ONE OF the nation’s leading red meat scientists, Dr Alex Ball, has been appointed as chief executive officer of Herefords Australia.
Dr Ball previously served as general manager of red meat innovation with Meat & Livestock Australia and replaces John McKew, who resigned for personal reasons.
He will officially take up the new position on July 3 but will be introduced to the membership at the Herefords Australia National Show and Sale at Dubbo on June 6-7.
Mr McKew will remain in the role until the Herefords Australia annual general meeting on June 5.
Dr Ball has been at the forefront of MLA’s work into genetic improvement, the Sheep CRC and objective carcase measurement.
He completed a Bachelor of Rural Science (Honours) and a PhD from the University of New England, the Australian Institute of Company Directors course and is a fellow of the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation.
He joined MLA in 1997 and held roles such as southern production and program manager of eating quality and lean meat yield R&D, and general manager of strategic innovation.
Dr Ball lives with his wife Melissa and three daughters at Armidale, NSW, and has a sheep and beef enterprise in the Tenterden district near Guyra.
He is the author of more than 65 refereed journal articles, is an Adjunct Professor at the UNE and chairman of the Australian Beef Language Review.
Herefords Australia chairman Pat Pearce welcomed the appointment of Dr Ball.
Mr Pearce said the position had drawn a field of high quality applicants.
“It shows the Hereford breed is held in high regard within the industry, with the society on the move and everything looking bright for the future,’’ he said.
Dr Ball said there were exciting opportunities in leading Herefords Australia through a changing environment of genomics, Meat Standards Australia branding, value based pricing and brand differentiation.
He is looking forward to ensuring the Hereford product meets market end points of a large number of brand owners of Australian beef.
“I am excited about working with breeders to implement genetic improvement and particularly with the next generation of breeders to inspire and embrace the future challenges,’’ he said.
He said he was respectful of the breed’s history, having a multi-generational connection to Hereford cattle.
“I have a strong empathy with a breeder’s requirements for structure and breed type, as part of the value proposition of being a Hereford breeder.
“I look forward to spending many hours sitting around the kitchen tables of Hereford breeders,’’ Dr Ball said.
Sheep Central understands there were a surprising number of highly qualified applicants, including several from within MLA ranks, for the position.
Source: Herefords Australia