LambEx 2014 reveals cracker program that tackles tough industry issues

LAMBEX 2014 has today released a cutting edge program featuring a star line-up of new speakers, some familiar faces and – in its trademark style – an array of local and global issues that don’t shy away from any of the big ticket items influencing the sheep and lamb industry’s future.

The event will kick off with a Welcome Function, sponsored by PIRSA, on Wednesday, July 9, followed by two jam-packed days of thought-provoking sessions, trade displays, entertainment, fine food and networking.

Big names to be back in 2014 include US rancher and radio broadcaster Trent Loos, who at Bendigo challenged producers to be ‘agvocates’ in their own families and communities, while the LambEx crowd will help Australia’s famous lambassador Sam Kekovich celebrate his 10th anniversary promoting all that is tasty and nutritious about lamb.

Keynote speakers getting the conference under way include UK food marketing professor David Hughes and Meat & Livestock Australia’s global marketing general manager Michael Edmonds, both of whom will examine changing consumer preferences and the on-farm production practices needed to meet evolving market requirements.

Local experts to take to the LambEx stage include Thomas Food International’s Darren Thomas on how producers can capitalise on market opportunities; MLA’s Alex Ball on new generation eating quality for lamb and yearling sheepmeat; JBS innovation manager Graham Treffone on robotics in processing; and consultant Jason Trompf on improving profit margins.

The practical side of LambEx is well and truly covered with a host of leading lamb producers from across Australia presenting their insights and experiences.

These topics cover managing the Merino as the backbone of the sheep industry; lifting stocking capacity, growth rates and lean meat yield; optimising profit margins; becoming masters of pastures; predator management; and drought-proofing family farms.

LambEx Chairman Allan Piggott says the organising committee has worked hard during the past 12 months to design a conference that is relevant to all sheep producers all over the nation, even internationally.

He says aside from the thought-provoking program, the networking and social opportunities on offer are another key reason that people keep coming back to LambEx, regardless of its location.

“There’s a packed trade exhibition with a broad range of agribusinesses, producer organisations and government agencies,” he said. “And as always, LambEx prides itself on showcasing lamb’s diversity of cuts and dishes.

“The Australian Wool Innovation-sponsored GrandsLamb Dinner is back on the Thursday night of the conference and is an event known for its mouth-watering fine food, outstanding entertainment and networking – you will have a fantastic time.

“To help keep the LambEx delegates fed and watered, Landmark and Novartis have also come to the table and there will be two special lunches featuring lamb, thanks to their support.”

The conference will finish with the announcement of the lucky winner of the MerinoSA ewe and Kelvale Kelpies prize giveaway and a special session on ‘People Magic’. Horse whisperer Steve Jefferys – famous for getting horses and dogs to perform in places most would consider nearly impossible – will outline his insights on staff management, with the help of a few friends, and Peak Perfomance’s Allan Parker will cover successful succession planning and how to handle the conflict resolution that may be involved.

Mr Piggott says generous sponsorship from many companies – including conference underwriter the SA Sheep Advisory Group – has enabled the committee to make the event affordable for all producers.

The overall package includes:

  • The PIRSA Welcome Function on Wednesday night.Optional breakfast sessions on day one with either the Grasslands Society of Southern Australia or Sheep Genetics Australia.
  • All sessions and meals on Thursday, July 10.
  • AWI’s GrandsLamb Dinner on Thursday night with pre-dinner drinks by the Future Farmers Network.
  • The Gallagher Recovery Breakfast on Friday morning.
  • All sessions and meals on Friday, July 11, until the conference closes.

“Farmers and students who book by June 1 get two awesome dinners, two lots of breakfast and two days of conference for $440 – this is a $110 discount for early-bird registrations.

“The saving is even more for farmers who know others in their area who want to come along – group registrations of 10, get the 11th registration free.

“The LambEx committee believes the program is entertaining yet challenging with plenty of opportunities to catch-up with old friends and network with new acquaintances. We think we’ve got the mix right and hope you’re as excited by the event as we are!

“We also have a few more surprises up our sleeve to roll out at the conference so LambEx truly is the must-attend sheep event for 2014.”

Registrations open on Thursday, March 6. Pre-register and view the full program at