Location Yarrie Staion, Marble Bar WA
What part(s) of the industry do you work in? Northern pastoral beef industry
Job title Head stockman
What does your company/ business do? We breed cattle in the East Pilbara for the live export and domestic beef cattle markets
Describe your job on the average day There is no average day! My job can range from;
Station upkeep and maintenance- this includes maintenance and repairs to vehicles, plant & equipment, watering points, infrastructure (yards etc)
Manage & train the seasonal mustering crew
Mustering cattle- processing them to prepare them for the live trade or to grown down south/ put into the breeding program.
How did you get involved with agriculture? I was born on a beef cattle farm in SE Victoria
Education Cert II, III & IV in Agriculture, currently completing my Diploma in Agriculture. Cert III onwards was done on the job, and the Cert II was done through school.
If you studied/ trained in agriculture, why did you choose that degree/ certificate? The certificates are skills based and hands on, and were available to complete while i was working on the station, allowing me gain qualifications while earning money. I prefer to be doing hands on training than studying theory and writing assignments.
What are/were you plans after school/TAFE/university? To finish my Diploma, and remain in the northern pastoral industry.
What are your interests? Fishing in the De Grey river, which runs through Yarrie Station, shooting, camping, motorbike riding, taking the horses down to the river, spending time with mates
What is your favourite thing about the industry? The freedom of lifestyle that comes with the job, the diversity of the job each day. The people (some of them!).
Best experience in agriculture? Harvesting in the USA, custom cutting a variety of crops from the south to the north as they became ready to harvest. It was great to work in a different country with new people, seeing agricultural practices on the other side of the world in a different climate etc.
Worst experience in agriculture? Putting down pets for the people you work with. (Vets are often hundreds of kilometers away from stations).
What do you think will be the biggest challenges of the agricultural industry in the future? The influence of animal activists on the general public, and bridging the urban rural divide to engage with the general public and portray an accurate image of the industry, what we do and why we do it, to build upon consumer knowledge.
Why do you think less people are becoming involved in agriculture? The mines are very competitive in terms of wages, as are many other industries.
What advice do you have for people thinking about getting into agriculture? Finish school, year 12 or equivalent. It is really important to have a basic qualification under your belt. Even if you don’t finish year 12 try and get a certificate done, even if you have the skills employers like you to have that piece of paper, it can put you ahead of other people in industry.
How important do you think an agricultural background is to become involved in the industry? Not important at all, it can be handy, but if you come into the industry with a willingness to work that is all that counts. Frame of mind is more important.
What do you think is the most common misconception about agriculture? The “McLeods Daughters” syndrome. It is a hard industry to work in at times, rewarding, but hard. It is not like the tv show!