Santa leader finds new role

PARTING WAYS: Santa Gertrudis Australia Association president Scott Ferguson and outgoing general manager Ben Noller.
PARTING WAYS: Santa Gertrudis Australia Association president Scott Ferguson and outgoing general manager Ben Noller. Contributed

WITH a strong love of cattle and a positive, "can-do" attitude, Ben Noller has been a passionate leader of the Santa Gertrudis Australia Association.

Sitting in the main chair for three years, the industry young gun recently announced he would move on from the position.

With a background in charolais, the Santa Gertrudis general manager will return to his roots in a hands-on role with Palgrove Stud, run by David and Prue Bondfield.

"I wasn't actively looking for a new role but when the opportunity presented itself to work with the Bondfield family I was excited to move back into a more hands-on role in breeding, genetics and business development," Mr Noller said.

"When breeding cattle is in your blood and is something you love, it's difficult to pass up an opportunity like this.

"I have enjoyed my time with Santa Gertrudis and am very grateful to be involved with such an influential breed and thankful for the people I have met, people I am sure I will call friends for life."

A time frame for Mr Noller's completion is yet to be set.

"We want to make the transition as smooth as possible for staff and members," Mr Noller said.

"I hold the santa gertrudis breed in high regard and I hope members feel that I have made a positive contribution to their association.

"I would sincerely like to thank the president Scott Ferguson, who I have worked closely with over the past two years, and also the Santa Gertrudis council and members for entrusting me to lead the association."

With the santa gertrudis breed experiencing significant growth over the past two years, with strong increases in the number of bulls sold and record average prices smashed at auctions, Mr Noller said it was hard to pinpoint his best memories from the role.

"Everything has been so busy but I've thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to travel and meet members from across the country," he said.

As one of the youngest general managers of the Santa Gertrudis Australia Association, Mr Ferguson said he was disappointed to see Mr Noller leave his role.

"We wish him the very best with his future. His work ethic and positive approach to advance the breed has been beyond reproach," Mr Ferguson said.

"He really made an effort to involve the youth, including the introduction of a judging school and race day in Toowoomba.

"Ben's passionate about the beef industry and, with a rural background, he was able to connect with members of all ages."

Mr Ferguson said he would miss Mr Noller's eagerness to work and his "keen to get things done" attitude.

"Santas are travelling very well and people are realising the benefits of the breed," he said.

"We've been lucky beef has been the strongest in history in the last two years.

"Ben has helped move Santa Gertrudis into one of the forefront of breed societies in the country."

Palgrove's Mrs Bondfield caught up with Rural Weekly last week while at their annual Hunter Valley bull sale.

"We have a long connection with the Noller family and have known Ben since he was young," she said.

"He has always demonstrated a passion and strong knowledge for cattle selection and genetics.

"We're working to make the transition as easy as possible and we want the membership to be comfortable with the process.

"Ben has been appointed as our manager of business development and genetics, which will enable Palgrove to undertake additional R&D commercial projects as well as maintain close relationships with our clients."

Mrs Bondfield said Mr Noller would focus on expanding their multi-breed production, innovation and business growth using the latest technologies.

Mr Noller's Brisbane role will be advertised this week.

Topics:  bush telegraph charolais palgrove santa gertrudis warwick community

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