As a rising champion in the beef industry, Alison McIntosh is passionate about producing cattle, running her own beef consultancy and educating the next generation about the land.
Story By Ken Eastwood
Alison McIntosh looks over the Angus stud herd on her family farm “Myanga”, on the New South Wales Southern Tablelands, pointing out prime characteristics. “She’s got a big frame and a square udder that’s balanced and in proportion,” the 32 year old says. “She’s feminine too – a nice long neck. Good feet structure is really important for us here. Four good square legs – good angles. Not too straight. Good hip width. With the bull over there you can see the thickness of the hindquarter. Good feet and legs. Particularly with our bulls we’re looking for growth. You can see his butt end. There’s plenty of steak in that.”
Meet one of the passionate, rising stars of the beef industry. The youngest female councillor in the Royal Agricultural Society of New South Wales, Alison won the inaugural Cattle Council of Australia ‘Beef Cattle Rising Champion’ award late in 2010, the same year she became runner-up in the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation New South Wales Rural Women’s Awards. A board director of the Australian Beef Industry Foundation, Alison runs her own beef cattle consultancy business, lectures in agriculture at Goulburn TAFE, is a cattle judge at agricultural shows and is developing her own Angus stud at Myanga, near Laggan. As well as being internationally savvy, Alison is a wiry and bubbly local powerhouse who greets every second person when she wanders down the street in Crookwell for a skinny cappuccino at the Me ’N’ Ewe. She is part of the “art for agriculture” program, and goes to schools telling students about being a primary producer, speaking excitedly and passionately when she describes the industry she loves.
“Politics is not really me, but I love doing what I can do to make it better for beef producers,” Alison says. “I want to be a leader in the beef industry – I want to be up there making decisions.”
Alison’s own genetic stock has rich dirt under the fingernails. Her father Roger is well regarded in the beef industry and has been a cattle judge, and she is the fourth generation to farm beef in the granite country at Myanga. Her two younger sisters are both on the land – Leanne with cattle near Cowra, NSW, and Kellie cropping near Forbes, NSW.
“Mum said she didn’t get any girls – only tomboys,” Alison says, laughing. “I was always Dad’s little helper – I’d sit on the back of the motorbike on the farm.”
This story excerpt is from Issue #81
Outback Magazine: Feb/Mar 2012