The Northern Pastoral Scholarship was launched in 2018 by the Australian Agricultural Company (AACo), Consolidated Pastoral Company (CPC), Elders and S. Kidman & Co.
Recognising the need to foster the Northern Australian pastoral sector, these four iconic agricultural companies joined forces to create the scholarship with the aim of enabling recipients to become leaders in their field.
S. Kidman & Co: www.kidman.com.au
2023 Nuffield Scholar
Queensland beef producer to explore best practice backgrounding for feedlots
Having worked in feedlots and extensive cattle stations, Jarrod Cook will embark on study to deepen his understanding of the best methods to prepare cattle for feedlot entry to optimise performance.
Jarrod has been awarded the Northern Pastoral Scholarship, supported collectively by the Australian Agricultural Company (AACo), Consolidated Pastoral Company (CPC), Elders and S. Kidman & Co.
Jarrod manages the northern aggregation of Knudsen Cattle, which includes ‘Elton Downs’, ‘Saranac’, ‘Elvira’ and ‘Mugwee’ in and around Hughenden, in North Queensland. The business also has stations in the state’s southeast, as well as agistment blocks, with a combined capacity of 8000 head of cattle and some sheep.
Through his Nuffield Scholarship, Jarrod plans to visit the US, Canada, Brazil, China, India and other countries in Europe. He plans to focus on ways to prepare cattle for feedlot entry, which reduce mortality rates and medical costs, and increase daily gains.
“I believe that proactive backgrounding provides an opportunity for our industry to achieve continuous improvement in animal welfare practices, livestock production rates, environmental stewardship and resource usage, and profitability throughout the feedlot sector,” Jarrod says.
“Through further study and investigation, I hope to encourage industry-wide adoption of backgrounding, through the incentivisation of a premium that is compensated to producers for their efforts.”
When Jarrod worked in feedlots, he observed that cattle that were initiated into their backgrounding program adapted better to the pen environment. They were less susceptible to bloat, acidosis and shy feeding that could potentially lead to the deterioration of the animal’s health and possible death.
This area of study supports Red Meat 2030 (formerly the Meat Industry Strategic Plan) and its strategic priorities of building industry capability to remain profitable while accommodating for climatic, societal and economic variability. It challenges producers to optimise feed consumption, continuously improve animal welfare management and minimise cost inefficiencies
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