FNBA 2015 Young Leaders

The 2015 FNBA Conference is underway in Mexico. Meet this year’s Young Leaders:


Blythe Calnan

Blythe Calnan is the 2013 NAB Cattle Council Rising Champion. Blythe comes from a northern pastoral background and has worked extensively throughout the beef supply chain. Blythe consulted extensively with the live export industry in undertaking risk assessments, training and implementing improvements in animal welfare standards in markets such as the Middle East and Russia and now based in the South West of WA farming beef cattle with her partner across their home and lease blocks. Blythe is passionate about sustainable agriculture and is looking forward to expanding her understanding of the global beef industry and exploring common ground in challenges, opportunities and areas for improvement.


Kevin Stark

Kevin is the winner of the 2015 NAB Agribusiness Rising Champion Initiative and is attending his first Young Leaders Program. Kevin operates his Blink Bonnie Hereford and Poll Hereford stud and 700-cow commercial herd with his parents located in Southern Victoria, Australia.  Mr Stark established the Blink Bonnie stud in 2008 on Injemira bloodlines and now runs around 20 registered females, selling bulls into district commercial herds .Progeny are grown out on irrigated Lucerne or Ryegrass pastures and sold over the hooks to Teys Australia, JBS Australia, Coles or the EU market. Kevin is looking forward to learning about international issues and policies as well as networking with fellow producers.


Sam Becker

Sam was the 2014 Nab Agribusiness Rising Champion. His family operation Jarrah Cattle Company is located in Central QLD, Australia. Consisting of a commercial backgrounding and seed stock program. His family have developed a tropically adapted herd that has three tiers of beef cattle, being Pure Modern Herefords, Redfords and Jarrah Reds, the clean-coated flatback which combines the Redfords and elite Santa Gertrudis genetics. Sam is involved with his state AgForce Queensland youth program as the Youth Director. Sam is looking forward to networking and learning about other countries current issues. This is Sam’s second year attending the Young Leaders program



Breeanna Kelln

Breeanna grew up on a mixed farm near Duval, SK and this is where she developed her passion for agriculture.  She and her husband, Greg Hill, along with son Emmett, continue to live near Duval and own a commercial cow-calf and back-grounding operation.  Breeanna attended the University of Saskatchewan, where she obtained  Bachelor and Master of Science Degrees in Animal Science.  Her MSc. research was done at the Western Beef Development Center with Dr. Bart Lardner and focused on extensive winter feeding systems for beef cattle.  Breeanna has a passion for the plant / animal / soil interface, extensive winter grazing and loves talking with primary producers about their operations.  Since graduating, Breeanna has worked in many areas of agriculture including business development and agronomy.  Breeanna is employed with DuPont Pioneer as their Livestock Information Manager for Western Canada.

Brodie Haugan

Brodie Haugan was born and raised on a family mixed farming operation south of Medicine Hat, AB by the town of Orion. Brodie attended the Medicine Hat College and later transferred to the University of Saskatchewan where he received a Bachelor of Science in Agribusiness with distinction. The year following university Brodie worked for the Farm Management Consulting Team at MNP in Lethbridge, AB. He currently lives and works full time on the family farm. His family operates a mixed cow/calf commercial herd and grain operation which has been in his family for over one hundred years, with Brodie representing the 5th generation.   Brodie is a graduate of the Cattlemen’s Young Leaders (CYL) program, a Zone 1 delegate for the Alberta Beef Producers (ABP) and currently sits as the vice chair for the Young Cattlemen’s Council (YCC).


New Zealand

Andrew Jolly – Biography unavailable

Marie Timperley

My name is Marie Timperley. My experience in the beef industy started at a young age learning off my family.  My knowledge has extended beyond the cattle in the paddock to the importance to how the meat should look and taste on the plate. Having trained as a chef I am extremely aware that the finer the marbling in the meat allows for a tender product and the best taste. So as an Angus Stud breeder this is what we are aiming for in our cattle.  Managaing one of the family farms which runs the Angus Stud (Timperlea Angus) as well as dairy support.  On the Stud farm running equilvent to 3800 stock units.



James Bryan

James is 30 years old, from Te Awamutu, New Zealand. Currently he is working as an Agronomist for Ravensdown – a farm inputs co-operative – namely fertiliser seed and agrochemicals. He has been employed with the company for the past 4.5 years. James was brought up on a 600ha (1700acres) sheep and beef farm in the hills of the Central North Island. The farm runs approx. 2500 ewes and 150 breeding cows. He is still actively involved in the farm with decisions and helping out when possible. James attended the Lincoln University for a B.Com.Ag and completed the program in 2009 followed by working as a Shepherd general before starting with Ravensdown.




Manuel Lopez Moreira – biography unavailable


United States of America

Cody Norton

Cody Norton is the Senior Beef Pricing Manager for JBS Swift. He started with JBS in June of 2012 through the Ascend leadership training program were some of his projects included carcass utilization optimization, packaging cost reduction, retail beef optimization, and sale reporting efficiencies. During his 3 years with JBS, Cody has spent time working as a packing supervisor in the Greeley beef plant, special project analyst for the beef pricing unit, an inside sales representative, and currently serving as the senior out-front pricing manager.

Cody grew up on a small family quarter horse operation in Spring Hill, TN. He went to school for agriculture economics at the University of Tennessee at Martin. He was involved heavily in the FFA throughout high school and college serving as a state officer his freshman year of college. After finishing his undergraduate program Cody went on to Texas A&M University where he received his graduate degree in agriculture economics. Cody enjoys hunting, fly fishing and skiing in Colorado. He also is passionate about working to improve and move forward the Agriculture industry.

Sarah Ryan

Originally from Washington state, Sarah grew up on a diversified grain and cattle operation near Pullman.  Her family is still farming dry land wheat, barley, peas and garbanzo beans.  They continue to run a commercial, mixed breed, cow-calf herd.  She earned her MS from Kansas State University and her BS from Washington State University in animal science and industry.

Sarah went to work for Agri Beef Co. after graduating with her MS.  She started working in the El Oro Cattle Feeders feedlot, in Moses Lake, Washington, as a management trainee and was able to learn about all facets of the feedlot business.  She then went to work in the corporate office in Boise, Idaho managing their Wagyu bull leasing program; managing the annual purebred Angus and SimAngus bull sale; and assisting with risk management actives.

Sarah now works for Allflex USA, Inc.  She began this job in February of 2015.  Her experience has been in the feedlot, cow calf and purebred genetics sectors of the beef business.  She has an extensive background in electronic identification for feedlot and cow-calf applications.  Additionally, she’s served in roles where she developed animal records and analysis to identify and improve process’ and genetics.  This new job opportunity has provided her a challenge and enjoyment in learning more about animal identification applied to the dairy industry.

Sarah has been involved with the NCBA as well as state organizations for over 10 years as a young representative.



Federico Piegas

I grew up on a family historically linked to Uruguayan beef and sheep farming. Since early 1900 my ancestors have been farming in northern Uruguay and committed to our rural development. Born in Paysandú, Uruguay on September 9th 1985, I am the youngest of three brothers who constantly move from the family farm to the city in order to assist to school. All primary school and high school I did it in Paysandú at a British institution, where we got bilingual education. Throughout those years we permanently move from the city to the farm (120km/75 miles away), on weekends and different school holidays, such as the three months vacations on summertime. While going to the farm, I learn from our dad the values and responsibility of working hard on farm while being challenged by rain, frost or high temperatures. Spending time at the farm with my father let me experience the love for beef cattle production as well as be an example for the other farm workers. Moreover, dad always encouraged us to go and have overseas experiences. Hence, in 2003 on my last year in high school, I moved for a year to Buffalo, New York as an exchange student. There I stayed on local family, did my senior year at a local high school and played soccer for the varsity team. Back in Uruguay, I moved to the capital city, Montevideo, to study accounting at Universidad de Montevideo. For four years I spent studying while working in order to gain experience.In order to combine my business and accounting background together with my passion for farming I decided to continue my studies at postgraduate level, in agribusiness. Hence, I applied for a post grad through Massey University in New Zealand. Apart for acquiring academic knowledge on the post grad I had a great experience working for assignments together with New Zealand cattle farmers. This latter highly enriched me as I could see at firsthand how farmers from other part of the world manage their blocks of land with their own challenges and opportunities. To round up the New Zealand experience I worked at a sheep and beef station, with a Hereford stud. Currently in Uruguay, while working together with family farm for tactical and strategic decisions, I also have a job at Bunge, the agribusiness company. At our farm, in November we will move from a pure Hereford herd to a Hereford-Red Angus cross, when we will apply artificial breeding on our 2 year old heifers.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post. Trackbacks are closed, but you can post a comment.

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *