This employee-driven initiative at Elders Killara, was an idea thought of as a way for the feedlot to be a part of the wider community and provide something where their community can come together for a shared passion.
Elders Killara Feedlot have entered this initiative into the ALFA Community Heroes Award 2022, proudly supported by Lallemand Animal Nutrition. The winner will be announced at the ALFA BeefEx22 Conference in October. Read on to find out more about how this feedlot is going above and beyond to support their local community.
Tell us about your Social Initiative...
A couple of years ago David Barnes (Operations Manager) and Andrew Talbot (GM) had the idea of building and developing a Campdraft arena on our background property 'Wilga'. They started to build the arena in November 2020 and held their first campdraft in June 2022.
They thought it would be a great way for Elders, specifically Killara Feedlot to be a part of the wider community and provide something where our community can come together for a shared passion. When the CEO of the company Mark Allison was approached about it he was extremely supportive but he had one stipulation - that Elders was to make no profit, it was all to be given to Charity. When they were discussing which Charity to work with the Westpac Rescue Helicopter was put forward as they do a lot of work in the area and that they would be an ideal Charity to support. And so the Westpac Killara Charity Campdraft was born. It took several months to build and was a labour of love for many people both from the feedlot and in the community.
Killara Feedlot has since agreed to donate the cattle for two campdrafts per year (2500 head of cattle approximately).
Since then we have held our first campdraft. Over the three days we were able to have over 800 runs and raise $28,000 for three local charities.
What impact is the initiative having on the local community?
The community both contributed and benefitted from the Campdraft. Before the campdraft was held, during the building stages many people in the community denoted both time, machinery and materials. It was great to see the community as a whole (both Quirindi specifically and the campdraft community as a whole) come together to help us with the initiative.
As it is held as a Charity campdraft we then donated the proceeds back to the community. The main benefactor was Westpac Charity Helicopters and they received $25,000 but we also donated $1,500 each to both the local Quirindi Preschool and the Quirindi Lions Club. We intend to rotate the smaller donations around different clubs / schools in the local area to ensure that many different groups in the community benefit. Westpac Charity Helicopter will remain the main benefactor of the campdraft going forward.
We are also going to use the facilities going forward to train our staff in the newest and best techniques around animal welfare and quiet stock handling methods. Along with running barbeques for the whole team at the feedlot we believe it has been a great way to create and foster a community spirit at Killara Feedlot.
Have you come across any challenges in getting the initiative off the ground?
The first challenge was one that was faced by many - Covid. We were intending on holding our first campdraft in May 2021 however due to lockdown restrictions this was not possible. We then rescheduled for November 2021. This time Covid had abated but Mother Nature decided otherwise. With the wettest November on record and our backgrounding property flooded we again had to postpone.
Luckily however in June 2022 we were able to run our first very successful campdraft.
See the initiative in action:
About the ALFA Community Heroes Award
Australian feedlots are vital to the fabric of rural and regional Australia by creating jobs, supporting families, and contributing to local economies and the environment. This award recognises and rewards those feedlots that are actively nourishing their local communities and environment by going above and beyond to support their community, that ‘give-back’ and better the environment around them. The winning initiative will receive a $5,000 cash donation towards a local charity, business, or feedlot initiative to assist in further development and impact of the initiative.
With thanks to our ALFA Platinum Member sponsor, Lallemand Animal Nutrition for their support of this Award.