Previously chief executive officer at the Smithfield Cattle Company, Strong has decades of experience in the meat industry. He also held the role of MLA regional manager in Europe and Russia, and was responsible for the expansion of the Pfizer (now Zoetis) DNA technology business into new key international markets.
Strong will commence in the role on Monday 1 April 2019.
MLA chair Dr Michele Allan said the MLA board unanimously supported the appointment of Strong.
“The MLA Board is extremely confident that Jason will make an outstanding contribution to MLA and will continue to foster the prosperity of our industry on behalf of the red meat producers we serve,” Dr Allan said. “He returns to MLA with comprehensive red meat and livestock experience, knowledge and connections – from the farm through to the end consumer – in both domestic and international markets.”
Allan also thanked Andrew Ferguson, CFO of MLA, for acting as interim managing director for four months while the executive search was under way.
A Smithfield Cattle Co spokesperson said: “Smithfield Cattle Company congratulate Jason on his appointment as managing director of Meat & Livestock Australia. We are thankful for his valuable contribution to the Smithfield team and look forward to maintaining our long-standing relationship with him into the future. Andrew Shearer-Smith has been appointed as CEO of the Smithfield group of companies, ensuring a smooth transition and continued momentum for current and planned projects.”
Strong said it was an exciting time to be returning to MLA, with many opportunities for the red meat industry.
“I am looking forward to working with MLA’s board, staff, red meat producers and the broader industry to make certain we are best positioned to respond to the challenges and opportunities ahead,” he said. “I want to ensure MLA’s current programs and projects continue to deliver value, but also identify and implement what is required for the future success of the red meat industry.
“Having previous experience with MLA, both within the organisation and as an external partner, I understand the workings and responsibilities of our industry research and marketing service company. I also appreciate the responsibility MLA has to meet the expectations of red meat producers and the broader industry.”