Livestock veteran joins Westcoast

Photo caption: Phil Barber is the new Westcoast Wool & Livestock Representative for the eastern wheatbelt. Photo courtesy Farm Weekly

WESTCOAST Wool & Livestock is continuing to invest in the future, welcoming another industry stalwart to its team.

Phil Barber has joined the company as a Livestock Representative and is looking forward to supporting eastern wheatbelt producers based from Corrigin.

With more than 54 years of experience working in WA’s agricultural industry, Phil will also be acting as a mentor to some of the company’s junior team members.

Born and raised near Wyalkatchem, Phil took up his first position in Wyalkatchem as a general assistant with Wesfarmers in 1964.

From there, he went on to work in various livestock roles based at Katanning, Lake Grace, Dumbleyung and Mullewa, before taking up the Wesfarmers agency in Mingenew in 1986.

After spending five years with Wesfarmers in Mingenew, Phil joined Cargill as a Livestock Representative servicing Mingenew and Moora.

In 1994, he joined Elders as Branch Manager at Corrigin, and aside from a two-year stint as Branch Manager at Mullewa from 2002-2004, Phil settled in Corrigin and went on to take up the Elders agency there in 2004.

In 2014, he decided to retire, but was soon offered a Livestock Representative role with Landmark in 2015, and with plenty of passion and drive still to offer, retirement was short-lived.

Considering retirement once again in July 2018, Phil was approached by Westcoast Wool & Livestock with an opportunity to not only use his extensive skill-set to help clients, but also to assist the next generation coming through.

“I really liked the sound of this role, as I get to do what I really enjoy, working with livestock and clients, and help train some young people along the way,” Phil said.

“I love being involved in farming. There are so many great people in the industry and that’s truly what makes it one of my passions.”

Phil continues to live in Corrigin with his long-term partner, Colwyn, and is an active member of the local Bowling Club and Masonic Lodge.

While he has existing long-term clients, he said he was looking forward to getting around the region and chatting to producers about how he can help them achieve their marketing goals.

Phil said one of the benefits of having worked in the industry so long was having such an extensive network, and those relationships provided him with various market insights to the benefit of his clients.

“In my 50-odd years of working in this industry, I have never seen both the sheep and wool markets so strong at the same time, especially the wool market,” he said.

“I’ve been through a few droughts and the subsequent market downturns, so it’s nice to experience such a positive time.”

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