‘I absolutely love it’ — Young gun Lauren Smith loving technical systems role at Harvey Beef

Headshot of Shannon Verhagen
Harvey Beef technical systems co-ordinator Lauren Smith.
Camera IconHarvey Beef technical systems co-ordinator Lauren Smith. Credit: Shannon Verhagen

Whether it’s a barbecue with mates or a roast dinner with the family, if a Harvey Beef item is on the menu, livestock industry young gun Lauren Smith wants it to be a meal to remember.

It is something she takes a lot of pride and joy in.

The Tassie export is making her mark on WA’s agricultural industry as the newest technical systems co-ordinator at the State’s biggest beef processing plant.

From the moment cattle come off the truck, to when the meat product gets packed in a box and sent to domestic and international customers, Ms Smith is assuring quality every step of the way.

“It encompasses everything from the quality assurance of the actual product itself, animal welfare standards, country requirements, department regulations, legislation in terms of how we produce the meat and how we cut the meat, it’s broad,” she said.

Agriculture was not always on the cards, but after a gap-year in the military and some soul searching, she discovered she wanted to work with animals.

Harvey Beef technical systems coordinator Lauren Smith.
Camera IconHarvey Beef technical systems coordinator Lauren Smith.

She landed in WA to start an animal science degree at Murdoch University — which she graduated with honours — while spending weekends at her partner’s farm in Frankland River.

“I invested myself in the industry and grew a passion,” she said.

“I gained a lot of skills and knowledge through being a weekend farmer working there, so that developed a bit of a passion for the hands-on side of the farm and I thought I need the theory and the knowledge behind this which is why I went to university, to build on those practical skills”

“There’s no other industry I could picture myself in now.”

Just over a year ago, Ms Smith started with Harvey Beef and has not looked back.

“I absolutely love it,” she said.

I’m making a product that people enjoy and eat in their family homes every single day. I’m turning a farmer’s hard work and his life’s work on-farm to a product that is enjoyed by people in Australia and across the world.

Lauren Smith

While she may have grown up with a few chickens and horses, Ms Smith said she had much to learn about agriculture and encouraged anyone who was not from a farming background to consider the industry she had since fallen in love with.

“Stick your hand up for everything, put yourself out there,” she said. “Be confident that people are going to help you.

Even if you’re not from an agricultural background, know that within the agricultural industry there’s always people who are willing to help you, offer their advice and mentor you.

Lauren Smith

“Even if you’re not from an agricultural background, you can still thrive within this industry if you put yourself out there ... it’s such a broad industry. There’s literally something for everyone.”

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