Joining Mr Mackay on the executive will be three vice presidents, all of NSW: Warren Barnett, Associated Feedlots, Mathoura; Tess Herbert, Gundamain Feedlot, Eugowra and Grant Garey, Teys Feedlots, Jindalee, Wagga Wagga.
Scott Braund, of Mort & Co, Toowoomba, returns as treasurer, while long-standing industry stalwarts Malcolm Foster, the immediate past president until today, and Sandy Maconochie, Hopkins River, Dunkeld, Victoria, retire.
Mr Mackay said his leadership would see ALFA take a far more visible position as the intensive feed industry comes under pressure from potential animal activist threats and increased public scrutiny.
“Intensive livestock industries are coming under pressure from all angles, some of it informed, some of it ignorant, but pressure nonetheless,” he said.
“For me it’s important that we keep the momentum going. I think as an industry we have been frightened to expose ourselves for fear of what might happen – don’t let people in and don’t let them see what we do in case they misrepresent our business.
“My view is that with the advent of small video cameras on mobile phones and the speed of the internet that has changed forever.
“For my own company and the industry as a whole, the attitude should be that we are so good at what we do that opening ourselves to critical assessment is just part and parcel of how we do business.”
Mr Mackay said high grain prices, the high Australian dollar and sluggish demand in the high-value grainfed beef markets of Japan and Korea were a concern and would make free trade agreements with both countries a top priority of his term.
He said opportunities for Australian grainfed beef producers were still solid, with prospects in the US promising for prime grilling cuts, despite the staggering forecast 67 per cent export growth largely comprising 90CL grinding beef for hamburgers.
He said the feedlot business was focused in growing
its share in a greater diversity of export markets, particularly in Europe, South America and China and South East Asia.
More on Don Mackay’s election as ALFA president next week.