PASSION and drive, coupled with extensive industry experience, has given Clint Wardle solid grounding for his recent appointment as Westcoast Wool & Livestock representative for Kojonup and the Great Southern.
Mr Wardle grew up on his family’s sheep and cattle farm at Qualeup and he can’t recall wanting to do anything else but work in agriculture.
He completed his final years of high school at the WA College of Agriculture, Denmark and returned home to work on the family farm for four years.
He then travelled to the United States, where he worked on a grain and cattle farm and in contract harvesting, travelling from Texas through to Canada.
Returning home, he continued farming at Kojonup and established an agricultural contracting business servicing up to 200,000 head per year.
In 2013, Mr Wardle, his wife Kylee and their three children sold the property and headed north for a sea change, where Mr Wardle managed a large cropping and livestock property for five years.
The opportunity to become part of the Westcoast Wool & Livestock team arose and, being familiar with the area and the company, Mr Wardle jumped at the chance.
“I had dealt with Westcoast during my time as a farm manager and have always been impressed with the company,” Mr Wardle said.
“Westcoast has a strong leadership group with good vision for how the company should position itself and operate in the competitive livestock marketing industry.”
While extensive industry experience and local knowledge has allowed him to hit the ground running, he is also well-supported by the wider Westcoast team.
Mr Wardle said the Westcoast Katanning depot, which was also the only Australian Wool Testing Authority-accredited wool handling and testing facility in regional WA, provided a central base to expand and develop the livestock network in one of the State’s strongest livestock areas.
“I’m looking forward to working alongside Reuben Small at Katanning to develop and expand on the exceptional work Rueben has done,” he said.
The Westcoast Wool & Livestock business, which is locally-owned and operated, has continued to strengthen, with wool receivals up another 12 per cent year-on-year and further significant growth in sheep and cattle numbers handled by the company.
The continued success has been attributed to increasing synergy between the company’s wool and livestock operations, providing benefits to growers, as well as its thorough approach with all clients.
Mr Wardle said he believed livestock was a long-term game that required vision and he was proud to be working for a company with a clear vision for the future.
He said it was a positive time to be involved in the industry and he is looking forward to working with producers to help them optimise their marketing returns.
“The sheep industry is providing producers with some promising returns and the strength of the wool market is undoubtedly providing real confidence for producers to expand and invest in their sheep operations,’’ he said.
“For those producers who have maintained numbers, a sheep enterprise at present is very low risk, delivering strong gross margins per hectare to rival and complement any grain growing enterprise.
“Numbers will be the key for the industry to grow and develop.
“To support the processors and exporters that have been pushing hard and investing to develop and maintain markets, producers need to push-on with confidence and build numbers to grow the industry.’’