RETIRING Elders livestock agent Darell Shaddick's chest puffed with pride when he pointed out that 2016 was the 100th anniversary of his family's connection with Elders.
It's been a long and proud career for Mr Shaddick who said growing up as a farm kid in Popanyinning meant a life in agriculture was a sure thing.
"My great-grandfather, William Shaddick, had the grazing rights of the Narrogin district in his time," Mr Shaddick said.
"And it was my grandfather who started our relationship with Elders."
In the early 1980s Mr Shaddick was offered a chance to join the team in red so he jumped at the opportunity.
The result was five years in Cranbrook West, 16 years in Esperance and 16 years in Narrogin as a member of the Elders livestock team.
"It was a fantastic career," Mr Shaddick said.
"There's a lot of respect and kindness in this industry."
Mr Shaddick recalled his first business relationship with the late Noel Greives, Narrogin, fondly.
"I went out and saw Noel when I first started with Elders," Mr Shaddick said.
"And he gave me a go right there because he knew my dad and was willing to trust that I'd give it my very best.
"I left the Narrogin branch in 1983 and came back in 2001 and he gave me his business again immediately.
"I'm very much indebted to Noel and people like him, who were willing to give me a fair go when I was starting out."
Throughout such a long and memorable career there were a number of people who shaped and inspired Mr Shaddick's working life.
Bill Lathwell, Cranbrook, Rod Taylor, Epasco Farms, Esperance and Richard Fowler, Chilwell, Condingup, received honourable mentions for their friendship and advice over the years.
"It was an absolute privilege to work at Elders for as long as I did and gain so many close friendships and working relationships," Mr Shaddick said.
"I'm just so proud to have worked with and learnt from so many good people."
Mr Shaddick said the Elders managers and auctioneers in particular had a special role in making his career so memorable.
In particular, John F Galloway, Peter Storch, Errol Gairdner, Ross Philip Coole, Jeff Lynn and Adrian Gamble earned a special mention.
Nowadays Mr Shaddick is enjoying watching the next generation of farmers take on more responsibilities.
An operation that came to mind was the Ledwith family's Kolindale Merino and Poll Merino stud, Dudinin.
The family was a client of Mr Shaddick's who impressed him with their decision to have their son take over the principal role at the stud.
"I think Matthew's son Luke is doing a brilliant job with the Kolindale stud," Mr Shaddick said.
"He's young, ambitious, and he's thinking things through.
"More family based operations should be embracing the ideas their kids have to contribute.
"After all, they will be in charge one day.
"Getting that chance and trust so early on really does make all the difference - it certainly did with me."
When asked where he thought the sheep industry was going, Mr Shaddick said rain, hail or shine, sheep are still going to make you money.
"If you look after the jumbuck, he'll look after you," Mr Shaddick said.
"You really can't go wrong with a good cross section of sheep and cropping."
Mr Shaddick's advice for young people looking to get started in the industry was "just never say never".
His post-Elders life will be around home back in Esperance with his wife of 40 years.
"I'm indebted to my family who have put up with me and my livestock agent life over the years," Mr Shaddick said.