FROM paddock to plate, Elders' next generation of stock agents were given a first-hand encounter of drafting and preparing sheep for the live export market.
As part of a two-day program, trainees and agents joined State managers for a tour of Kingston Rest, Bunbury and Emanuel Exports, Pinjarra.
On day one participants learned about lotfeeding lambs with Kingston Rest, who discussed the expectation of agents when buying sheep, pricing and how the operation runs.
Day two was held at Emanuel Exports and highlighted animal preparation and welfare measures for market.
Elders commercial sheep manager Mike Curnick said the purpose of the training day at Emanuel Exports was to expose the younger agents to receivals at a live export depot, as well as the drafting and preparation of sheep and animal welfare measures, which are taken.
"Emanuel Exports is one of the few places we can look at 30,000 to 50,000 sheep in one spot," Mr Curnick said.
"I think it is important the trainees see something like this first-hand because they can then go back to their clients and tell them about the animal welfare measures in place to prepare sheep for a boat.
"It also highlights the importance of the industry for Western Australian farmers."
To begin the session, buyers discussed the expectations of agents and how they would like to operate and communicate with them.
Trainees were given the opportunity to watch quality control coming off trucks and drafting of sheep.
"We had a look at the sheep, which had been removed from the boat and weren't heading on to export," Mr Curnick said.
"Then we went on to look at the shearing space and were given a rundown of the rules and regulations for live export, which are different for other parts of the industry.
"This was a good opportunity for Elders to get the younger crew together and other people in the industry to give them all a better understand of how it all works.
"We are really keen on teaching the next generation and our trainees were all excited and enthusiastic about being a part of this."
Elders currently has six trainees on board including three in their second year - Brendan Millar, Geraldton, Clare Granger, Albany, Alex Prowse, Kojonup, and three in their first year - Lauren Rayner, Narrogin, Emma Dougall, Bunbury and Marshall Bowey, Albany.
Ms Rayner, 23, is a livestock and wool trainee who grew up on her family's farm at Brookton.
Farming is in her blood and she is particularly passionate about wool and Merinos, having graduated from the Western Australian College of Agriculture, Narrogin, in 2016 and Murdoch University in 2020, studying animal, crop and pasture science.
Elders stud stock specialist Nathan King encouraged Ms Rayner to apply for the traineeship, which she did and was successful in obtaining and she has not looked back since.
"I started my traineeship with Elders about five weeks ago," Ms Rayner said.
"This is something I always wanted to pursue and I definitely don't regret it, I absolutely love it."
Ms Rayner said she found the two-day training day rewarding and insightful.
"I find it is rewarding in the sense that I do see sheep on farm, they give a price, you go 'Oh yep alright' and then you hear that they go to Emanuels," she said.
"(When you hear about Emanuels) you think of it as a big shed, you don't know a lot about it.
"So to actually get down here and have a look at all the protocols, how strict they have to be, what they are pulling out and putting in, the drafting, set-up and that sort of thing is pretty cool.
"And it looks really good if you can say to a client 'we have actually been there and watched the sheep being processed'.
"I always knew the industry was highly regulated, but to see it first-hand, and to see how well it is managed by Emanuels is great.
"And it is really exciting to see that people are really organised about where their product is going and what they knows coming in."