Author Archives: Jolene

FNBA Conference Day 4

October 22, 2015

WELCOME Paraguay and Brazil to the Beef Alliance!

A day full of productive and informative meetings.  The young leaders have been asked for the second year in a row to participate in and attend the business meetings with the executive leadership.  The leadership of each country gave an opening introduction and remarks to begin the meeting.

The first order of business was an affirmative vote to add both Paraguay and Brazil to the Alliance.  With the addition of these two countries the Beef Alliance now represents nearly half of global beef production!  Later in the day we were privileged to have them present information on both of their countries and where they felt participation in The Beef Alliance would most benefit their countries and the alliance.  There was much to be learned.  We have enjoyed the participation of Paraguay and Uruguay in the Young Leaders group.  The leadership of Brazil [...]

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FNBA Conference Day 3

21st October 2015

This morning the young leaders got the opportunity to have a breakfast meeting with the Brazil delegates to discuss how each country goes about getting youth involved into agriculture. Each of the nations discussed their approach of encouraging youth engagement as well as the youth’s opinion on succession and the issues that they face getting into the beef industry.

We then visited the property of Tres Maria which is located partway between Durango and Mazaltan.  Durango is well known for its beef production as it exports around 120, 000 calves a year. Durango has just come out of the worst drought in living memory but is now receiving the best weather they have ever had, getting rain at least once a week every week for the last 18 months.

Tres Maria ranch is family owned and operated by two brothers Billy & Gerardo  Estrada who are a third generation [...]

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FNBA Conference Day 2

Tuesday 20th October 2015

The first activity for the day was a visit to a regional Angus show held on the outskirts of  Durango. With some of Mexico’s premier Angus breeding establishments presenting their animals the stalls were a hive of activity. Skilled handlers were pampering, clipping, spraying, painting, grooming and preening their animals in preparation for the ring. The facilities cattle were being displayed and shown in were impressive and professional, with spectators also viewing from comfortable stands with excellent service.

Our visit to Durango has coincided with the World Angus Secretariat, hence the showground was awash with Angus connoisseurs with guest judges from around the world  who were very complementary of the standouts in the classes.

The type of animal displayed were of a more moderate frame than those common across our home country of Australia, attributed to the harsh environment which these cattle have been bred to thrive in. [...]

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FNBA Day 1

FNBA Day 1

Everyone arrived on Saturday and Sunday anxious to see the area and meet fellow delegates and young ranchers.  We started Monday at


the Durango Convention center with a welcoming message from the Secretary of Agriculture, State of Durango, Fransisco Gamboa Barron.  Each country introduced their delegates and expressed their excitement for the upcoming week and the advancement the FNBA has made since its creation.

A quick wardrobe change and we were on to our next stop.  La Punta ranch, owned by the Saravia brothers.  This was a very historic ranch, with their main operation based out of a hacienda which was constructed in 1573, owned by the family since 1903.  Several family members still live in the hacienda and we were honored to be invited into their home.  The five brothers operate 1500 purebred animals focusing on five breeds, Angus, Hereford, Charolais, Limousin, and Normandy dairy.  We were treated to incredible [...]

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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 [...]

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2015 Young Leader Competition

This year the topic of the competition was:

Feeding a growing population is a concern that is forefront in not only the beef industry but the general agriculture sector.  What idea would you propose to the Five Nation Beef Alliance that would contribute to sustainable global beef production?

Breeanna Kelln of Canada was selected by the international panel of judges as the winning entry and will be joining the delegation in Mexico from October 18 to 23. An excerpt from her short essay addressing the topic is included below:

What is sustainability? Is it simply just a definition? Sus·tain·a·ble. Adjective.  1. able to be maintained at a certain rate or level.  2. able to be upheld or defended.  Does it depend on the application within its use? In ecology, sustainability is defined as how biological systems remain diverse and productive or it can be generally defined as the endurance of systems [...]

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Thursday 9th October

First Day of Conference
Today was the first day of “getting down to business” here at the Five Nations Beef Alliance Conference and Tour. We have come a long way from Corpus Christi up to Austin over the last 4 days, getting to know each other as well as learning all about ranching and feedlotting in Texas. There’s such a variety of farm systems and different styles of farming across the state.
Now we are at the Hyatt Lost Pines Resort in Cedar Creek, just out of Austin, which is an amazing venue with a lot of awesome history behind it, however I digress!
Starting the day off was a welcome by NCBA President Bob McCan to the respective delegations from each of the five nations and also to the members who have made the trip to the conference from ACRIMAT representing Brazil and ARP from Paraguay. Each of the member countries then [...]

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Wednesday – Five Nations Beef Alliance 2014 Tour


We made a visit to Capitol Land and Livestock in Schwertner, TX Is one of the largest livestock dealers in USA , being in business since 1946

The company has 25 full time cattle buyers , covering Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi , Alabama , and Georgia.

While at Capitol Land and Livestock they taught us how the business works.  They are one of the main customers of McDonalds, they buy and sell 500,000 livestock per year and they have control of every single herd they buy, they can track from which part of the country the herd was bought. They have a system where they constantly call customers to buy their cattle so they can supply McDonalds.


They have different programs for the feeding of the cattle, depending on the age and weight of the cattle, they sort them into a feed lot or into a permanent grass and [...]

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Tuesday – Five Nations Beef Alliance 2014 Tour

Day two of the Five Nations Beef Alliance tour, and we continue to learn about the beef industry in the United States and, more specifically, Texas.

Our first stop was Cureo, Texas and the Chisolm Trail Heritage Museum.  Much of our trip so far has taught us about the shared opportunities and challenges that beef producers around the world face – the Chisolm Trail Museum gave us an opportunity to see the history that our industry has in common across the Americas.  We had a chance to see that, just like today, the cattlemen of South and Central Texas, the United States, and other nations faced numerous challenges raising beef and bringing it to market.

A display of samples of historical barb wire from the Chisholm Trail Museum









From Cureo we travelled to Gonzales County to visit Graham Land & Cattle Co.  Graham Land & Cattle is a feedlot with the capacity [...]

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Monday- 5 Nations Beef Alliance 2014

King Ranch Santa Gertudis Bulls selected for in herd performance trial.

We began the Five Nations Beef Alliance tour with a tour of the world renowned King Ranch, birthplace of the Santa Gertrudis. As well as Santa Gertrudis and Santa Cruz (Santa Gertrudis x Red Angus) cattle, King Ranch breeds Quarter Horses, mainly to be used by the cowboys who work on the ranch. The hunting rights of 550,000 acres of the ranch are leased for recreational shooting, however King Ranch still maintains grazing rights on this land.

King Ranch is the largest ranch in Texas and is still managed by direct descendants of the King family. Driving around the ranch, you realise the scale of the property. In the two hours of our tour we would only have seen a small proportion of the property accessible by road.

There are 70 homes on the ranch to accommodate the approximately 85 staff [...]

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