TIN Member Spotlight: Livestock Improvement Corporation

12 July 2022

Livestock Improvement Corporation (LIC) is an agritech and herd improvement co-operative which exists to deliver superior genetics and technological innovation to help its shareholders sustainably farm a profitable animal.

LIC continuously features in the top 10 of the TIN100 companies and announced strong half-year results in January with an increase in revenue of more than 5%.

David Chin started in the Chief Executive role at LIC in Jan 2022 and we were curious to catch up with him and the LIC team on his first six months in office.

David Chin - Chief Executive, Livestock Improvement Corporation (LIC)

Congratulations again on your first six months as CEO of LIC – you obviously know the business incredibly well having held various leadership positions within LIC before your appointment as CEO. What are your top three learnings as the Co-operative’s CEO that you hadn’t expected prior to your appointment?

It's a great privilege to be the CEO of LIC. The co-operative has a very proud history going back to the first organised herd test in 1909 and it’s great to be leading the team and being at the forefront of huge technological innovations in genomics and breeding.

My top three learnings from the past six months would be: the importance of providing clarity of purpose and direction, the value in spending time with the team to really understand what they do and to stay connected with our farmers.

Part of your refined strategy is the renewed commitment to R&D. How do you foster a culture within LIC to drive responsive innovation?
  • Keep the connections with the farmer really strong. Our farmers are our best source of new ideas, and we are very focused on solving the problems that they face. As well as visiting farmers throughout the country we also run regular events where we invite our farmer shareholders to spend a couple of days on our farms and within our laboratories to understand more about what we do.
  • Our ‘Open Agenda’ speaker series. We regularly have speakers and thought leaders come to our head office to talk to staff to keep them updated with industry trends and insights.
  • Share knowledge internally. Each week we hold a ‘Knowledge Share’ where a member of staff presents on what they are working on.
Moving into the new financial year, what will be the top three business priorities for LIC in FY 22/23?
We have made three key commitments to our farmers, and these will continue to be our priorities. We have committed to be operationally excellent (getting the basics right first time, every time), we’ve committed to increase the rate of genetic gain in our farmers’ herds – especially relevant as we tackle environmental challenges and, in particular animal efficiency, methane and nitrogen. And lastly, we have committed to delivering great software that has the features that farmers want, is reliable and performs to our farmers' expectations.
How has LIC’s working culture changed under COVID and what makes it a great place to work?
LIC has always had a good culture with a strong sense of purpose to improve the productivity of the national dairy herd with superior genetics and technological innovation and that hasn’t changed at all.  Under COVID the working environment has certainly become more flexible with more office-based staff taking the opportunity to mix up the working week with some days in the office and some days at home. Many of our staff who work on farm or in the laboratories don’t have the same flexibility, but people are definitely more aware about staying at home when they aren’t feeling well.

Click here to learn more about Livestock Improvement Corporation.

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