Meet the producers

Barb Madden, Smithfield Cattle Co., Qld

For Barb Madden, the wellbeing of the cattle in their care at Smithfield Cattle Company is as important as the wellbeing of her family.

Ensuring the cattle are healthy and free from distress, have a clean, calm and sheltered environment with plenty of good feed; and the company of their mates is of paramount importance to Barb and all of the staff at Smithfield.

As third generation beef producers Barb and her brothers believe environmental sustainability is just as important as the welfare of the cattle and are continuously working to improve the land for the next generation.

The Coffey Family, Qld

First generation farmers Adam and Jacynta Coffey sleep pretty soundly knowing that they are creating a better environment on their 2,500 ha beef property near Miriam Vale, in central Queensland.

Firm in the belief that environmental responsibility goes hand in hand with productivity they know that if the land, the soil, the pastures and the cattle are thriving, then the environment and the bottom line will both be in great shape.

Since taking over the property they, along with their two young sons, have encouraged an abundance of biodiversity and given the land a chance to breathe.

Melinee Leather, Beef Producer, Banana Qld

Central Queensland beef producer Melinee Leather is an industry leader and sustainability advocate. Producing organic and humane certified beef, Melinee and her husband Robert are passionate about animal wellbeing and natural grass fed beef.  

Focused on long-term sustainability, Melinee is working to ensure the land, cattle and industry remain productive for her children, grandchildren and future generations. 

This long-term thinking has lead the Leathers to plant legume crop leucaena on the family property in Banana. Growing leucaena has enabled them to give their cattle the best quality feed while reducing their emissions and sequestering carbon into the soil.  

Stuart Austin and Trisha Cowley, Wilmot Cattle Co., NSW

Restoring the ecological health of the cattle properties they manage for Wilmot Cattle Company in Northern NSW, is a passionate focus for Stuart Austin, Trisha Cowley and their young family.

Using regenerative agriculture principles, Wilmot Cattle Company’s grass-fed Angus cattle are rotationally grazed to ensure a positive impact on the land.

Through carbon sequestration they are locking away significantly more carbon in their soils than they emit, while simultaneously improving their soil quality.

Over the past few years Wilmot Cattle Company have embarked on a tree planting program which has seen around 25,000 trees planted. In conjunction with the regenerative grazing management, this has led to the restoration of biodiversity and ecological health on their farms.

Stu and Erica Halliday, Beef Producers, Walcha NSW

For 5th generation beef graziers Erica and Stu Halliday leaving the land in a better state for the next generation drives their passion and commitment to regenerative change. 

On Ben Nevis Angus, their family run beef property in the high cold country of Walcha NSW they are working to increase soil carbon through a combination of new pastures varieties and rotational grazing, the Halliday’s are on-track to be carbon neutral before 2030.   

Through their regenerative on-farm practices the Halliday’s are working to go beyond carbon neutrality to be a net carbon sink, using plants and livestock to sequester carbon from the atmosphere and put it back into the soil.   

Paul Crock, Beef Producer, South Gippsland VIC

Paul and Samantha Crock produce grass-fed Angus cattle in Southern Victoria. After taking ownership of the land in late 2000, they quickly set about developing a grazing management system and fencing off steep areas, water courses and wind breaks to protect vegetation and improve water quality.

With help from friends and family they have planted over 50,000 indigenous plants to help increase biodiversity and provide shade and shelter for their livestock.

Paul believes their use of low stress stock handling combined with their commitment to environmental sustainability ensures the meat they produce is of the highest possible standard.

Mim & Jack Walker, Beef Producers, Theodore QLD

Jack and Mim Walker’s cattle breeding stud in Theodore Queensland operates alongside the family’s larger, grass-fed commercial herd. Their cattle are raised on buffel grass and legume pastures. They produce cattle for the EU, Meat Standards Australia and Grasslands markets and find caring for the animals from paddock to plate particularly rewarding.

The Walker family are committed to managing their land in response to seasonal conditions, this requires them to be flexible and adapt their operating practices according to the climate. This informs decisions regarding water, grazing practices and stocking rates.

Charlie Blomfield & Eleanor Falkiner, Lamb Producers, Canowindra NSW

Boridgeree is a family-owned mixed farming property located in the Central West of New South Wales along the Belubula River.

Charlie and Eleanor breed merino lambs for wool and meat. They are committed to improving animal welfare and environmental management by investing in on-farm innovation. Recent examples include the installation of an automated sheep feeding system to increase drought resilience, giving them the ability to turn off quality lambs, regardless of season.

Jenny & Paul O’Sullivan, Beef & Lamb Producers, South Gippsland VIC

Jenny and Paul O’Sullivan run a 680 ha beef and sheep property in South Gippsland, Victoria. Over the past 30 years, Jenny and Paul have developed many initiatives for their own property and others to adopt sustainable management practices.

Passionate advocates for sustainable red meat production, in recent years Jenny and Paul have created an exciting agri-tourism business, Gippsland Food Adventures, promoting Gippsland as a premium food region and teaching people about red meat production and sustainable agriculture.

Stuart Tait, Beef Producer, Mandurama NSW

Stuart Tait is a beef producer from the NSW Central Tablelands. After completing a Bachelor of Business (Farm Management) at university, he returned home to manage the family enterprise.

The Tait’s breed Angus cattle using a pasture-based grazing program. A portion of the herd is sold as pasture fed, the remaining animals are sold to feedlots to be finished on grain.

In 2017 Stuart was awarded a Nuffield Farming Scholarship. Stuart is passionate about using climate data to develop sustainable farming systems and drive productivity within his business.


Melinee & Robert Leather, Beef Producers, Banana QLD

Robert and Melinee Leather manage a family operation across two properties in Central Queensland.

Their family breeds and farms cattle for the Organic, EU, Meat Standards Australia and Grasslands markets. Their cattle are finished on natural grass-fed pastures with a strong emphasis on environmental sustainability and animal welfare.

The family understand and embrace their responsibility to care for the natural resources and animals under their management for future generations.

Charlie Arnott, Beef & Lamb Producer, Boorowa NSW

The Arnott family has bred Shorthorn cattle and Merino and Dorset sheep at ‘Hanaminno’, on the South West Slopes of NSW for 45 years.

Charlie uses organic and biodynamic principles to manage his soils, grasses, trees and animals, ensuring all aspects of the environment are considered in a holistic fashion. 

Charlie facilitates workshops and training for other producers and those interested to know more about how to improve soil, grass and the ecology of farming and grazing land.

Leah & Ray Vella, Beef Producers, Marlborough QLD

Leah and Ray, along with their three children, own and operate ‘Bald Hills’, a unique coastal property located in Queensland’s Marlborough region.

When Ray and Leah purchased the property in 2000 it was a bare paddock with two sets of yards, eight paddocks and no dwellings. Today, the 7,200 ha property has 46 paddocks, two new cattle yards and four major laneway points with approximately 3,000 head of EU and Meat Standards Australia accredited cattle. 

The Vella’s operate a rotational grazing system to help manage the quality of their soil and have incorporated an on-farm feedlot enabling the property to remain resilient during drought.

Deb & Fergus O’Connor, Beef Producers, Gippsland VIC

Beef producers Deb and Fergus O’Connor are passionate about the stewardship of soil, water, plants and animals on their Gippsland farm.

They take a regenerative approach to managing their operation. Since purchasing the property the O’Connor’s have planted over 14,000 trees to increase biodiversity and provide shade and shelter for their Angus cattle. They are both proud members of Farmers for Climate Action and the South Gippsland Landcare network.

Adam & Jacynta Coffey, Beef Producers, Miriam Vale QLD

Adam and Jacynta own and manage approximately 2,500 ha near Miriam Vale, Queensland. They are in the process of redeveloping their property from its former use as a timber plantation and building a beef trading and breeding enterprise.

The Coffey’s practice regenerative grazing. This involves grazing paddocks at a higher density for shorter periods, sometimes just a day. The cattle are frequently moved, giving each paddock a longer rest period. This system improves grass cover and soil health, increasing the soil’s capacity to absorb and hold water. This limits erosion and in turn, provides more feed for their herd.

In 2016 Adam Coffey was awarded a Nuffield Farming Scholarship to investigate land management practices worldwide. 

Chris & Sharyn Holmes, Beef Producers, Theodore QLD

Beef producers Chris and Sharyn Holmes are busy farmers. On top of managing a large grazing herd and breeding program they operate their own feedlot, which allows them to supply beef directly to Woolworths supermarkets across Queensland.

This approach gives their cattle an extra advantage during dry times, ensuring they can manage the nutritional requirements of their livestock to consistently deliver top quality beef, while allowing their 4500 ha of grazing country to rest, an essential part of their land management plan.