Rachel finds a niche in the cattle game

15 Feb, 2016 01:00 AM
With the champion interbreed group of three bulls exhibited by the Liberty Charolais stud, Toodyay, at the 2015 IGA Perth Royal Show were judges Corey Ireland (back left), Wagga Wagga, NSW, Andrew Chapman, Caliope, Queensland, Scott Hann, Moree, NSW and Ian Coughlan, Gerogery, NSW and handlers Rachel Williams (front left), Narrikup, and Morgan and Jess Yost, Liberty stud.
Without agriculture the world stops moving
With the champion interbreed group of three bulls exhibited by the Liberty Charolais stud, Toodyay, at the 2015 IGA Perth Royal Show were judges Corey Ireland (back left), Wagga Wagga, NSW, Andrew Chapman, Caliope, Queensland, Scott Hann, Moree,

THERE was never any question as to whether Rachel Williams would end up working with livestock after watching her parents work with their cattle until she was old enough to help.

But her passion for the industry goes beyond the love of her work, she also recognises the important part agriculture plays in the world.

The 20-year-old from Narrikup believes her metropolitan counterparts need a better connection with agriculture to understand why livestock and other types of agriculture are vital to their lives.

"The more people in agriculture we get, the more years it will carry on," she said.

"Without agriculture the world stops moving.

"A lot people in the city don't understand agriculture and I know some people think the world doesn't need it.

"Without agriculture you've got no food on your plate to feed your family.

"The more people you have in agriculture the better it is and at the moment it is such a big thing with livestock prices doing so well."

Rachel finished high school in 2012 and went home to the family farm which consists of 200 commercial cows and 300 White Dorpers.

She said she had no interest in university studies and instead wanted to devote her career to working with livestock.

She grew up in Toodyay before her family moved to greener pastures for their cattle in Narrikup and she works for the Shire of Plantagenet at the Mount Barker Regional Saleyards.

Here she helps run the yards from receival to dispatch of livestock.

She has also worked as a farmhand for the Porongurup Pure sheep dairy, assisting with milking.

"I never really wanted to go to university, I always wanted to work outside and with livestock," Rachel said.

"I didn't want a degree of some description and I wouldn't be the same person now if I was in a different game.

"I've learnt so much and met so many awesome people in the cattle industry and agricultural industry.

"One day I would like to have my own stud and start by working for stud breeders, whether it's just handling cattle or working on the farm as I love all of it.

"I definitely wouldn't enjoy sitting inside doing an office job."

Handling the cattle and working closely to prepare animals for showing is a favourite part of Rachel's job and she has attended the WA Youth Cattle Handlers Camp over several years helping to educate youth in cattle handling and showing.

In 2015 Doug and Danny Giles, Quicksilver Charolais, Newdegate, sponsored her visit to the Sydney Royal Show to help with their show team.

She has also helped prepare the IGA Perth Royal Show team for Tullibardine Murray Grey and Angus stud, owned by Alastair and Jenny Murray, Albany and Willawa Greys and Quicksilver Charolais, Newdegate.

She is on the committee for the stud section at the Albany Agricultural Society.

She has also competed in the Beef Cattle Paraders Competition at the IGA Perth Royal Show, Make Smoking History Wagin Woolorama and Albany Agricultural Show .

In 2014 she was awarded second place in the State Beef Paraders final at Perth and has consequently travelled overseas to represent WA.

"I have learnt a lot and it has given me opportunities I otherwise wouldn't have," she said.

"I have met a lot of amazing people in this industry through competing and working at the Mount Barker Regional Sale Yards with an insight which others don't see.

"I have an awesome job."

Rachel said she worked closely for a long time with cattle before showing them, learning their personalities and what their "lurks and perks" are.

"It takes a lot of time to bond with them," she said.

"When they're down in the yards I will be brushing them, talking to them, walking around them making sure that they don't have any fear of me.

"You get to know them like the back of your hand.

"They become your friend and that's the part I enjoy about it.

"It takes time to get there but they all have their own little attitudes."

Rachel said she looks for structural correctness in cattle and chooses cattle based on what would best represent the stud.

"As a stud you wouldn't put your bad or average cattle in," she said.

"You wouldn't take an animal you weren't sure about.

"You're a team and need to work together and it's a lot of time and hard work brushing, feeding and training them."

But Rachel said the effort is always worth it and showing in the ring is always enjoyable.

"I love to lead the cattle and show off what they have," she said.

"They're funny, beautiful animals and I'm so lucky I get to work with them every day."



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