic position heading into Rockhampton's Beef 2021 in May.
Nominations are now open for the prestigious Beef Industry Awards presented at the premier industry event held every three years.
Categories include Queensland Country Life's Beef Achiever of the Year, Rabobank's Young Beef Ambassador, the Australian Registered Cattle Breeders Association R.W Vincent Award and Meat & Livestock Australia's Producer Innovation Award.
- Nominate for the QCL Beef Achiever of the Year here.
- Nominate for the MLA Producer Innovation Award here.
- Nominate for Rabobank's Young Beef Ambassador here.
Entrants can either nominate themselves or be nominated by others in the industry.
Ms Wray was the first female to collect the Achiever of the Year award, designed to recognise an industry stakeholder who has contributed significantly to the betterment of the industry.
Since its launch in 1997, it has gone to influential stakeholders including Don Heatley, Larry Action, David Crombie, David Larkin and Phil Morley.
Queensland Country Life's editor Melody Labinsky said the awards were designed to acknowledge the hard working people within the beef game, the outstanding feats they achieve and the world-leading nature of the industry.
She said Australia's beef industry had entered a new era in many regards, from record cattle prices and strong global demand for our product to cutting-edge new technologies and pioneering practices in areas like sustainability and welfare.
And so the Beef 2021 awards would be very high calibre and one for the history books.
The Rabobank Young Beef Ambassador is open to nominees aged between 21 and 35 years old.
These nominees must show potential to be a significant leader and contributor to the beef industry.
Rabobank provides the winner with a scholarship, valued at close to $6000, to participate in the prestigious Farm Managers Program, a one-week residential program designed to strengthen the operational and strategic skills of farm managers.
The ARCBA R.W Vincent Award recognises the outstanding contributions of a person to beef cattle breeding.
The MLA Producer Innovation Award will be given to a beef producer who best demonstrates innovation across one of three streams: accelerated adoption, producer-led innovations resulting in new products, and brands plus value chains or producer-led new venture and start-ups. A finalist will be chosen from each of the three streams and this group will form the finalists for the Producer Innovation Award.
The prestigious awards will be announced at the curtain-raising Beef 2021 dinner.
Ms Wray said she was thrilled the award demonstrated how OBE's achievements, though seemingly small on a global scale were collectively impactful.
She also saw it as wonderful recognition of the contribution of females in agriculture, and particularly the meat industry.
"Women are leading important conversations in our industry. People like Tess Herbert and Georgie Somerset are wonderful role models," she said.
"I'm excited about the progress our industry is making towards sustainability and aligning to big UN global goals.
"Australian agriculture has a very important role to play in global supply chains and in the last three years we have seen a positive move towards a more outward-looking focus in our industry."
Entries for the Beef Industry Awards will close on Thursday March 25. Nominations can be made by using the links above or by emailing Lee-Ann Dowd at firstname.lastname@example.org
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