Monthly Catch-Up: Duncan Rowland
24 Oct 2017
This month we caught up with Duncan Rowland, CEO of the Livestock Biosecurity Network (LBN). After recently moving on from AHA we had a chat about his experiences here and his thoughts about the industry and LBN’s future.
What was the motivation behind studying veterinary public health management?
I needed some formal qualifications in the veterinary field that built on my years of experience in the biosecurity and animal health sector. I required some formal training in epidemiology and public health areas but didn’t need to know how to diagnose a sick animal. The Masters provided just that as well as an array of management subjects as well.
How did you get your start in the industry?
I first started working for the University of Sydney in the Department of Veterinary Science and Vet Hospital as a large animal vet nurse and technical officer, setting up surgical and anaesthetic practical classes, where I gained a huge understanding of animal health in production animals and horses. From there I went to the Kimberley in WA and worked on a cattle station and assisted the owner, who was a vet, complete Tuberculosis clearances of properties as part of the Tuberculosis/Brucellosis eradication program.
I came back to the east coast and studied agriculture at Charles Sturt University. When I graduated I started in the feedlot industry, where for over 13 years on the eastern seaboard I worked my way through the feedlot hierarchy to manager. My feedlot career highlighted one of the major pillars of any feedlot is animal health and biosecurity – really it is a make or break discipline for any feedlot operation.
Whilst managing feedlots I became a councillor of Australian Lot Feeders Association and was the chair of the animal health and welfare committee for five years out of my seven year tenure. During this time I worked closely with AHA negotiating the Emergency Animal Disease Response Agreement (EADRA) and involved in a number of other projects.
You’ve been with AHA for a number of years, any highlights from along the way?
The highlight for me has been working with a great bunch of Members that are very passionate about their relationship with AHA and the EADRA. I have loved working with the governments and industry in implementing the National Livestock Identification System across the different sectors and look forward to seeing the systems strengthen and meet the expectations of our trading partners.
What are you most looking forward to about your new role at LBN?
Working with a team of dedicated and passionate staff and Directors in achieving the goals set out in the Strategic Plan 2017-22. There is a lot of potential for LBN in the livestock sector and we need to work out how we can continue (and build) on, the great work already achieved as part of the pilot project and over the last 12 months.
What are your thoughts about the industry’s future?
I don’t think there is an industry sector that is not in a position to launch into an exciting phase of growth and along with this comes a need to ensure the industry systems are in place to ensure a safe, healthy product is delivered to market. Producers need to realise that these systems are important to the longevity of supplying product to a market, for without it there is no continuity in supply and we all just become price-takers for our products.
Feel free to add any other comments thoughts!
Very much looking forward to working with the LBN Board and staff to develop LBN into a well-respected company for the supply of information relating to biosecurity, livestock welfare, and food safety. I have absolutely loved working with the many AHA stakeholders, Directors and staff over the years and look forward to my continued relationship with the company into the future.