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MacLoran Farm

Tales of Kazakhstan cattle a hit at Willalooka

MORE than 80 livestock producers from across the South East attended Livestock SA's regional dinner meeting at Willalooka last Wednesday (March 30).

Southern Region chairman Peter Stock welcomed members and guests to the meeting, including speaker Bruce Creek and his wife Libby.

Mr Stock also thanked the management and staff at the Willalooka Tavern for catering for the large number of meals. He also made special mention of the large number of upper South East producers who were attending their first Livestock SA meeting.

“We think it’s important as a regional group to cover the whole of the South East and to make our meetings as accessible as possible for existing members and new members,” he said.

“The huge response we’ve had to this meeting from local producers is very encouraging.”

Regional secretary Tom Dawkins interviewed Mr Creek about his experience in recent years developing a large‐scale Angus cattle operation in Kazakhstan.

Mr Creek captivated the audience with the stories and images he has brought back from his time working with cattle in the Central Asian country.

Mr Creek, who is about to commence a new large‐scale livestock management role on Kangaroo Island, said his tenure in Kazakhstan had been longer than initially envisioned.

“It has been an absolutely amazing experience and for anyone who is given a similar opportunity, I couldn’t recommend it highly enough,” he said.

As part of the meeting, State president of Livestock SA Geoff Power, who travelled to the South East from his home at Orroroo, provided a report to members on a number of issues relevant to producers, including ongoing efforts to reverse the repeal of the Brands Act.

Mr Power also said Livestock SA was awaiting advice from the State Government about an increase in the transaction levy for the South Australian Sheep Industry Fund.

“We are seeking further details from the government about any increase and how a new amount might be justified,” he said.

Livestock SA board member Allan Piggott from Moorlands provided an update about the SA Sheep Industry Blueprint 2015‐2020, of which he is chairman, including the blueprint’s official launch which will be held on April 12 at Hahndorf.

Fiona Rasheed from Keilira, who chairs Primary Producers’ SA’s Natural Resources Management committee, provided a timely update on proposed changes to controversial NRM levies.

Kingston‐based community mental health practitioner Ron Hallam, who is part of Mind Australia’s Drought Assistance Program, also addressed the meeting to outline the local services available to those who in need of mental health support, especially those impacted by difficult seasonal conditions.

Mr Stock also acknowledged rural insurer WFI for sponsoring the dinner and provided a special thanks to WFI Naracoorte’s Wendy Day who was in attendance representing the company.

Published: 3 April 2016