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South Australian beef producer named 2015 Rabobank Young Beef Ambassador

May 5, 2015
Owner and manager of Raven Limousin & Limflex beef stud Jason Schulz from Field, South Australia has been named the 2015 Rabobank Young Beef Ambassador.

Mr Schulz, 32, received the accolade at the Rabobank QCL Beef Industry Achievers dinner held last night in Rockhampton as part of Beef Australia.

The 2015 Rabobank Young Beef Ambassador program is an initiative supported by Beef Australia aimed at recognising young, forward-thinking and high-achieving beef producers, providing a scholarship to partake in the prestigious Rabobank Farm Managers Program.

As a third-generation beef producer, Mr Schulz says he felt honoured and humbled to accept the award at the national beef industry exposition surrounded by many leaders in the sector.

“It’s an exciting time for the Australian beef industry and I would like to arm myself with the skills and knowledge to make the most of the opportunities that come our way – the opportunity to undertake the Rabobank Farm Managers Program as part of this award will invaluable to me,” Mr Schulz said.

“Despite my relative youth, I have been managing our farm for 15 years and it has been dry and challenging on many fronts – the current beef strong prices are new territory for me and its reassuring to see our hard work pay off and see the industry in good shape.”

Mr Schulz manages his family farm business in South Australia’s Upper South East region, with his wife Penny, working in conjunction with his mother Joanne.

“We decided to start our own stud in 2008, Raven Limousin & Limflex, due to our keen interest in breeding beef cattle,” he said.

“We have utilised the best genetics possible and reproductive technologies, such as artificial insemination and embryo transfer, to build our seedstock herd to the point of having our first auction sale in 2014 with 30 bulls. We produce stud beef bulls, stud females, semen/embryos, as well as breeding first-cross ewe lambs sold as breeders.”

Raven Limousin & Limflex has a reputation for producing high quality, well-finished livestock, utilising the best genetics possible.

Mr Schulz holds an impressive array of industry titles and responsibilities. He was previously the state chairperson for Angus Youth, a committee member of the SA Angus Committee and has competed in various junior judging competitions. He won the National Angus Youth Junior Judging Competition in 2006 which awarded him a scholarship to study with the University of Illinois and a place on its intercollegiate meat judging team touring the USA in 2007.

In 2009 Mr Schulz received the Peter Olsen Fellowship, awarded by the South Australian Agricultural Bureau, which provided him with a bursary to travel to the USA in search of new genetics for his family beef stud.

But, Mr Schulz’s achievements have not come without life’s challenges.

“My leap into farm management and ownership was not ‘textbook’,” Mr Schulz said.

“In 2000 while I was completing my final year of high school, my father suddenly passed away. It was a tough time for my family but there were two directions to take – sell the farm and move on, or continue running the farm and have the best crack at farming we possibly could.

“This meant having to alter my plans of studying at university before returning to the farm but I don’t regret my decision and further study will always be a future option.”

Mr Schulz’s determination has helped him to grow the family beef herd while maintaining the quality and integrity of a sheep enterprise, as well as undertaking several infrastructure improvements to the property.

“The success of our farm business is not just about those doing the day-to-day tasks, we also have a three-year old son, Heston, who already tells people that he is a farmer, so it’s in my interest to do all I can to make the right decisions for the future viability of our business,” he says.

“Being the Rabobank Young Beef Ambassador will definitely be a step in the right direction.”

Designed to strengthen the operational and strategic skills of emerging farmers, the Farm Managers Program is modelled on the highly-respected Rabobank Executive Development Program, a long-standing business development course for leading Australian and New Zealand farmers. Participants take away new skills and techniques with a commercially-driven perspective on farm management to put systems and structures in place to manage growth.

2015 marks the 10th year of Rabobank’s Farm Managers Program, with more than 300 young farmers from across Australia and New Zealand graduating from the program since its inception in 2006.

Rabobank state manager for Queensland/Northern Territory Brad James said Mr Schulz was a compelling and well-deserving recipient of the Ambassador award.

“Jason is extremely driven and has a proven track record of success in his previous endeavours – we believe he will continue to develop his skills professionally to give back to the industry he is most passionate about,” Mr James aid.

Rabobank Australia & New Zealand is a part of the international Rabobank Group, the world's leading specialist in food and agribusiness banking. Rabobank has more than 115 years' experience providing customised banking and finance solutions to businesses involved in all aspects of food and agribusiness. Rabobank is structured as a cooperative and operates in 41 countries, servicing the needs of approximately 10 million clients worldwide through a network of more than 1600 offices and branches. Rabobank Australia & New Zealand is one of Australasia's leading rural lenders and a significant provider of business and corporate banking and financial services to the region's food and agribusiness sector. The bank has 94 branches throughout Australia and New Zealand.

Media contacts:
Denise Shaw
Media Relations
Rabobank Australia & New Zealand 
Phone: 02 8115 2744 or 0439 603 525 

Jess Webb
Media Relations
Rabobank Australia & New Zealand 
Phone: 07 3115 1832 or 0418 216 103