THEY just can't keep Lower Great Southern 'stockie' Rob Williams in retirement.
Now into his 58th year in the industry, Mr Williams jokes that he's been recycled a couple of times and most recently has been rejuvenated by the energy of young, up-and-coming Western Australian company, Westcoast Wool & Livestock.
"With a great leadership team and a growing number of young staff, Westcoast has a really strong brand and it's getting stronger,'' Mr Williams said.
"As the wool business has grown, producers have wanted the company to get involved with their livestock and it's a growing force in the livestock industry.''
Mr Williams said he is again enjoying building on the relationships with growers and working with other comrades' across the company to support producers.
He is particularly assisting farmers throughout the Denmark, Walpole and surrounding areas.
Raised in Brunswick, Mr Williams followed the family bloodline into Goldsbrough Mort, starting as an office boy in Bunbury at the age of 15 in 1962.
He has worked with livestock companies throughout the South West, mainly based from Mt Barker since the 1970s and now at Walpole.
There were also stints with a couple of abattoirs in between his time on the rails.
Mr Williams was the first Elders cattle assessor for CALM in WA and while he supports the AuctionsPlus system today, he says he's still a "saleyard fan''.
Over the journey, Mr Williams said the swings in the sheep industry have been particularly strong to observe, with numbers now significantly reduced and greater areas devoted to cropping in the Lower Great Southern.
"I have seen a few lows in the sheep market - the drought in '72-73, in '82 at Boyup Brook we were selling sheep for $1 a head and then in 1990 we had the flock reduction scheme and growers were shooting their sheep," he said.
"We were selling heavy wethers for $2 a head.
"The same sheep today are worth $200.''
- More information: Rob Williams can be contacted on 0428 929 789.