Hereford Australia members gathered in Armidale and tuned in online for the Herefords Australia’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Thursday 28 April.
Key highlights from the AGM included an overview of the company’s achievements over the past year, as well as the announcement of three new directors – Mr Alex Sparkes, Ms Annie Pumpa and Mr Sam Broinowski – and a farewell of two of the Board’s longest serving directors, Mr Geoff Birchnell and the Honourable Trish Worth AM.
Setting the scene in his address to members, Chair Ian Durkin, outlined the Board’s responsibilities, stating that one of the most crucial roles was the appointment of the CEO.
“At Board level, we are responsible for the overall organisational performance and compliance, however we delegate day-to-day operational management to the CEO,” Mr Durkin said.
“Over the year, we have worked closely with CEO, Lisa Sharp, to develop and complete our Five-Year Strategic Plan, which provides a framework for our success over the coming years.“Lisa has also worked hard to ensure the voice of the membership is being heard throughout the company, through initiatives such as the 2021-member survey and involving members and committees in the development of the Strategic Plan.”
Mr Durkin said the Board would continue to monitor and measure the progress of the priorities within the Strategic Plan and looked forward to reporting annual indicators and progress against 2027 goals as part of all future AGM reports.
Chief Executive Officer, Lisa Sharp, started her address showcasing two metrics that are critically important to the future of the Hereford breed – female inventory and youth membership. The data showed female inventory has increased by approximately 1,000 head since the previous year. This remains lower than numbers before the sustained drought but is an encouraging sign a female rebuild is underway.
The second metric showed stability in membership numbers over the past year, including a positive increase in youth membership as Herefords Australia continues its strategic focus on building capacity within the next generation.
The Herefords Australia Strategic Plan 2022 – 2027 focuses on repositioning Herefords to drive commercial relevance and the long-term success of the breed. Lisa’s address focused on explaining the six pillars within the plan and outlining the key deliverables that will support achievement of the plan’s objectives.
Lisa also shared information about the new operating structure within the HAL head office, media reporting metrics to measure positive news stories in the media and an update on completed R&D projects – Black Baldy and BIN – with both reports available on the HAL website.
As he closed his address, Mr Durkin acknowledged the challenging times faced by members including the ongoing pandemic and recent flooding, along with sad passings of much-loved people within the Hereford family.
“We are a company focused on strengthening our commercial relevance, however we are also a community, drawn together by our passion for Herefords and our care for each other,” he said.
“I encourage you to continue to support each other during these difficult times.
“It is this sense of community that sets us apart from some of the other breeds and it is this community that will hold us together through the hard times and equally unlock the potential for the breed that lies ahead.”