Tahlia’s aboard for a big future in agriculture

Zach RelphCountryman
Chapman Hill dairy farmer Tahlia McSwain at the Peel Feedlot.
Camera IconChapman Hill dairy farmer Tahlia McSwain at the Peel Feedlot. Credit: Zach Relph

For Tahlia McSwain, agriculture is more than a career.

The confident Chapman Valley dairy producer is passionate about farming and admits she is not afraid to share her love for the paddock with others.

“I want to help consumers become educated,” Ms McSwain said.

“Sometimes in the supermarket when I see people buy $1 milk I ask, ‘Why’d you just buy that?’

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“I like to spark conversations with others about farming and agriculture.”

Ms McSwain is already an important cog in her family’s dairy operation, Boallia Creek, about 20km south of Busselton.

However, the 24-year-old is not resting on her laurels and is eager to expand her agriculture skill-set to continue sharing knowledge with others not so familiar with farming.

Ms McSwain was one of 22 people enrolled in LiveCorp’s four-day Shipboard Stockperson Training Course last week.

The program, held last Tuesday to Friday in Fremantle, is the first step in gaining accreditation to service the livestock export industry, in accordance with the Australian Standards for the Export of Livestock.

Chapman Hill dairy farmer Tahlia McSwain.
Camera IconChapman Hill dairy farmer Tahlia McSwain. Credit: Zach Relph

Ms McSwain, who was sponsored by the Young Live Exporters Network to complete the course, learnt about shipboard care and livestock management from industry experts Byron O’Keefe and Blythe Calnan.

Richard Leitch and veterinarian Renee Willis also outlined the importance of animal handling and life aboard a vessel during the course.

The program comes ahead of Ms McSwain embarking on her maiden voyage with AUSTREX next week.

The South West dairy farmer is poised to set sail from Fremantle with a cattle consignment on December 17, before arriving in China on January 4.

Ms McSwain said it would be a particularly important journey, with 36 of family’s heifers set to be loaded on the vessel.

“I am pretty lucky to have snagged a boat that has my own heifers on it,” she said.

“It is a big deal and I feel very lucky to be carting my own heifers and my neighbour’s, too.

“To watch my heifers go to another country is pretty cool.”

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