Change and innovation filtered through the keynote speeches at the third annual Northern Beef Producers Expo where the next generation of beef producers were front of mind.
From the inspirational story of 30-year-old graziers, Henry and Anna Hinds, Dukes Plain, Theodore, on how they “looked outside the box” to secure their future in the beef industry, to the need for a shift in the traditional farm safe attitude by Broncos legend Shane Webcke, the speakers line-up impressed.
In the field, tradition gave way to technology – apart from the entertaining working dog demonstrations – with a close up look at drones, and the application of virtual fencing, which is set to turn farm management on its head.
Northern Beef Producers Expo committee president Martin Holzwart said the committee had taken great consideration to select unique and informative speakers.
He said more than 1200 people filed through the gates over the two days.
“This was probably double our expectations so we were real happy with that,” Mr Holzwart said. “We had a lot of positive feedback from the trade exhibitors. They were happy with how everything went.”
The young committee – only two members are aged over 30 – decided to focus on the next generation of graziers to highlight innovation and change.
“Firstly we are about showcasing new technology and new ideas, ideas for next generation,” Mr Holzwart said.
“Some of the stuff is not necessarily available in the market today but it will be in the future.
“The last three to four years been tough for people in northern Australia and we wanted to make it about looking and moving forward rather than concentrating on the drought.”
Scott Crawford, chief executive officer of NQ Dry Tropics, a platinum sponsor of the event, said the grazing industry was in good hands.
Mr Crawford said the expo was trying to drive change and innovation in the grazing industry, which aligned with the goals of the natural resource management group including its new Landholders Driving Change program.
He said the program was part of a state-government funded major integrated projects, and included young graziers helping to change the way programs are designed and delivered.
“The panel includes a number of young graziers,” Mr Crawford said.
“The graziers driving this MEP project and the young graziers driving this expo are well informed, they are passionate about their industry and they are not afraid to challenge convention.”
“In terms of the future of the grazing industry I think it’s in good hands.