WITH a rejuvenated interest in agriculture since his retirement from top level football, West Coast Eagles champion Mark LeCras was quite at home talking to visitors to the Bankwest stand at last week’s Make Smoking History Wagin Woolorama.
The 219-game veteran, premiership player, all Australian and club champion was clearly a champion on the field and that combined with his down to earth, personable nature and first-hand connection to primary industry off-field, sparked Bankwest’s approach to have Mr LeCras onsite.
Manager Greg O’Brien said it was about enhancing community engagement and connection to promote agriculture in a broader sense.
“Using someone like Mark, who has a direct connection to farming and fishing, two of the bank’s major rural portfolios but with a sporting profile to capture people’s attention made sense to us.
(The bank used West Coast Eagles teammate Matt Priddis, who was joined by Darkan farmer and former Fremantle Docker Paul Duffield, in a similar role at last year’s Dowerin GWN7 Machinery Field Days).
“In part we want to highlight the value of agriculture,” Mr O’Brien said.
“From the cropping industry alone seven billion dollars a year goes back to industry and that creates enormous capital investment.”
Mr LeCras’ father Peter grew up on a property at Miling and his mother Leonie is a King from Piawaning, who by chance also worked at Bankwest in Joondalup for several years.
“Dad moved to Cervantes to go crayfishing and my brother Brent now runs that business,” Mr LeCras said.
“Dad wanted to get back to farming so we have bought some land at Gingin where we are growing avocados and it also has a water licence, so we are deciding what other industries we will pursue there.
“At the moment we are using the pivot to fatten some Murray Grey and Angus cattle,” he said.
- Make sure you get this week's copy of Farm Weekly for a 56-page review of the Making Smoking History Wagin Woolorama.