Beefing up his skills

Trent Anderson, Giffard West, is the Victorian finalist Cattle Council of Australia Rising Champion Initiative.GIPPSLAND farmer Trent Anderson not only helps manage his family’s mixed farming operation at Giffard West, he is also a member of six committees, has three children and will now represent Victoria in the Cattle Council of Australia’s (CCA) Rising Champion Initiative.

Mr Anderson will travel to Longreach in Queensland for the final leg of the competition where finalists will have the opportunity to discuss opportunities and challenges in the beef industry.

The fourth generation farmer will present his industry project, supported by the Victorian Farmers’ Federation, to the CCA later this month with winners announced at the Gala Dinner on November 15.

Mr Anderson has chosen to discuss developing agriculture and beef industry programs throughout primary schools.

“It’s about bringing together all of the existing school programs and making them mainstream across the public system,” Mr Anderson said. “The idea is to copy the model of the Greens, but make it on our side.”

Mr Anderson said he has set his own daughter “straight” a few times with the information she comes home with from school.

“They come home and say they can’t eat meat because it has fat, but they’re fine to eat McDonalds,” he said. “It’s at school where they form their opinions and we need to start there and have it in their face.”

Meeting people in the industry and developing his knowledge and public speaking are among the main reasons Mr Anderson entered the initiative.

“Public speaking is something everyone hates doing, but we have to use the skills all the time,” he said. “It’s about meeting people in the industry who are passionate about the cattle job and it’s a great opportunity to expose myself to what’s out there in the industry.”

Mr Anderson is passionate about his Poll Hereford herd. “I like their temperament and the way they do in our country,” Mr Anderson said.

The split Spring/Autumn calving herd, which Mr Anderson aims to increase to 400 head, is run on the family’s property which totals 1880 hectares of owned and leased land in the Giffard West and Darriman area.

Primarily wool producers, the Andersons run an 18.5 micron closed flock as well as a cereal and oil seed cropping operation.

Mr Anderson said they’ve had above their average 600-640 millimetre rainfall.

“We had more rain up to May than we were getting in a year,” he said. “It’s been too wet for the crops but they’re looking good now.”

For the first time this year, the family has taken on agistment cattle to manage the extra feed and also added another 100 head to their own herd.

“We still have too much feed,” Mr Anderson said. “The problem now is quality because it’s going rank.”

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