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Bridgetown’s James Bowie appointed to inaugural Cattle Australia board

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Adam PoulsenCountryman
Bridgetown cattle producer James Bowie, pictured with son Jamie, wife Katina and daughter Arabella, has been appointed a Cattle Australia board member.
Camera IconBridgetown cattle producer James Bowie, pictured with son Jamie, wife Katina and daughter Arabella, has been appointed a Cattle Australia board member. Credit: Supplied/Scotch College

Bridgetown Angus producer James Bowie will be the sole WA representative on the board of the cattle industry’s new national peak body, with Cattle Australia announcing its inaugural ballot results on Monday.

Mr Bowie was appointed as Cattle Australia’s director for the WA Livestock Research Council catchment late last month after his nomination went uncontested, meaning a vote was not required.

Mr Bowie, who is also chair of grower group Western Beef, told Countryman he had “had a strong interest in becoming more active in agriculture advocacy for some time”.

“The opportunity to be part of developing a new group such as Cattle Australia from the ground up was too good to pass up,” he said.

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“Getting to know and to work closely with our producers, the new board and the team we will build around Cattle Australia is something I am really looking forward to.”

As the owner of multigenerational business Bowie Beef, the 50-year-old father of two runs a 1000-head Angus breeding herd.

He said he’d had no formal involvement with the Cattle Council of Australia which, after 43 years, has been replaced by Cattle Australia as the peak national body for the grass-fed cattle industry.

“This will be my first formal interaction, but most of my career has involved either working in or with industry associations,” Mr Bowie said.

“I have over 20 years experience in advocacy, corporate affairs, strategic planning and the broader resources sector and I believe much of this has direct application to beef and agriculture.”

Mr Bowie said there were several major issues facing the grass-fed cattle industry, including biosecurity threats, supply chain woes and “overall uncertain economic times” globally.

He also cited the need to improve community understanding around animal welfare practices and managing and growing the national herd, as the beef industry was increasingly targeted by activists and emissions reduction policies.

Mandora Station pastoralist Haydn Sale was the only other WA contender for a board position.

Mr Sale, who runs a 6000-head Droughtmaster breeding and growing enterprise with wife Jane about 300km south of Broome, was one of seven nominees from the North Australia Beef Research Council catchment.

The three positions from that catchment went to Queensland’s Bryce Camm, Adam Coffey and David Foote, who was elected chair by his fellow board members.

Mr Foote is director of the Mt Kilcoy-based Tandarra Partners beef cattle enterprise, and held various leadership roles at the Australian Country Choice group of companies for more than 20 years before stepping back into an advisory role in 2020.

He said on Monday that Cattle Australia had a responsibility to “be the voice of grass-fed cattle producers, leading the cattle industry to a stronger, more sustainable future”.

“Cattle Australia is a democratic organisation, and its inaugural board is well experienced and one of high calibre,” Mr Foote said.

Mr Camm, who is based in Dalby in the Darling Downs region, is chief executive of mixed beef and cropping enterprise Camm Agricultural Group, which has interests across Queensland.

He is chairman of Beef Australia Ltd and was previously president of the Australian Lot Feeders Council and director of the Red Meat Advisory Council.

Mr Coffey, who grew up in Tasmania and has worked in cattle industry roles across Australia, owns and runs a 2500ha beef cattle enterprise in central Queensland with wife Jacynta and their two sons.

A 2016 Nuffield scholar, Mr Coffey is a former member of CCA’s Environment Committee and Research, Development and Adoption Consultative Committee.

Successful nominees from the Southern Australia Livestock Research Council catchment were NSW’s Elke Cleverdon, George King and Garry Edwards, who was elected deputy chair.

Mr Edwards is managing director and chief executive of NSW-based Maureen Pastoral Company and beef industry giant AAM, which has cattle production interests across multiple States.

Ms Cleverdon is joint owner and director of mixed broad-acre and Angus cattle enterprise Cleverdon Agriculture at Harden.

Mr King is managing director of the Whitney Pastoral Co and manager of Coombing Park farm, based in Carcoar.

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