Longer in the tooth,
but still breaking a leg!
WE love our stockies that have been around so long they have become part of the fabric of the industry. Is it something we will still see in the future or could they sadly become a dying breed?
Geoff Rayner, who runs Beverley Farm Services and is a livestock and wool agent for Westcoast Wool & Livestock in the region, is not there yet, but he is looking forward to retirement.
Geoff has chalked up “a bloody long’’ 55 years in the industry, including the last four with Westcoast.
It all started for him in the Wesfarmers mail room in 1965. He then worked as a trainee stocky at Midland Saleyards before moving around the State – Northam, Tammin, Wyalkatchem, Esperance, Merredin, Wagin, Mount Barker and Northam to name a few locations, before settling at Beverley and later commencing a local rural business. Geoff grew up wanting to be a farmer, but it has been the next best thing to tour the State’s agricultural regions.
He says Westcoast is a progressive and innovative company, and, while the wool and livestock sector has been impacted by the swing to cropping and COVID-19 more recently, he anticipates a brighter long-term future.
Geoff is a bloke’s bloke who’s as honest as the day is long, a motto he has adopted with his work.
He has no superstitions, eats quick takeaways on the run, loves marroning/yabbying, shooting, fishing, sport (umpiring football) and bowls, and enjoys sitting back and watching the news and sport, if not the West Coast Eagles!
Geoff’s most prized possessions are his dog, Jess, and his lovely wife (not in that order of course!).
With a fear of heights, you also would have expected he got into some tricky situations over the journey, but his first injuries only occurred in recent years.
In late 2017, Geoff was sorting cattle for market and got tossed by a cow. The farmer took him to Beverley Hospital and the end result was two broken wrists and a broken ankle. He was swiftly in the ambulance to Perth and spent five days at St John of God in Midland and at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital.
Eighteen months passed and then he was smacked by a gate that was charged by a heifer – the end result being a broken knee cap and exposed shinbone.
Let’s hope it doesn’t come in threes and Geoff gets to enjoy his retirement, if he finally hangs up the boots one day!