A reminder that farming is not just about profit was one of the important takeaways for Rockley Angus stud farmer Katherine McCallum after she attended the GenAngus Future Leaders programme in Sydney in February.

''The programme is designed to support the younger Angus breeders in Australia and New Zealand to grow their business and develop the skills to become future industry leaders'', Mrs McCallum said.

''It was an honour to be chosen from among the New Zealand applicants.''

The workshop covered topics such as business financials, beef business benchmarking, mindset, beef supply chain, risk and liability and succession planning.

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She said she came away from the programme not just reinforced about what they were doing with their farm, but also with ideas about where they needed to improve.

With her husband, Philip, Mrs McCallum runs the Rockley Angus Stud alongside a sheep and dairy grazing operation on a 319ha property near Balfour.

''I started with some heifers at school and got into show cattle from there,'' she said.
''Once Philip and I moved to our Balfour farm we added to our Angus operation by buying a stud from Canterbury.''

She said the GenAngus programme featured 12 people from a wide range of backgrounds associated with the industry, including a stock agent, feedlot operators and agricultural journalist.

''As well as direct farming topics, we looked at areas such as communications, risk management and succession planning'', Mrs McCallum said.

''There was an emphasis on ensuring we use measurable goals and outcomes.''

She said there was also discussion about wider issues and the need for balance in how you approached running a farming operation.

''I know I can perform better as a parent and in other parts of my life when I take a more balanced approach'', she said.

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She also said that being profitable shouldn't have negative environmental impacts and it was important to understand your farm and pasture and match your practices to the conditions. This could make you more efficient in how you grew stock and feed.

''We've got a reasonable number of competitors and have been targeting the heifer mating sector'', she said.

''It fits our farming system and the area we live in. We have one sale and sell all our bulls as yearlings.''

Southern Rural Life