Across a span of 35 years the annual Northern Territory Cattlemen’s Association (NTCA) AGM and Conference has become a signature event for industry stakeholders in Northern Australia and southeast Asia to attend.
NTCA CEO Ashley Manicaros said the 2019 event, being hosted by the NTCA Katherine Branch, will be held on Thursday, March 28 and Friday, March 29 at The Darwin Convention Centre.
Mr Manicaros said the conference will provide attendees, which predominantly comprise NT cattle producers, industry partners, Federal and Territory Ministers, and overseas guests with a plethora of industry insights and information.
"The theme for this year's conference is ‘High Steaks’, which we chose due to the major opportunities and challenges ahead for the beef industry," he said.
"With the signing of free trade agreements with Indonesia and China, and the Trans Pacific Partnership, we have major markets to our north opening up.
"Concurrently we have perception issues relating to animal welfare which we have to address or we'll face the prospect of the live export trade being shut down."
Mr Manicaros said a series of speakers will address these issues at the conference, and present, in one instance, in-depth research which demonstrates the support the industry has, and what can be done collectively to capitalise on this.
"The speaker’s list is designed to challenge the thinking of delegates from beyond the farm gate, focusing on the bigger picture regarding trade and other challenges to industry that the future may bring.
"We'll also have speakers who'll bring positive news and techniques for self-improvement, including keynote speaker Allan Pease who'll teach delegates skills that will allow them to set ambitious, fulfilling business and personal goals; and to overcome roadblocks, obstacles and tough times."
Mr Manicaros said over the course of the conference, the NTCA will be aiming to effect industry change for the better at both the NT and Federal Government levels.
"We'll be hoping to provide NT Government officials in attendance with a better understanding of the collective frustration our members have with the delays in providing certainty relating to the diversification of the pastoral estate.
"The NT Government wants to change the way non-pastoral use permits are processed and this will cause delays. For a year now we've been pressing them to not disrupt a system which has been working, and we wish to this issue settled as soon as possible."
He said at a Federal level the NTCA wish to ensure that the future of live export is maintained.
"We need to ensure the Federal Government understands the importance and value of live export to our nation and Northern Australia in particular.
"We exported more than $360 million to Indonesia alone last year so from a trade point of view this is critical."
Mr Manicaros said in addition to the NTCA and Pioneer Water Tanks Welcome Drinks, and the NTCA and AACo Gala Dinner, a new event has been added to the schedule this year with the inaugural Future NTCA Breakfast to take place on the morning of March 28.
"This invitation only breakfast is aimed at alumni of the Future NTCA, providing them with a chance to network with industry leaders and influencers."
He said ladies of the land from across the north will also have the opportunity to unite and enjoy an afternoon of great food and drink at the Parliament House Dining Room and Nitmiluk Lounge during the NTCA and Bilba Group Ladies Lunch.
"The NTCA Conference provides an ideal platform for issues to be covered but also for industry to get together, meet and do business, and this year will be no different," Mr Manicaros said.