TEENAGER Harry Fitzgerald was always meant to be a cowboy.
It’s been more than two years since the 17-year-old first set foot on the Brisbane Valley Protein Precinct at Coominya and, along with his mentor Laurie Beard, he’s responsible for managing up to 3000 cattle a year.
He says he wouldn’t have it any other way. “I started as a casual two and a half years ago with the chooks, not the beef,” Harry said.
“I definitely wanted to go this way. I was extremely lucky to meet the owner and he took me on and gave me this opportunity.”
Harry is one of up to 20 people who work on the 1000-hectare property but he’ll be one of a few hundred when a massive 10-year development plan goes ahead.
Stage one, including a quail farm, is expected to start exporting from September but there are another three stages of development to come.
“My standard of understanding of cattle and the industry and my skill set has grown so much,” Harry said.
Harry and Laurie are a force to be reckoned with, the teenager taking every opportunity to learn from those in the business.
It’s an opportunity he hopes to be able to pass onto future generations when the expansion goes ahead.
“That would be awesome. It’s an awesome place to be.”
Livestock manager Laurie has been about the business since 2012, when co-director Duncan Brown started putting his food mecca vision on paper.
YOUNG BLOOD: Livestock manager Laurie Beard and livestock assistant Harry Fitzgerald, from Brisbane Valley Protein.