Engaging youth on industry advocacy and policy
21 July 2016
Social media is giving both rural and urban youth immediate access to beef industry political engagement and advocacy, according to NAB Agribusiness Rising Champions finalist Kirsty McCormack.
The 23-year-old from Brisbane believes it is important the beef industry views youth as “professionals gaining experience”, and with the ability to influence the industry’s future direction.
Miss McCormack said it was vital for young people to have a voice on issues affecting the red meat industry.
“If we are trying to influence matters at any level along the supply chain it is critical to have a united voice,’’ she said.
“The opportunity to bring all the Rising Champions state finalists together and network between ourselves will give us access industry bodies and a platform to voice the changes we are passionate about.
“Looking at the candidates, we are all focused on different parts of the industry and being part of Rising Champions allows us to discuss how we can effectively influence policy.’’
Through her role as sales and production executive at OBE Organic, Miss McCormack works along the supply chain from producers to processors, logistics and in-store product promotion.
She said educating Australian and global consumers on the red meat supply chain was essential in meeting the challenges facing industry over the next five years.
“Connecting with and educating the audience to draw that picture of where their food comes from will help us face the bigger problems arising in the industry,’’ Miss McCormack said.
Passionate about digital technology, Miss McCormack is working with livestock agencies to make greater use of live video streaming and social media.
She said technology was already aiding real time decisions on-farm with the use of mobile applications and data tracking.
“Videos and photographs are powerful engagement tools for information sharing.
“I really love opportunities to share my stories, voice and passions, and make connections with other people.’’
Miss McCormack is mindful of not losing the momentum built through the Rising Champions personal development seminars in Canberra in August.
She is keen to observe policy processes during her time on the Cattle Council of Australia’s research, development, environment and sustainability sub-committee.
She is also looking forward to working with her Cattle Council mentor, Tess Camm, and life coach Catherine Marriott.
“Cattle Council is an influential platform I could grow into and be mentored into as well.
“I’m really happy to have a mentor to bounce ideas off.
“OBE is also supportive by being willing to upskill and train me to continue that influential ability as well.’’
The 2016 NAB Agribusiness Rising Champion Initiative national winner will be announced at a gala dinner at the National Museum of Australia, Canberra, on August 24.
Kirsty McCormack is passionate about youth in agriculture.