Mentor2Elevate Program

Posted By NHIA  
10:00 AM

NHIA Unveils Game-changing Mentorship Program

Elevating Industry Excellence with support from the Gardiner Foundation  

Why a NHIA Mentoring Program

The goal is to provide a framework and support for individuals and businesses in the herd improvement sector to ensure that our industry and its people continue to grow and develop.

Businesses and organisations also derive a direct benefit from putting workplace mentoring in place. For example:

Did you know, 84% of Fortune 500 companies now have mentoring programs? Studies have shown that 79% of millennials consider mentoring crucial to career success.   

Leadership Dynamics states: To build a thriving business, you build it one on one – meaning that every high-performing business is built and sustained by one on one mentoring. 

Here are some facts to support this advice:
77% of companies who have a mentoring program report improved both employee retention and job performance

Retention rates are significantly higher for mentees (72%) and for mentors (69%) than for employees who aren’t mentored (49%).

94% of employees said they would stay at a company longer if they were offered opportunities to learn and grow (Source)

Increased promotion and retention rates for minorities and women from 15% to 38% as compared to non-mentored employees (Source) 

Among its membership NHIA can count many herd improvement sector leaders who were keen to  share their collective expertise and knowledge with the next generation of industry professionals.  

Sara Merckel, NHIA CEO says “We have heard the voices of our members, echoing their yearning for guidance and mentorship. These sentiments were loud and clear during our membership forums and industry dialogues. NHIA proudly responds by offering mentorship at two distinct levels.”

NHIA Mentors

NHIA is proud to present a distinguished pool of high-achieving industry leaders, each equipped with a diverse array of skills, ready to mentor and elevate the industry.  

NHIA recognises the following individuals that have undergone the training as Industry Mentors:

  • ·        Ruth Barber – Genetics Australia / Total Livestock Genetics
  • ·        Glen Barrett – Jersey Australia
  • ·        Cathy Bourke – NHIA
  • ·        Steve Cameron – National Herd Development
  • ·        Sharyn Collins – Numurkah Nugenes
  • ·        Adam Daniel – Numurkah Nugenes 
  • ·        David Dunlop – HICO
  • ·        Les Kingston – Beef Breeding Services
  • ·        Ken Lenehan - Numurkah Nugenes
  • ·        Patrick McDonald – Gardiner Foundation
  • ·        Sara Merckel – NHIA
  • ·        Neel Ponneelan – STgenetics Australia
  • ·        Mike Rose – LIC
  • ·        Will Rundle - Genetics Australia / Total Livestock Genetics
  • ·        Adam Sawell – Holstein Australia / Perfect Beach
  • ·        Penny Welch - Genetics Australia / Total Livestock Genetics

NHIA recognises its Mentor Masters, pioneers of industry with a lifetime of experience in the herd improvement space:

  • ·        Jim Conroy
  • ·        Stewart McRae


NHIA also takes pride in acknowledging the mentor friendly workplaces that are supporting this much needed industry initiative:

  • ·        Beef Breeding Services
  • ·        Gardiner Foundation
  • ·        Genetics Australia / Total Livestock Genetics
  • ·        HICO
  • ·        Holstein Australia
  • ·        Jersey Australia
  • ·        LIC
  • ·        National Herd Development (NHD)
  • ·        NHIA
  • ·        Numurkah NuGenes
  • ·        STgenetics Australia


The Mentor2elevate Program

The Mentor2elevate program represents a pivotal turning point in the industry's evolution in the way we train and interact with our people. This program offers not one but two tiers of mentorship for industry professionals: 

  1.         Access Mentors: Immerse yourself in mentorship under the guidance of industry leaders, allowing you to tap into their   knowledge and experience. 
  2.       Access Mentor Masters: Seasoned industry professionals, firmly established in their careers, can now access our Mentor Masters.


      Find out more about the NHIA Mentoring program, how it can help you and get involved:  

    • ·        Dive into the mentor bios to discover the mentor who resonates with your aspirations.
    • ·        Reach out to Sara at, specifying your preferred mentor.
    • ·        Prepare for your Mentor Mingle session, where you'll talk with your chosen mentor, discussing your goals and expectations.
    • ·        If the fit between mentor and mentee aligns, NHIA suggests you enter a 12-month mentoring journey. If, for any reason, the mentor is unavailable or suggests a better match, NHIA will guide you seamlessly through the next steps. 

    NHIA is committed to supporting this process, ensuring both mentors and mentees have access to valuable resources, ensuring the program's success.

    This new initiative is already generating unprecedented interest, with potential mentors eagerly anticipating training sessions in 2024. As a result, NHIA anticipates adding to its pool of mentors early next year. 

    “The future of our industry’s mentorship is here, and it's an exciting step to see industry leaders take up a mentoring role to further support and align our industry for success,” says Sara Merckel. 

    This NHIA industry initiative is made possible thanks to the generous support of the Gardiner Foundation.