Being fresh out of school is usually a time of career exploration: experiencing a bit of this and a bit of that to determine a suitable industry or role. Not for Grant Garey; he had his sights firmly set on a career in the feedlot industry from the beginning.
Grant is the general manager feedlots for Teys Australia, overseeing feedlots in Condamine (Queensland), Jindalee (New South Wales) and down in Charlton (Victoria).
Grant’s Brisbane office is a long way from his hometown of Orange in the Cental West of New South Wales where he grew up on a cattle property, but it’s right where he needs to be.
“The thing I enjoy most is seeing the people that I work with grow, succeed and achieve their goals,” Grant said.
“A big one for me is knowing that we’re feeding people every day. That’s incredibly important.”
Grant begins each day by checking in with the team at each of the three Teys feedlots, talking with cattle buyers purchasing feeder cattle for Teys’ feedlots, and communicating with various departments across the Teys team.
“There’s certainly plenty of time in front of the computer and plenty of time in meetings,” Grant laughs.
“But the unique thing about the feedlot industry is the diversity of what you do cover in a day.”
“There’s not many jobs where you could be doing HR, business analytics and economics, logistics, animal health and welfare, animal nutrition, or construction — and that could all be before lunch.”
“There’s so many different opportunities in the food industry for people to learn and work on, and understand the business.”
Grant studied animal science at the University of New England, and started his career at Sandalwood Feedlot in Dalby, QLD where he credits managers Kev and Jan Roberts with providing him endless opportunities. He went on to win the Young Lot Feeder of the Year Award in 2000 whilst he was working at Jindalee Feedlot in NSW, which enabled him to travel to the United States to learn about lot feeding overseas.
Grant enjoyed a variety of roles whilst at Jindalee, then owned by Cargill, including operations manager and feedlot manager. These were a precursor for a promotion to general manager of livestock for Cargill Beef, and livestock buyer for the company’s abattoirs and feedlot, before taking on his current position in 2011 when Teys Australia was formed.
Professionals in the Australian lot feeding industry who are required to apply specialised leadership and management knowledge and skills are encouraged to undertake an Advanced Diploma of Leadership and Management available on the industry’s dedicated online careers and training hub, Feedlot TECH, by the Australian Institute of Management (AIM).