Northern Beef Futures – what’s it all about?

Host: Northern Beef Futures
Written by Northern Beef Futures Team – Department of Agriculture and Food, WA State Government.

1.1 copy DAFWA’s Northern Beef Futures team.

The Department of Agriculture and Food, Western Australia (DAFWA) leads the Northern Beef Futures (NBF) project, funded by the State Government’s Royalties for Regions program. NBF is an export supply chain focussed, market-driven project dedicated to supporting the success of the northern WA beef industry. We are working to enable the industry to boost capabilities, build value, and strengthen relationships within new and existing beef and live export supply chains, and diversify and align products to suit new and expanding markets.

Our project commenced in August 2014, delivering seven integrated components to:

  1. Increase the value of production from Western Australia’s Pilbara and Kimberley beef industry.
  2. Reduce reliance on current markets, through the establishment of alternate, economically viable export markets for WA beef and live cattle.
  3. Boost employment in WA’s northern cattle industry through increasing profitability.

Last year DAFWA established the Northern Beef Development Centre in Broome. NBF staff that are based here work to support beef industry groups and producers and also conduct pasture and weed risk assessment trials to explore opportunities to transform northern beef production systems.

Meet some of our DAFWA NBF Broome team . . .

1.2 copyAndrew Negline, Operations Manager, Northern Beef Development Centre with Elaine Jolliffe, Administration Assistant.

Hi, I am Andrew, the Broome Operations Manager and I enjoy working with the people in the Kimberley and Pilbara, where the northern cattle industry is based. I came here in June 2015 all the way from Wagga Wagga in NSW. I have spent the last 20 years in the red meat and livestock sector, in senior management roles in Cargill Inc, Meat and Livestock Australia, Dairy Farm International and Mars Inc. I have travelled extensively and worked in many beef markets in the world, with North Korea and Central Russia being highlights.

1.3a copyLauren Gibson and Kevin Bell, Practice Change and Capability Development Officers.

Hi, I am Kevin and I have lived in Broome for the last seven years where my wife and I (after visiting for decades) now really live, breathe, and sweat the Kimberley lifestyle!

A veterinary degree many years ago provided the opportunity for a wonderful life in the main, working as consultant to livestock producers in Western Australia. These astute people kept asking me unanswerable questions over the years, hence my associated passion for applied field research.

I like to think of myself as a ‘scientist in the bush’, taking livestock producers’ real, economic problems to the scientific community and keeping the latter engaged with reality in their research. An interlude of university life teaching in animal science provided the challenge of putting practice into theory.

I get satisfaction from working with livestock managers and their families, together engaging with anything to make production from grazing ruminant animals more profitable, enjoyable, and sustainable.

1.4a copyKevin Bell presenting on the Business Improvement Grants at an Industry Forum in Broome.

G’day I’m Lauren and I’m a born and bred Pilbara girl. I studied Ag Science in Perth before the lure of the North pulled me back! After a couple of years of doing Heritage and Environment work in the Pilbara and another couple teaching around the Kimberley, I’ve returned to my passion – Agriculture! I love getting out and working with producers on station.

I work as a Development Officer dedicated to helping pastoralists to increase productivity and meet the increasing demands of our expanding and broadening markets for WA beef and live cattle. One of the ways we do this is by offering incentives to eligible Kimberley and Pilbara producers to access expert advice and assistance to improve their cattle businesses, as part of DAFWA’s NBF Business Improvements Grants (BIG) program. Funding of up to $25 000 is available for them to employ a business consultant to complete or update a business plan which not only gives an overview of where the business is at, but also sets the way to move forward. The second part of the program involves implementing new technologies or specialist advice that has been identified in the business plan as a priority area for improvement.

It’s not all about the BIG Program – we also organise the NBF Industry Forums and Field days which have been very successful and valued by industry. We are also working with Indigenous properties to increase their participation and capacity in the WA beef and live cattle industry.

1.5 copyLauren at Peedamulla Station talking to pastoralists about DAFWA’s NBF project. 

Hi, I’m Tim and my role is the Mosaic Agriculture Development Officer (aka Pasture guru) for DAFWA’s NBF project. I previously spent six years in the Rangelands at Wiluna and then Marble Bar as a private consultant and a Rangelands NRM officer. Before that I was with DAFWA for 19 years working on fodder shrubs and perennial pastures. Read all about the Mosaic agriculture sub-project in our next blog.

1.4 copyTim Wiley, Mosaic Agriculture Development Officer.

We, as DAFWA’s NBF Broome team, work closely with the rest of project, who are working to strengthen supply chains, establish, and improve access to markets, attract investment, and identify infrastructure to support and develop the WA beef industry.

Thanks to the Central Station team for allowing us to host this week. We hope it gives readers an idea of the work that DAFWA’s NBF project is doing across all areas of the supply chain from the producers in the North right through to both domestic and international customers and end-users of WA beef.

Stay tuned for future articles to learn a bit more about the rest of the team and their work – but if you want to know more in the meantime take a look at our webpage on the DAFWA website.