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Australian Cattle Council : Yearbook 2009
CA TTLE COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA YEARBOOK 2009 Beef Improvement Association Winds up after 40 years In November 2008 the Executive of the Beef Improvement Association made the very difficult decision to dissolve the organisation. future and at some stage the organisation was likely to become insolvent. Due to this circumstance they passed a resolution that the BIA should be wound up at the end of March 2009 when the 2008/09 subscription period ended. F The Beef Improvement Association of Australia (BIAA) began in 1968 as the Australian Society of Performance Tested Beef Herds, the brainchild of the principal of Marcus Oldham College, Ivo Dean and a small number of forward thinking beef producers including John Yelland and Don Lawson. A name change to BIAA occurred in 1970 with the organisation developing into a credible force with up to 55 branches across all states of Australia and peak membership of 2,500 in the mid to late 1990s. Unique in that it was the only national producer driven, non profit beef industry organisation that was apolitical and non breed aligned, dedicated to improving the profitability and productivity of beef producers, the BIA has for many years acted as a positive change agent and supported the uptake of many new technologies and beef industry programs including objective measurement of beef cattle, the Meat Standards Australia grading scheme and the BeefChqeue program to name just a few. “While the breed societies played a very strong part in getting BREEDPLAN commercialised, it was the work that the BIA and its members did that paved the way for that.” Former BIA Executive Officer Mike Stephens, Yendon, VIC. ollowing much deliberation the Executive Committee decided it is unlikely that trading conditions would improve in the foreseeable In interviews with the Australian Farm Journal earlier this year, key BIA people including past presidents have summed up the BIA as follows: “I believe the BIA’s biggest achievement was in helping people to understand the new dimensions of objective measurement, which started in the 1960’s and 70’s with weights and ratios and moved on to the advent of BREEDPLAN in 1985. There was a big technological gap there and people were really battling to understand it. The BIA really helped people come to grips with it through conferences, workshops and field days. It helped bring the system closer to the average breeder.” Current BIA committee member Murray Garnock, “South Buckalong” Bombala, NSW. “While the breed societies played a very strong part in getting BREEDPLAN commercialised, it was the work that the BIA and its members did that paved the way for that.” – Former BIA Executive Officer Mike Stephens, Yendon, VIC. “The BIA’s role was really to promulgate leading-edge technology because the extension services in most states weren’t functioning at peak efficiency.” – 1998 Howard Yelland Award winner Alf Collins, “Belah Valley” Marlborough, QLD. “The BIA realised it had as much responsibility to supply solutions to problems in the industry as anybody else. That was the major difference between the BIA and other programs.” – Former BIA president David Rutledge, NSW. “The BIA really was the catalyst for so much that happened in the beef industry. It played a big role in setting the agenda for and driving performance recording and the development of a national beef recording scheme.” – Former BIA committee member Lucinda Corrigan “Rennylea Angus” Bowna, NSW. “Independence has allowed members to question certain issues and also to seek change without fear or favour.” Current BIA President Kate Simpson, Stratford, VIC. 77 1117_CCA Yearbook 2009.indd 77 5/5/09 8:01:38 PM