NEXT GENERATION: Graeme Acton Beef Connections Program mentors, participants, staff and sponsors. Elisha Parker, Jim Teasdale, Hamish Lamond, John Gissing, CEO of QantasLink, Dennis Cox, Steve Moroney, Bede McAlpin, Annabelle Butler, Anna White and Ella Paine.
NEXT GENERATION: Graeme Acton Beef Connections Program mentors, participants, staff and sponsors. Elisha Parker, Jim Teasdale, Hamish Lamond, John Gissing, CEO of QantasLink, Dennis Cox, Steve Moroney, Bede McAlpin, Annabelle Butler, Anna White and Ella Paine. Vanessa Jarrett

The future of the beef industry is strong says Ella

RAISED in Winton and moving to Clermont in her later years, Ella Paine is a young face in the beef industry to watch.

Ella is one of the seven participants in Beef Australia's Graeme Acton Beef Connections Program, supported by QantasLink and Westpac.

The program is about moulding skills, providing training and personal development opportunities and a mentor to help the young 'mentees' achieve their goals and participate in Beef Australia 2018.

The current seven participants were chosen from 32 applicants in April last year.

"I am so glad I got to be a part of it and hopefully it will change the direction of my future both personally and professionally,” Ella said.

"I can't speak highly enough of it.

"”It's a great opportunity for young driven people to get a step up and get that bit of help and guidance in further their own aspirations.”

Ella has had a busy week at Beef Australia, saying it has been 'full on.'

"Everyday has been a function, an opportunity to represent the program,” she said.

"It is a pretty low profile program at the moment, people have been so supportive and so positive of what they have seen of us at the moment.”

As part of the program, participants and teamed up with mentors.

Ella was partnered up with Steve Taylor, who has a 'lifetime of experience, knowledge and connections' and has 'been a great help.'

"Their influence has been absolute, you can't put a value on it,” she said.

"My mentor Steve, has been wonderful, he is such a gentleman.

"He has such a big influence on not only the presentations I have been making this week but also the decisions I have been making sinceI joined the program

"His input and his support, his willingness to share his insights and his perspectives.

"Having someone that is so willing to believes in you and have such confidence in you has such a positive effect on your outlook and decisions.

"It's a wonderful opportunity and I am grateful to have it.”

Ella has been involved in various parts of the beef industry and is just about to embark on a new job working with a professional horse trainer in Kingaroy.

"The beef industry has been a big part of my life so far, I have worked on several different cattle operations in the Northern Territory and Queensland since I left,” she said.

"They have all had different focusses and different set ups but they have all been excellent learning experiences and all brought me to where I am today.”

At the tender age of 20, Ella is excited for the future of the beef industry and says it will be interesting to see what it holds.

"We will have to wait until we get there but we are heading to a great place,” she said.

"Considering the incredible number of people I have met this week, i think as long as we have people like that on our side we are in good hands.

Slamming the woes the future is shaky, Ella is confident of what is to come.

"I think if you are of the opinion of that there are not many positive stories about young people in the industry then you have selective hearing,” she said.

"Every time I look in the mirror I see a young person who is passionate and driven to be in this industry and I have met so many people that are in the same boat this week.

"I am well aware we have a long way to go bringing the average age of our industry down but I definitely think we are heading in the right direction.

"Especially with programs like beef connections.”