Mark Baker and Alex Sparkes have been selected as the new Herefords Australia Board members following a call out to HAL members for expressions of interest to fill the two positions.
The Chairman, Trish Worth said she was pleased that so many talented and skilled members had expressed an interest in serving on the HAL Board.
“We were spoilt for choice when it came to making the appointments.
“In Mark Baker and Alex Sparkes, we have two committed Hereford breeders who also bring other skills to the Board,” Ms. Worth said.
Trish has congratulated Mark and Alex and thanked them for their commitment to the Hereford breed.
Mark Baker is co-principal of Kanimbla Poll Herefords and has been a HAL member for over 25 years.
Mr. Baker has an extensive corporate background, predominantly in the legal and commercial fields and brings experience in governance to the HAL Board, having been a Director and Company Secretary for other organisations.
Mr. Baker says he wants to increase the commercial influence of the Herefords by promoting the breed’s most profitable traits.
“I want to keep an increasing commercial focus in the Board and the breed.
“We need to continue demonstrating that we are a profitable breed through strong Hereford traits such as being productive on grass,” Mr. Baker said.
Mr. Baker’s other qualifications include a Master of Business Administration, a Master of Laws and a Bachelor of Economics majoring in accounting.
Mr. Baker’s skills will be put to good use as the new Chairman of the Finance Audit and Risk Committee.
Alex Sparkes is a sixth generation Hereford breeder, with the Sparkes family having bred Hereford cattle for over 100 years in Central and Southern Qld.
Mr. Sparkes’ great-grandfather; Sir Walter Beresford James Gordon Sparkes was a founding member of Australian Hereford Society as well as the Poll Hereford Society.
Mr. Sparkes also has an extensive business background outside the beef industry:
“After completing an Agricultural Economics degree with USYD Orange in 2004, I went on to develop and grow a number of rural and regional focused internet companies; the most notable of which was Countrycars.com.au which was sold to Fairfax Digital in 2007.
“I’ve also been involved in igrain.com.au and Bloodstock.com.au and a number of other businesses,” Mr. Sparkes said.
Regarding what he would like to achieve as a HAL Director, Mr. Sparkes would like to grow Herefords’ position in traditional and emerging markets as well as see the breed embrace new technologies.
“I’d love to see the breed continue to grow in traditional and new markets from stud and commercial standpoints.
“I’d also like to see Herefords adopt a more progressive stance with new industry technology in order to position the breed in a progressive and new-age way,” Mr. Sparkes said.
Both Mr. Baker and Mr. Sparkes are looking forward to embracing their new roles as HAL Directors and seeing the Hereford breed continue to progress and grow.