TWO young guns from the Wheatbelt have been handpicked by one of WA's most experienced leaders in the export industry to join the team at Harmony Agriculture and Food Company (HAAFCO), as it sets out to make it mark on the livestock industry.
HAAFCO director and executive general manager Australia Steve Meerwald has more than 30 years experience recruited Brookton's Kristy Walters and Bruce Rock's Lachlan Hunter, in the hope that the young high achievers will contribute to the growth of the business.
Since its establishment in early 2016, the Chinese-backed company has grown exponentially, investing in several grazing properties and feedlots across WA and Victoria.
At just 22-years-old, Kristy has gone to the HAAFCO straight from Murdoch University after completing her degree in Animal Science.
"After high school I did a gap year and went up north mustering. It was amazing, I loved all of the cattle, the lifestyle, the people and I realised that was where I wanted to go,” she said.
Kristy joined the team in January as the operations and compliance analyst.
She said the role gave her the opportunity to fulfil her passion of working hands-on with the company's 15,000 head of livestock, spread between its feedlot in Kalannie and its grazing properties at Esperance and Dundonnell in Victoria.
Lachlan joined the HAAFCO team in May, and is using his agricultural background and experience in State politics to bolster the company's external affairs.
From a mixed cropping and sheep farm at Bruce Rock, Lachlan graduated from Cunderdin Agricultural College in 2012.
While completing Year 12, he was awarded a cadetship and went on to spend 12 months working for InterGrain as a plant breeding technician.
This coincided with his studies at The University of Western Australia (UWA), where he completed a Bachelor of Agricultural Science and Politics.
He also worked full time for the National Party's then Minister for Regional Development, Terry Redman.
The 22-year-old was recruited by Mr Meerwald and is now an integral part of the team at HAAFCO's Cottesloe office.
Lachlan said although working in the private sector was a big change from his role in politics, he was excited about his new position.
"It's different each week, but basically I'm working on issues at the organisation that are going through social media, bringing up our brand, building relationships with industry groups and government," he said.