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Introducing Helen Duncan, Eye Sea Competition winner!

24 May 2012

Wellard is pleased to announce Helen Duncan, a young farmer and agribusiness student from Ravensthorpe as the winner of the Eye Sea Competition run by Wellard, the WA Beef Council and Farm Weekly.

Helen, 21 is thrilled to win the experience of a lifetime; an all expenses paid chaperoned voyage from Australia to Indonesia on board Wellard’s modern livestock carrier after submitting the following winning entry:

“”Eye Sea’ a future where I can help educate those around me about agriculture in WA, the live export trade and the entire food supply chain because I have witnessed it firsthand. I can share truthful information and explore an amazing world of agriculture. An unmissable opportunity!’”

During the month-long competition, entrants were asked to describe in 50 words or less why they wanted to experience the live cattle trade. WA Beef Council chairman Tony Hiscock said  there were a huge number of entries submitted through the WA Beef Council website: www.wabeefcouncil.org.au all vying for a chance to win this unique experience.

Wellard Managing Director Steve Meerwald said he was pleased with the number and calibre of entries however Helen’s prize-winning entry was judged the best thanks to its mix of creativity, desire to learn more about the live export trade and ambition to communicate her observations upon her return.

For someone who spends her time studying agribusiness at Muresk and helps out on the family farm (running Merino and some Prime SAMM sheep and a cropping program on 4500 hectares), Helen couldn’t be happier.

“I am very passionate about agriculture and intend to remain involved in the industry after I complete my studies”, she said.

Helen will be accompanying 6000 steers and heifers to witness how the live export industry operates in Australia, on the water and in Indonesia.

Once in Indonesia Wellard South East Asian Manager, Scot Braithwaite will take Helen to an Indonesian feedlot, abattoir, wet market and restaurant to complete the Australian paddock to Indonesian palate experience.

 “Australia plays a key role in supplying food to overseas countries and with even more focus on food security issues at the moment and the ability to travel to Indonesia will enable me to make informed decisions about Australian farmers’ role in helping meet this challenge in the future", said Helen.

Helen is looking forward to work with Wellard’s professional on-board stockmen and stockwomen as they care for the animals on the voyage to Indonesia, observe the Captain on the bridge as he navigates the quickest and safest course to the destination port and have access all areas on this modern ark.

"The live export trade has obviously featured in the media a lot recently and I think having the opportunity to see it for myself will be very interesting. This trip will enable me to not only see where Australian livestock end up once they leave our shores, but also to view another country’s culture and processes."

Mr Meerwald looks forward to hosting Helen on board one of Wellard’s vessels. "Wellard is pleased to be able to assist with the provision of additional information about the live export through the initiatives such as the Eye Sea competition which is in addition to our ongoing stakeholder engagement activities ,” he said.

For further information please contact:
Cameron Morse
Phone: + 61 8 9386 1233
Mobile: +61 433 886 871
Website: www.wellard.com.au

Background – Wellard Rural and Trading

Wellard is a world leader in the production and distribution of livestock and grain.

Its two largest subsidiaries are Wellard Rural Exports, Australia’s largest livestock exporter and ship owner, and Wellard Agri, a large mixed farming land owner and operator specialising in the production of grains, legumes and livestock.

Wellard Rural Exports has supplied quality dairy and beef cattle and sheep and goats to the world for more than 30 years, and its investment in the live export industry is without peer. Based in Fremantle, Western Australia, the company’s operations cover every aspect of the export chain, including feed milling, livestock aggregation, road transport, feedlot facilities throughout Australia and modern shipping.

The company’s flagship carrier, the MV Ocean Drover (formerly the MV Becrux), is a purpose-built livestock carrier capable of carrying 75,000 sheep or 18,000 cattle to major markets around the globe. She was commissioned in 2002.

The MV Ocean Shearer (formerly the MV Stella Deneb) can carry 125,000 sheep or 25,000 cattle, or a combination of both.

Two new, technologically advanced, purpose-built vessels, the MV Ocean Swagman and the MV Ocean Outback, were launched in 2010. They offer unparalleled levels of safety for the livestock, crew and vessel, and can transport 7000 cattle, 25,000 sheep, or a combination of both.

Wellard Agri owns and operates eight farms covering 33,000 hectares across three agri-hubs. The two northern hubs are located at Dongara and Watheroo in Western Australia’s central midlands and one is located at Kojonup in the Great Southern region of WA.

The Dongara hub is home to The Grange, a 14,500 hectare property which is considered one of Western Australia’s blue chip farming properties.

The remaining landholding totals more than 18,000 hectares, of which 14,000 hectares is cropped to a variety of grains and legumes. The other 4000ha is devoted to sheep production, including the famous Hyfield Poll Merino stud at Kojonup. In addition, Wellard leases an additional 14,500ha for livestock and grain production.

Wellard Agri also has operations in the farm machinery sector, through management of the CLAAS Harvest Centres at Katanning and Esperance for the Landpower range of farm machinery.

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