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executive officer


Chris started with Dalgety Australia Ltd at the end of 1976, in the mailroom for a short time, then was transferred to the livestock department working at Cannon Hill sale yards under Stan Wallace and Keith McRoberts as a junior stock salesman.

He was transferred to Roma as a junior salesman, in October 1978, under Des Cherry and Paul McCormack.

In January 1979, Chris was transferred to Blackall, as a Stock/Merchandise salesman and worked under Bill Lansbury. 

In August 1980, Chris was transferred to St George as a Stock Salesman under Mike Kerr.

In May 1982, he was transferred to Injune as the OIC, under Paul McCormack and Val Harms.

In August 1983, he was transferred to Dirranbandi as Branch Manager.

In September 1986, he was transferred to Charleville as Branch Manager.

In April, 1992, Chris left Dalgety Winchcombe FGC to start as the Branch Manager for Primac in Rockhampton, taking over from Tom Scanlan.

In December 1996, when Primac and Elders merged, Chris became QLD and Northern Rivers of NSW’s, Rural Property and Real Estate Manager, taking over from Arthur Walmsley.

In late 1998/early 1999, Chris took over from John Robbins as QLD and Northern Rivers NSW as the Livestock Manager.

At the end of 2000, he left Primac Elders to take up the position of General Manager Livestock for Consolidated Meat Group, based in Rockhampton, he held that position until Teys purchased CMG from Kerry Packer in 2003.

After that Chris set up a Private Agency business with 3 silent partners, namely Les Dunstan, Peter Varley and Charlie Mort. During this time, he was marketing commercial Hereford cattle for the Hereford Society throughout QLD, NSW and Victoria.

In 2004, Chris started as General Manager for Mort & Co in Toowoomba and held this position for a couple of years, before deciding to leave to start my own real estate business with Raine & Horne at Wellington Point.

During this period, Chris was approached by Colliers International to start their Rural Property arm in QLD.

After a couple of years, Chris left to start my own Stock & Station Agency, working out of Brisbane, which he ran until April 2019, before starting as General Manager for the Santa Gertrudis Breeders Australia Association.

MR ALEX MCDONALD 2018 - 2023

Mr Alex McDonald is one of the most experienced and highly regarded professionals in the beef breeding industry. He started his career as a beef adviser in the Victorian Department of Agriculture before being seconded to ABRI as the National Coordinator of field operations for BREEDPLAN. 


From there he was appointed as CEO of the Limousin Association which position he held for 22 years.  In this time he also furthered his work in carcass quality and more recently in genomics and performed a mentoring role in SBTS.  At the end of his appointment he took on a two year assignment as Managing Director of ABRI and has represented ARCBA on the Cattle Council, Animal Health, Welfare and Biosecurity advisory committee for the last six years.


The culmination of this work saw him as recipient of ARCBA's prestigious RW Vincent award for outstanding services to the cattle breeding industry.  More recently he has the part time role as editor of the Genetics section of Beef Central.  "He already has some 30 years experience with ARCBA and will take to his new role with consummate ease" said ARCBA 's President Dr Arthur Rickards.

DOWNLOAD the Executive Officer's 2023 report.

MR STEVEN SKINNER 2009 to 2018

A highly skilled professional in the rural industries, Steven has a honours degree in Agricultural Economics.

After a seven-year appointment in applied agricultural economic research, he then managed a sheep and cattle property for five years before joining the Agricultural Business Research Institute, (ABRI) BREEDPLAN team in 1993. He soon became manager of the ABRI support team for servicing associations which use BREEDPLAN.


In 2011 Steve was promoted to manager of ABRI’s flagship division, the International Beef Recording Scheme and in 2015 he was appointed Chief Operating Officer. Steven retied from ABRI in 2023 after a thirty year career with the company.


Dr ARTHUR RICKARDS 1975 to 2009

Dr Rickards established the Agricultural Business Research Institute (ABRI) on July 1, 1970, with two staff and plenty of dreams about how to facilitate the adoption of new UNE technology across rural industries.


During the next four decades under Dr Rickards' guidance, ABRI developed and/or implemented many innovative technologies that have made significant contributions to agriculture, particularly the livestock sector. His list of achievements included the launch of the National Beef Recording Scheme in the 1970s.


Dr Rickards retired in 2011 but continued in a part-time business manager role at ABRI. By 2010 ABRI had expanded Breedplan to 20 countries including the US, Canada, the UK, South Africa and New Zealand.


Dr Rickards was instrumental in the establishment of ARCBA and cultivated his passion to offer young people career opportunities in the agricultural industry.


Dr Rickards passed away in 2019.

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