Host: Dr. Bryce Mooring
My desire and passion to live and work in the beef industry developed as a young boy growing up on a property near Bourke in New South Wales. What else could a kid want? 15 kelpie dogs to play with, horses galore to ride, a motor bike to give my mother grey hairs, as much open space as I would dare to explore, and hard working parents whom had been brought up with station life just like me. From a very young age you began to recognise the harshness of drought both on the livestock and on your parents, the financial burdens they would endure to navigate through these dry times and then you learnt the gift of life that those long-awaited rains would bring and then the subsequent ability to keep improving the property you call home.
As a kid you were expected to work like the grown men and women worked. You learnt to accept the 4am rises and the working deep into the evening when only the lack of light would finally force dad to call it a day. You developed the skill of communication through being able to clearly talk to the pilot overhead as you were mustering on the ground, you learnt responsibility and care for those animals that provided your livelihood and you started to become intrigued by why you draft the cattle like that, why we aim for that weaner weight, why we vaccinate with that, why we earmark, and so on and so forth. Even as a child you are being shaped and consumed by an industry that so many don’t understand or see as dirty or to hard and that some of us work, enjoy and live for life.
By the age of 10 I was starting to get the hang of what we did on our property only to be faced with the notion of boarding school, leaving that property I called home, not seeing my horses or dogs and being away from mum and dad. Off to boarding school I went and I was exposed to the big world outside of the one I had grown to know and love. Many of my boarding school friends had mums and dads that were doctors, teachers, nurses, and builders – careers so different to that of my mum and dad. School was spent playing sport and trying to see the good in attending class (at least in the early days) and the school holidays were spent working back on the family property.
By year 9 the reality of my future became the forefront of each and every adult conversation. It’s no longer just about making the 9A’s rugby team or trying to pass science, but instead the constant question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”. I would answer this with, “I want to go home, be a contract musterer with a Landcruiser ute, motorbike and dogs, and then go back to our family property”. Unfortunately, the future of the beef industry for people of my generation did not look that bright, and we were often discouraged to come home and to look for a career that may be easier on your body, easier to make money, something not to do with agriculture.
Maybe the above was true, it seemed that a trade may be a better way to make money or a dentist may be a profession easier on my body. But I thought there must be a way to still be involved with the beef industry and gain a career outside of it! My Answer; “Veterinary Science” and little did I know then or even at the end of my degree that I had chosen a career that would allow me to live that station life I desired in year 9, be able project myself into an industry I truly believe in and to pursue my passion of beef production and trade.