Change of course for cattle exporter

Change of course for cattle exporter

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Grayson Webster is the new project co-ordinator at The Livestock Connective.

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The Livestock Collective's new project co-ordinator Grayson Webster.

The Livestock Collective's new project co-ordinator Grayson Webster.

WORKING in an advocating and educating role was not something Grayson Webster imagined she would be doing a few years ago, but the new project co-ordinator at The Livestock Collective is keen to make the most of the opportunity.

Ms Webster moved to Perth from Darwin a month ago to take up the position and her plans are yet to materialise due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the need to self-isolate.

"I've been working from home," Ms Webster said.

"It's been good in some ways, it's let me get my feet on the ground and focus on content and content creation for social media.

"It's given me a better idea of where we go from here.

"While everyone's at home, I'm able to build connections as well."

Ms Webster said COVID-19 had in some ways provided a good platform for the collective for next year, with all the field days and events this year being cancelled.

"It has highlighted the importance of agriculture in Australia and around the world and the need for food security," she said.

"Those of us who work in agriculture understand that but now others are beginning to see it as well, which is great.

"It is a good platform for us heading into 2021 and we want to capitalise on that."

Ms Webster said trying to connect with people that don't have an agricultural background was a "massive challenge", especially trying to present the message in a "palatable way".

"It's not something that I'm used to doing but we have common concerns with people on issues such as animal welfare and food security, so it's just learning how to engage," Ms Webster said.

Having grown up in the Northern Territory with strong family ties to the pastoral industry and the live export cattle trade, Ms Webster said she previously worked for a small live export company as a livestock administrator - "which means anything that needs to get done on the day".

"It was a small team orientated environment which meant you needed to be across all facets of the work," she said.

Ms Webster's family also spent some time at Katherine when she was in school.

Prior to taking up the role at The Livestock Collective, Ms Webster attended the Meat and Livestock Australia-sponsored Livestock Leaders Course at Fremantle in February.

The course is all about upskilling in order to be able to represent the industry well in the media and the community and it will be held ever year.

"That was the foundation of what the collective aims to do and what they've been trying to tell the wider community," she said.

Ms Webster is a member of the executive committee of the Young Livestock Exporters' Network which she said provided access to training and mentors who could also help her adjust to the new surroundings.

She said her career in agriculture had so far been predictable but also unexpected.

"Agriculture is one industry that is seriously willing to give anyone a go if they have the right attitude," Ms Webster said.

"My whole family has some connection to the live export trade but there's a myriad of paths that you can make a life out of.

"I never expected to be here from the north living in Perth involved in advocating and educating for the industry, but that's ag through and through, it's not what you expect."

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