Feedlot visit offers insights for advisors
Education and experience was the key focus for a group of upcoming Elders livestock agents and staff who visited Peel Feedlot this month.
The site visit was part of a two- day tour arranged by Elders commercial sheep manager Mike Curnick to give the younger generation of Elders agents, trainees and staff a behind-the-scenes look at what happens to the sheep beyond the farm gate.
“Just to see the drafting, the preparation of sheep and animal welfare measures that are put in place. (It’s) one of the few places you can go and look at 30, or 40 or 50,000 sheep in one spot,” Mike said.
The first day of the tour, the group visited Kingston Rest in Bunbury to see lot-fed lambs.
Elders state general manager WA, Nick Fazekas said the experience meant staff were better able to better serve clients.
“It’s a great opportunity for our young staff members to get to experience this firsthand with live export processes and understand what the criteria is they’re looking for,” Nick said,
Ella-Jane Bird is an animal health expert based at Elders Cranbrook and is nearing completion of her studies to become a livestock production agent. A self-confessed sheep lover, Ella-Jane was very impressed with the level of professionalism on display at the feedlot.
“It’s pretty crucial, because we are that bridge between the producers and the feedlots, that we understand how we can better improve the client’s experience, the buyer’s experience and, at the end of the day, we’re improving the welfare and the wellbeing of the animals,” Ella-Jane said.
“I knew (the team here) were good operators but I think it is absolutely fantastic. The condition and the welfare of the animals; they all look healthy and wonderful.
Lauren Rayner, 23, is part of the latest intake of Elders livestock and wool trainees and started just six weeks ago. Having grown up on her family farm in Brookton, Lauren always knew she wanted to pursue a career in agriculture and has a particular eye for Merinos.
“I find it’s really rewarding in the sense that I see the sheep on farm and they give a price and then you hear they go to Emanuaels,” Lauren said.
“For someone coming into the industry, it’s really exciting to see that people are really organised about where their product is going and what they know coming in and obviously really knowledgeable about what they’re doing.”
Elders has employed six livestock and wool trainees in Western Australia in the last 18 months, along with two graduate agronomists.
Welcome to livestock and wool trainees – Brendan Millar, Geraldton, Alex Prowse, Narrogin, Clare Grainger, Albany, Lauren Rayner, Narrogin, Emma Dougall, Bunbury and Marshall Bowey, Albany.
Welcome also to our graduate agronomists – Nell Eastough, Narrogin and Liam Pearce, Manjimup.
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