Coonamble-based cattle producer Cara Fagan understands the importance of a strong foundation and building connections throughout the supply chain.
At 22 years of age, Ms Fagan was a recent participant in the GenAngus Future Leaders Program, supported by Angus Australia and Achmea Australia, which consisted of a three-day course in June in Adelaide, SA.
For her the biggest take-home message was consistency over intensity.
"A common theme from the course was building habits... those one percenters that all together can contribute to larger change and can have a big shift," she said.
"For me it is having the foundation right first, and looking at creating better connections throughout the supply chain
Involved in the beef industry from a young age through her family's commercial cattle operation, Ms Fagan completed an agribusiness degree with Marcus Oldham College in 2020 before returning home.
Since finishing her studies, she has been heavily involved in the breeding program, bull selection and all aspects of animal husbandry and management.
"We are a commercial Angus operation of predominately Te Mania blood," she said. "We sell mainly through the yards... I would love to improve and have more consistent marketing of our stock."
Ms Fagan said her family has had the Angus operation for 59 years, and there was potential to establish her own seedstock business and grass-fed beef enterprise in the future.
"They're high-performing cattle with versatility to suit a range of markets and environments - they can fit into Australian beef production in a lot of different ways," she said.
"In the future I would love to establish a seedstock side to the business... it is something I have always wanted to do since I was little and had an interest in genetics and breeding animals - I want to contribute to the genetic integrity of the Angus breed within Australia.
"All our stock are grass fed and in the future, we want to look at certified grass-fed program."
They also aim to have an established relationship with a meat processor that provides consistently high-quality grass-fed beef and a team of staff members whose own skills and goals are fostered in a safe and positive work environment.
As discussions around carbon neutral beef production grow, Ms Fagan believes it is something farmers need be conscious of and
"It is something we need to be accountable for and take responsibility for... there is a big opportunity for red meat production," she said.
"Consumers are interested in knowing where food comes from and want to know more about it, how it is produced and where, they are becoming more conscious of their choices. This is an opportunity for producers in all sectors."
Ms Fagan said she always had her eye on the GenAngus Future Leader Program as something she would be interested in.
"The networking opportunities that come with it, along with the exposure to speakers is really beneficial," she said.
"We have a Facebook group and WhatsApp for the participants and people are really good at contributing snippets of information which allows for continuity following the program.
"It is a great opportunity to learn, and it is a good personal develop opportunity for anyone interested in the industry or breed - it is worth it.
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