September 30, 2015


Michael Leahy appointed managing director of Aviagen Australia


Michael Leahy has joined Aviagen® Australia and New Zealand as its managing director effective last June, it was announced.


A graduate of rural science from the University of New England, Leahy has over 20 years' experience in the poultry industry in various capacities including state livestock manager and national livestock director. He has also been involved in farm management, sales management and cooked food processing.


Based in the Aviagen ANZ corporate office at Goulburn in Australia, Mr. Leahy will become part of the international business team. He has a history of a results and growth-driven leadership and will provide a strong focus on quality, cost, efficiency, meeting targets, developing people and achieving customer satisfaction in his new role directing the ANZ team.  His familiarity with Ross® broilers and parent stock in Australia will help his introduction and progress within the company.


Mr. Leahy started his career with the poultry company Steggles Foods in 1979 at a time of rapid growth and consolidation in the Australian poultry industry. In 1986 he became the livestock manager in New South Wales and soon after became responsible for the acquisition of Table Talk poultry farms and merging its assets and employees into the Steggles team.


At the same time, Mr. Leahy gained exposure to several international poultry companies including a notable visit to Ross Breeders in Edinburg, Scotland. Later in a national role of livestock director, he became involved and helped commission the development and start-up of the Singleton Quarantine Station dedicated to the importation of poultry breeding stock for the Australian industry.


Mr. Leahy then spent several years outside the poultry industry before joining Baiada Poultry, one of the leading poultry integrators in Australia, as national livestock operations manager. Following the purchase of Bartter Enterprises in 2009, he became responsible for pulling the two livestock businesses together while optimizing cost and performance.


"I am pleased to have the opportunity here at Aviagen and see the need to continue to strengthen the business as we move operations from older to better, more modern facilities for production.  Investment is continuing with a new hatchery under construction and scheduled for the early part of 2016.  Additional team members are planned as we increase customer contact and support in the future. We have a long-term commitment of being a growing part of the industry we serve in Australia," Mr. Leahy said.
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