At one of the most exciting and crucial periods for the UK livestock industry, the Livestock Auctioneers’ Association (LAA) has announced expansion plans with the appointment of a new development officer to help drive its support for the UK red-meat sector.

Zanna Dennis takes on the newly created position with the remit to further develop and increase the LAA’s active role in policy negotiations and discussions with ministers, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), the Welsh government and other industry trade organisations, on behalf of LAA member firms and the wider UK red-meat sector.

“I am hugely excited to be taking on this new challenge,” explained Dennis, having taken up her new role at the start of December 2020, after almost a decade working at Bentham Auction Mart in North Yorkshire.

Having worked in the industry, I have witnessed the vital role of the LAA in supporting and representing its members, and ultimately the farming community.

“Given the particularly challenging times we are facing as an industry, it is now more important than ever to secure a sustainable future for our livestock auction markets.”

Family heritage

Steeped in a family heritage of auctioneers, including her father Stephen Dennis, senior auctioneer and market manager at Bentham, Dennis has also enjoyed a successful career running her own business in the arts, before returning to follow her true passions within agriculture and livestock markets.

Dennis also runs her own flock of Texel X breeding ewes, bringing a diverse skill set to the role at a period of challenge and opportunity for the sector.

Chris Dodds, LAA executive secretary, stated:

This truly is an exciting time for the UK livestock industry, with many challenges on the horizon, and it is important that the sector gets the support and representation needed to make the most of the opportunities that develop.

“We are delighted to welcome Zanna on board at this crucial time, her experience and first-hand knowledge of the industry will further add to the LAA’s strengths, bringing a fresh impetus to our role at a time when industry will need to pull-together.”

Dennis said:

“This year, in the midst of a worldwide pandemic, livestock auction marts have surpassed expectation in terms of trade and input.

I am looking forward to helping the LAA to support its members as we now move forward in a post-Brexit trading environment.

“The open, transparent and competitive trading platform that the live auction ring delivers has been pivotal to ensuring farmers get a fair price for their stock for more than 200 years,” she concluded.