SOME of the country’s larger Hereford studs have called on the directors at the centre of their society’s turmoil to “put the breed first” and step aside.
A general meeting of Herefords Australia to consider resolutions seeking the removal of all 12 board members has been set for December 1 at Armidale.
However, those driving the push for a board spill have said they do not expect all members to be removed at the meeting.
Southern NSW stud and commercial producer Marc Greening, Injemira Beef Genetics, said the solution was for the few directors at the centre of the controversy to announce they would not again run for a board position.
“If those board members whose directorship people are most unhappy with were to give that assurance, it would appease the large majority of concerned members and prevent a situation where HA’s dirty laundry is aired in public,” he said,
Speaking on behalf of members who sell the larger volumes of bulls, Mr Greening argued strongly the group pushing for a board spill was unqualified and it would be disastrous for the association should they fill director’s roles.
The ‘breakaway’ group’s angst has been fuelled by a half a million dollar financial loss last year and the belief the current board has no plans for addressing the declining membership and revenues.
“We don’t want them to succeed in this bid but we do acknowledge there is need for change,” Mr Greening said.
“Communication between the board and members has been appalling, and that has fuelled the misnomers and mistruths being peddled by this breakaway group.
“But it is not in the interests of the breed that these agitators take leadership roles.
“They are hobby farmers or ex-board directors who presided over the breed 10 to 15 years ago when it was in its biggest decline.
“They are peripheral players, not commercial operators, who are attempting to get involved in cattle arguments surrounding the likes of progeny test programs and genomic decisions they clearly do not understand.”
A process where the normal campaign for new board directors was allowed to run its course is seen as a better outcome.
The group spearheading the call for directors to be overthrown have raised questions about the value to members of expenditures that led to the $500,000 loss, particularly to do with advertising.
Mr Greening said their argument did not consider key performance indicators nor whether the spending had achieved its goals.
The ongoing talk about all and sundry in the Hereford breed “going backwards” was both inaccurate and extremely detrimental, Mr Greening said.
“There are a significant number who have been increasing bull volumes and averages year-on-year for ten years,” he said.
“There is widespread confidence in our new chief executive officer, Dr Alex Ball, and progressive members simply want to see him be given the reigns to take the breed forward without being held back by the lingering (internal fighting) rubbish.”