young stockman award
Jake Taylor from the Hamilton district and Josh McRae from Grahamvale near Shepparton are joint recipients of the Matthew George Young Stockman Award for 2015.
Having had his own stud cattle from the age of 10, Jake has been working on and managing beef and sheep properties in both NSW and VIC since leaving High School.
Jake is now concentrating on a digital imaging business, which completes independent AuctionsPlus assessments and conducts video bull sales.
Jake was a close friend of Matthew George whom he saw as a mentor and ‘older brother,’ and is honoured to be able to travel overseas to learn new agricultural systems, just like Matthew planned.
Jake plans to concentrate on performance recording whilst travelling to Canada and the US. Some of the best in the business are in those two countries in terms of measuring important productivity traits and the emphasis they put on those traits when selecting new genetics.
Josh has been involved with livestock from the age of 8 and is currently managing 300 head on 4 properties as part of his family’s operation at Grahamvale near Shepparton, Victoria.
Cattle are in Joshua’s blood and with his grandfather now retired he is aware that that the family operation is becoming more dependent on him to not only manage all aspects but to take over in the very near future as the business progresses internationally.
Josh is excited to have the opportunity to travel and inspect genetics, as well as feedlot operations and cropping in different environments. He is also looking forward to visiting a number of Agricultural shows and immersing himself in the North American cattle industry, gaining knowledge and ideas to bring back to Australia.
The Matthew George Young Stockman Award was established in memory of Matthew George, a young man from Stockyard Hill near Beaufort in Victoria. Matthew embraced farm life from the time he could walk and was a natural when it came to handling stock, particularly cattle which became his passion. He enjoyed preparing animals for the show and sale rings, and became especially interested in genetics, searching for the magic genetics that would elevate his stud stock to be THE breeding stock of choice in Australia.
Matthew’s dream was to travel to North America, visiting stud ranches to gain first-hand experience on how their operations worked, particularly with regard to Angus genetics.
Following his death in a car accident when he was 21, his industry colleagues, friends and businesses banded together to raise funds to establish the Matthew George Young Stockman Award, a sub-fund administered by The Ballarat Foundation.
The Matthew George Young Stockman Award – now in its 7th year – provides an opportunity for young breeders to live Matthew’s dream; to travel overseas to learn about beef cattle breeding programs, developments and practices in the USA and Canada, and then to become an ambassador for the industry in Australia. The winners of this Award are able to construct their own itinerary according to their particular interests, and they form lasting friendships and alliances along the way that can only enhance their experiences in the future.
This year’s recipients were announced at the Royal Melbourne Show on Sunday by the CEO of The Ballarat Foundation, Geoff Sharp, in company with Matthew’s parents, David and Lorraine George, and 2015 recipient Jackie Elliott who has just returned from her 3 month study tour which she has detailed in her Facebook blog Jack’s Chat.
The community will also be able to follow Jake and Joshua on their study tours via Facebook and blogs. Access to these will be available through The Ballarat Foundation’s website www.ballaratfoundation.org.
(Photos Jake Taylor and Josh McRae with Josh’s bull, Winner of Junior Bull at the Royal Melbourne Sho)