Passionate farmers bring out the best in cattle

Brad ThompsonThe West Australian
Nicola and Shane Kelliher with their children John, David, Lucille & Annabelle.
Camera IconNicola and Shane Kelliher with their children John, David, Lucille & Annabelle. Credit: The West Australian

It takes all kinds of passionate farming families to feed Perth households — but few put more love into what they do than Nicola and Shane Kelliher.

The Kellihers are part of a growing trend for farmers to create their own brands to give consumers a stronger connection to where and how their food is produced.

The couple haven’t looked back since meeting through the Desperately Seeking Sheila television series more than a decade ago and recently launched Wandering Clover Fed Beef.

They are proud to promote their farm as home to some of the happiest and best cared for cattle in Australia.

The Kellihers and their four children are coming to town tomorrow as part of Farmer on Your Plate in Forrest Place.

More than 10,000 people attended last year’s event organised by Farming Champions to give city folk a better understanding of food production in rural WA as well as a free taste of some of the finest produce.

Mr Kelliher said the family welcomed the chance to talk to consumers about their farming methods.

“We are passionate about the beef industry and about cattle,” he said. “I have grown up with them and enjoy working with them.

“Sometimes the criticism levelled at farmers is that they are only using animals to make money and only interested in making money.

“In actual fact, the happier, healthier and the more stress-free the animals are, the more profitable they are.”

The cattle processed under their brand are accredited under the national pasture-fed cattle assurance system. They are hormone free, antibiotic free and bred to have a calm nature.

Mr Kelliher said sometimes even farmers didn’t realise how fortunate they were to have WA recognised internationally as a source of clean and green food.

“That is something we should promote and try to enhance as much as we possibly can,” he said.

Mrs Kelliher said though Desperately Seeking Sheila lured her from Essex to Australia, not everything went to script. She was not paired with Shane, a third-generation Wandering farmer, for the series and they only met at the wrap party after the cameras were packed away.

The cameras came out to film their wedding and the series was updated after the birth of their eldest child David.

“It has worked for us and we are so thankful every day that we had the opportunity to be together,” she said.

Farming Champions chairwoman Mary Nenke said families like the Kellihers were the backbone of agriculture in Australia.

“The (Farmer on Your Plate) event celebrates and showcases family farming, agritourism and rural communities,” she said.

“We want all Australians to champion farming and support the continued production of high-quality Australian food.”

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails