CUNDERDIN'S Shaun Byrnes was announced as a State finalist in this year's 2017 NAB Agribusiness Rising Beef Industry Champion awards by the Cattle Council of Australia (CCA) last week.
Mr Byrnes is a technical officer overseeing beef and poultry production at the WA College of Agriculture, Cunderdin.
He is also an artificial insemination technician at his company Byrnes Cattle Co.
Mr Byrnes said his online application for the award included his thoughts on the importance of increasing the national herd size and Australia's free trade deal with the European Union.
"If that deal goes through Australia will not have enough beef to supply," Mr Byrnes said.
"There is an urgent need to increase the herd size and a good way to do that is diverse farming.
"It's something to push in the future.
"If people can have their own cattle on farm it will impact on the size of the national herd."
Mr Byrnes said Australia needed to back a product that was already seeing great success around the world and turn it into a positive for local producers.
"The world demands Angus beef," he said.
"If the world can demand Aussie beef then we are onto a winner."
Mr Byrnes said there was also a need for agriculture education to increase for the industry to be well represented in the future.
Mr Byrnes has worked in the beef industry since 2003, beginning his career mustering and processing cattle in the Pilbara and holding various positions in saleyards, abattoirs and feedlots.
He said the award gave him the opportunity to leave WA for the first time.
He will go up against finalists from all other States and territories, with the winner to be announced at a gala dinner on November 20 in Alice Springs, in conjunction with Red Meat 2017 and the Meat and Livestock Australia annual general meeting.
State finalists will attend a three-day program in Canberra this week, prior to the winner being announced.
The program will allow them to network with staff from the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, learn effective communication techniques, develop leadership skills and participate in a CCA committee meeting.
The Rising Champion initiative is in its seventh year and aims to inspire, empower and support 21 to 35-year-olds who are passionate about the Australian beef industry.
CCA acting chief executive officer Margo Andrae said the Rising Champions program was about helping the next generation of beef industry leaders.
"It is vitally important that the cattle producers and industry leaders of tomorrow have the opportunity to provide input into the direction of their industry today," Ms Andrae said.
She said they were pleased to be giving young people exposure in the Australian beef industry and a chance to develop their leadership skills.