Young pastoralist prepares for Canberra

26 Nov, 2003 10:00 PM

PRODUCING better beef and ensuring a sustainable future for the cattle industry are driving motivations for young pastoralist Annabelle Coppin.

At eighteen years of age Annabelle is determined to continue breeding cattle, an industry her family has been involved in for many years at Yarrie Station in the Pilbara.

When an opportunity arose to compete in the ABC Heywire radio competition, Annabelle submitted her story and was one of 37 winners selected out of 680 entries nationwide.

The group will travel to Canberra in February to participate in the Heywire Youth Issues Forum to raise issues relating to regional Australia.

"I think it is important to stand up and have your say. My future is in agriculture and I think a lot of people in metropolitan areas don't have a real grasp on what we are up against as primary producers," she said.

"I think the reality of our situation needs to be communicated."

The future of live exports is an issue Annabelle has chosen to raise at the forum because of the pivotal role it plays in the livelihood of her family's business and livestock producers nationwide.

"As cattle producers we need to stick our necks out and balance the views being put forward by animal liberationists,² she said.

³They are not balanced and suggest we are not humane in our management practices.

³Unfortunately people living in cities are often swayed by minority groups like them because they never actually see our side of the story.

"Without primary producers the world would starve, and it's a disgrace when the stereotypes created by minority groups override the truth."

Annabelle also believes the remote living is romanticized through the media and is detrimental because it is responsible for creating false perceptions.

She says it does not reflect the harsh economic reality being faced by many northern cattle producers.

"Life doesn't go as smoothly for us as it does for the girls off McLeods Daughters," she said.

"There are so many skills that need to be gained to run an efficient property and to ultimately put a good meal on your plate.

³I have a strong belief in our produce from the rangelands and I feel privileged to live the life I have been born to."


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