THE Livestock Collective's Leaders workshop landed in Rockhampton last Thursday, with 16 young beef industry leaders from central Queenslanders taking part in the two-day workshop.
The workshop empowers young leaders working in the livestock industry to share their stories and to improve their advocacy and leadership skills.
Participants are taught by media professionals and advocacy leaders, with a end goal for them to be able to leave with the ability to stand tall and talk passionately about their area of expertise.
Livestock Collective events co-ordinator Amelia Nolan organises and facilitates the national workshops under the leadership project.
Ms Nolan said the Livestock Collective was created to feel a void of information between the industry and consumer.
"We really wanted to share authentic real stories with the public and our full vision is connecting with the public so everyone has a shared understanding of agriculture," Ms Nolan said.
"From that was born the Livestock Leaders program and our purpose is to empower the whole supply chain to share their story.
"I think it was a bit of a void of information in the public but also in agriculture's approach to advocacy and we wanted to put a face to the industry."
According to research conducted by Meat Livestock Australia (MLA) into how the public perceive the agricultural industry, 60 per cent of the population don't know much about agriculture, but are open to knowing more.
Ms Nolan said the Livestock Collective saw this as a huge opportunity to fill the gap.
"I think it's important for the livestock industries to connect with the public and communicate what we're doing and why we do it," she said
"Also to say in a authentic way that actually animal welfare is at the forefront of what our industry does and we do have goals to be carbon neutral by 2030.
"Essentially it's sharing these stories and having these conversations and we want to give them the confidence, the skills to share their story, whether it be in the media or in everyday conversations."
The Livestock Collective workshop also dives into how the young industry leaders can stick to their key messaging, whilst engaging on social media or with the media.
After the two day workshop, participants will then complete an online session, where someone from the media we'll give them a case study to be interviewed on and receive one on one feedback.
Inspired to share their stories
One of the enthusiastic participants inspired to tell their story is Hannah Gibb, who works as a regional analyst at the Australian Agriculture Company (AACo) feedlots in Dalby.
Hannah works in the intensive side of the feedlot operation, which covers commodity purchasing usage, forecasting cattle flows.and kills processing schedules.
Ms Gibb said she was inspired to share the good things about her industry.
"I thought wow, this is a really cool movement that these guys are doing, and then realized they were coming to Queensland so I thought crikey that's something I'd really like to do," Ms Gibb said.
"It's something I'm really passionate about and I think it's really important that we all advocate for our roles and our position in the livestock and agriculture sector as a whole.
"We as people in the supply chain and working in the jobs that we do have such a special position, power and a responsibility to tell our stories and share the good things that we're doing.
"There's so many positives that actually outweigh the small negatives that are highlighted."
Fellow attendee Kate Reid shares the same passion with Hannah, operating as a regional analyst at the AACo breeding and genetics facilities in Roma.
Kate found out about the workshop through Google, searching for workshops or forums to build and improve her advocacy skills and confidence within the industry.
Ms Reid said it was just really coincidental that the Livestock collective had a workshop, whilst she was in town for Beef Australia.
"Probably one of the biggest skill sets that I'm lacking is that sort of confidence to go out and talk to the media and tell our story because I feel like we're sort of not in that position to do that," Ms Reid said.
"I was really acquired with those skills, but it's been a really good workshop to really and empower us to do that because we have so many good stories to tell.
"Even in our rural communities, we've still got people that aren't terribly educated around our industry, so I think there's a big opportunity there."
The story Livestock Leaders bridging the gap between industry and consumer first appeared on Queensland Country Life.