Communication key for WALFA

Jo FulwoodCountryman
Felicity Taylor has been appointed as executive officer for the WA Lot Feeders Association.
Camera IconFelicity Taylor has been appointed as executive officer for the WA Lot Feeders Association. Credit: Countryman

Former Facey Group executive officer Felicity Taylor has been appointed to head up the WA Lot Feeders Association, as the group attempts to reinvigorate the member-based organisation.

WALFA chairman and Hyden cattle farmer Trevor Hinck said the organisation was well placed to be a strong representative body for WA’s feedlot industry, but it was in desperate need of a passionate administration leader to make the group a valuable resource to producers.

He said with WA beef over-priced on the global market, it was critical to open all lines of communication to beef producers to ensure the industry didn’t return to a boom-bust cycle.

“We need a good sustainable herd so the industry grows both internationally and on the domestic market, and all sectors of the industry remain profitable in their own right,” he said.

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“But we’ve seen a dramatic turn around in the price of American beef in the last eight or nine months and while Australian beef is an extremely good product, if international buyers can get cheaper beef products from elsewhere, then the Australian product will be resisted, which could have long term ramifications for future profitability of our farmers.

“What we don’t want to see is the price bubble bursting, with growers not being rewarded for all their investments over the past few years.”

Mr Hinck, who is also a board member of the Australian Lot Feeders Association, said the appointment of Ms Taylor was part of the long-term strategy to ensure producers were part of the information stream, and aware of the various rules, regulations and codes of practices in the grain feed beef industry.

“There are a lot of issues on the horizon for cattle feedlots, both here in WA and nationally, so we need to get our house in order from top to bottom, and we want to engage with our members and bring both producers and processors to the table to discuss the future while the industry is booming,” he said.

Ms Taylor is involved with her brother’s farming business at Nomans Lake, east of Narrogin, and was the executive officer for the Wickepin-based Facey Group for eight years. During her time at the helm of the Facey Group, she was responsible for the management and delivery of programs and projects such as Grain and Graze 2 and 3.

Ms Taylor said opening the lines of communication with producer members was a priority.

“I’m very excited to be working with a group of innovative and proactive producers like those within the WALFA membership. It is such a passionate ... and industry-diverse board that I can’t help but be enthusiastic about the future,” she said.

Ms Taylor said she would be driving the development of a plan for the direction of the association over the coming three years, which will include the delivery of a relevant and innovative Autumn 2017 Beef event.

“I will also be looking at the key learnings from the Action on the Ground Project, which concludes in June 2017, which is a project that trialled and demonstrated the use of composted feedlot manure as a suitable synthetic nitrogen fertiliser with the aim to reduce nitros oxide emissions and increase the soil carbon sequestration in commercial cropping and pasture producers in southern Western Australia,” she said.

“We need to strengthen ties with other beef groups in WA to encourage the identification and initiation of multi stakeholder projects that deliver on real and measurable outcomes.”

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