Katherine Times

Sheds offer options for beef producers

"There are a lot of opportunities within agriculture": Kenneth Rayner Agriculture Scholarship recipient Ellie Ireson.

Story in partnership with Entegra.

Increasingly unpredictable weather and the global sustainability push could see more cattle producers invest in shade and shelter for their livestock.

That's according to University of New England (UNE) agriculture student and winner of the Northern Territory Farmers Association Kenneth Rayner Agriculture Scholarship, Ellie Ireson.

The 22-year-old is about to complete a study unit focused on beef production, after one of last year's classes concentrated on feedlots.

So it's no surprise that animal health and welfare are front of mind for her.

"Health and welfare, heat stress and even the wet weather is something considered by feedlots," she said.

"In both situations, sheds could be something producers might look for in their business. They'd be especially helpful if you need to do work with the animals and the conditions are wet and muddy, a shed will make it much more comfortable in extreme weather conditions."

After high school, Ellie spent a year working on a sheep stud and another on a large Northern Territory cattle station before she began studying at university.

Originally from a farm at Booligal, near Hay in NSW, she's always wanted to pursue a career in agriculture.

She has her sights set on the livestock production element of agriculture.

An evolving industry, she said there's room for all sorts of people within agriculture, including those with non-farming backgrounds.

"I think there are a lot of opportunities within agriculture," she said.

Ellie Ireson with Northern Territory Livestock Exporters Association (NTLEA) director Tim O'Donnell (from Wellard Rural Exports), left, and NTLEA CEO Tom Dawkins.

"Now, there's also a sustainability push with agriculture, so that opens up the industry for a lot more innovation to come in, a lot more creativity and people thinking outside the box."

"The industry can use as many people as possible that are interested in ag."

Living in the Northern Territory and studying online, Ellie will spend some of this year back at UNE in Armidale to complete the practical elements of her degree.

During the year she will also complete a fortnight's work experience with the Kenneth Rayner Agriculture Scholarship sponsor Entegra.

"Entegra has some big sheds at feedlots and the shed at the Berrimah export yards here near Darwin," she said.

NT Farmers President Simon Smith and Ellie Ireson at the Berrimah Export Yards.

"It will be interesting to see how they are designed and how the structures come into play with the animal production side of the agricultural industry."

Given the property's prominence and proximity to the city, the Berrimah Export Yards were included in a number of industry delegations touring the Top End supply chain during the Northern Territory Cattleman's Association Conference in Darwin.

For more information about Entegra sheds and how they can improve animal productivity, visit www.entegra.com.au or call 1300 296206.