Kirsty McCormack loves meat and what it takes to get that steak on your plate. As Production and Marketing Executive for Signature Beef she is currently based in Brisbane, but her role sees her travel across Queensland visiting all aspects of the beef supply chain, talking to customers and running the company’s social media communications. Her great enthusiasm for her career in agriculture was rewarded in 2016 when she was named the national NAB Agribusiness Rising Champion.
Run by the Cattle Council of Australia, the Rising Champion Awards recognises young people between 18 and 35 years of age who are passionate about the beef industry, and introduces them to industry leaders and decision makers. As part of the award Kirsty travelled to New Zealand to attend the International Beef Alliance conference, and this year will mentor the next Rising Champion at the same conference in Paraguay.
Kirsty’s beef journey began at the age of two when, on horseback, she helped her family muster cattle near Inverell in northern New South Wales, but she was to travel other paths through agriculture before arriving at her current destination. She has had work experience with wool marketing, cotton crops and as a government data technician and in 2012 enrolled to study a Bachelor of Rural Science at the University of New England in Armidale.
At university Kirsty excelled winning scholarships and awards and taking the opportunity to travel overseas to see agriculture in developing countries as part of an Agricultural Systems tour to Cambodia, a Syngenta Connection tour to the Philippines and a UNE study tour to China. She has attended think tanks and next generation conferences and is an advocate for changing the conversation with young rural leaders and sharing Australia’s high class produce with the world.
All of her agricultural experience has taught Kirsty the importance of connecting consumers to the origin of their food. Through transparency of operations and honesty to foster trust in products she believes that this connection can be established. Her unique role with Signature Beef allows her to be hands on with both sides of the supply chain, talking with customers and consumers as well as processors and producers. Kirsty believes that many different levels of technology and social media are important tools in this connection process.
“I attended a PICSE (Primary Industry Centre for Science Education) camp at high school and realized there was a science behind the art of loving the land and that’s when I decided I could be the driver of change. I love being immersed in agriculture because of our ability to produce safe, quality safe product to feed people all around the world. Being able to be a part of this production message and helping to share the messages of sustainable, healthy practices is why I love my job."
Connecting consumers with where they get their food from is so important and is something we must do to fully appreciate the value we have within the primary industries. You sound like your on the road to success Kirsty!