TWO young ringers from the remote Kimberley region of Western Australia have spent an enlightening 10 days in Queensland learning about the beef industry and attending the Rockhampton Brahman Week Sale.
Lauren Elmes of Sophie Downs and CJ Evans of Napier Downs won a coveted Kimberley Brahman Week scholarship to undertake the once in a lifetime trip.
The scholarship was instigated by the Pastoralist and Graziers Association Kimberley division, the Fitzroy Crossing Bull Sale committee and Meat and Livestock Australia, to give young beef industry leaders a chance to travel to Queensland to take part in the sale.
The duo spent 10 days immersed in the industry, first spending time with Michael Flynn, Valera Vale, near Beaudesert.
They went on a tour of the University of Queensland’s genome research facility, before heading to JBS Dinmore, where they saw cattle being processed.
They visited Len Gibbs and family, Muan Brahmans, Biggenden, touring their stud, feedlot and processing facility.
Then it was on to visit Jimmy and Johnny Edwards, Barlyne Brahmans at Gayndah, who consign bulls to the Fitzroy Crossing bull sale.
The trip culminated with a visit to the largest bull sale in the southern hemisphere, the 2018 Rockhampton Brahman Week Sale.
For Lauren, 21, who grew up in Mareeba in Far North Queensland, the trip opened her eyes to a side of the cattle industry she had not witnessed.
“We're on the receiving end and only see them come off the trucks,” Lauren said.
“We don’t get to see them go to sale, or the breeding and the effort that goes into getting them to Fitzroy, so it showed us what really goes on and all of the research that goes into breeding them.”
Lauren said Sophie Downs runs about 10,000 head and their market is predominately the boats.
Lauren said she was impressed to see how the graziers she visited were dealing with the drought.
“It was interesting to see the different improvements everyone’s got going on to keep their herds going, the drought is pretty bad yet these guys are constantly thinking ahead about how they are going to better it,” she said.
Lauren graduated high school in 2015, and initially planned to stay at Sophie Downs for one year. Next year will be her fourth. She plans to go to university in 2020, but said she would retain an interest in the industry.
“All I’d ever known was boat cattle, now I’ve realised that if I wanted to go back there’s also the breeding side,” Lauren said.
“People seem to be doing well, they’ve got hardships like everyone else, but it seems a little more rewarding.”