HAVE a chat with Jeremy Cullen and you will get the feel he is quite military in his outlook.
It’s not surprising when you come to understand he holds the rank of Corporal in the Australian Army Reserve at 11/28 RWAR Albany Depot.
Based at Albany with Westcoast Wool & Livestock and supporting wool growers through the Lower Great Southern, Jeremy wants to grow and harvest a 30-bale wool clip within five years and be farming in the near future. He is already running a few sheep and is keen on increasing the numbers.
Only one thing might haunt him with a farming future – his own superstition about rain!
Hailing from a wheat and sheep property at Canna, Jeremy is living with his wife on her family’s prime lamb property at Manypeaks. Together with his sheep and his flying sheep dog, they take up most of his personal focus, apart from spending some time with his mates in green with the Army Reserve, supporting efforts nation-wide, as well as playing some social tennis.
He also has a few other aims: Developing his knowledge and industry experience to offer superior wool and livestock services on behalf of Westcoast, thereby helping it become “the go to company’’ in this sector for growers. As part of this, he is targeting 1000 wool bales out of Albany for the business.
It’s a similar feel with his approach to work and life: “Just get on with the task at hand and make do with what you’ve got. The standard you walk past is the standard you accept,’’ Jeremy says.
It’s good to keep aiming high and moving forward, especially when you have a fear of falling!
Earlier TAFE studies as a Group Fitness Instructor and in Advanced First Aid also seem to add to the disposition, while he gained his wool classing qualification earlier this year as well.
Even the favourite TV shows of NCIS and Bondi Rescue still have a bit of “rallying the troops’’ feel about them. If it’s not those, the cricket or Freo Dockers might be on the telly, the latter mainly to “stir the pot’’.
But Jeremy just loves sheep and the wool job. He was on the handpiece with professional shearing teams in earlier times and still enjoys shearing a few, including his own.
“It can be a fickle industry at times, but it has a long history and without it, Australia would not be where it is today.’’
He says Westcoast is a fast developing, locally-owned company and its exporting division provides added capability when it comes to servicing growers and marketing their wool.
“The fact it is young, growing and achieving so much is exciting. The company has a vision, many goals in place and it’s exciting to be part of that, although I realise I’m one small cog in a very large machine.’’
On the road, there is never a dull moment either.
“I once threw a ball for a dog at a farmer’s shed and was told: ‘You’ve got yourself a dog now!’ Thirty minutes later down the road, the ruddy dog poked his head out to where I could see him, riding atop the wool on the back!’’
Between the Westcoast wool stores, Jeremy probably has the longest Merino staple up on his fridge at Albany, measuring at 500 centimetres.
He’s also had to negotiate some wool bales with a mind of their own, including some fun when a 200-kilogram bale rolled off the ute tray and wedged itself between the ute, his trailer and the shed landing.
But it’s always within a good day’s work in wool. And if he’s getting to tuck-in to some of his wife’s leftover lasagne at lunch time – even better!