Cow­boy learns

Gatton Star - - LIFE INTO RURAL - Emma Clarke emma.clarke@qt.com.au

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.

PHOTO: ROB WIL­LIAMS

YOUNG BLOOD: Live­stock man­ager Lau­rie Beard and live­stock as­sis­tant Harry Fitzger­ald, from Brisbane Val­ley Pro­tein.

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