WHEN you complete an Arts degree, the logical place to launch your career is in a Tasmanian shearing shed!
For Lucy Cooper, now one of Nutrien Wool’s Southern Area Managers, this is how she started her working life.
“I’d never been in a shearing shed before, but someone suggested it as a temp job after I finished university and I absolutely loved it,” Lucy said.
“I spent four years in shearing sheds, represented Tasmania in national wool handling competitions, completed my wool-classing certificate and then enrolled in a business course.
“I applied for a job with Roberts Wool (now Nutrien Wool) and started as a wool classer and store person at Western Junction, dreaming of becoming a broker. “And here I am as an area manager and loving every day of my job, working with wool growers to achieve the best results we can for their wool sales and sheep breeding.
“Working in shearing sheds has made me the person I am today – forward facing, constantly working to improve myself and ready for new challenges and opportunities.”
This week marks an important milestone for Lucy.
She has worked very closely with Allan Chambers, who today retires after 49 years with Roberts/Nutrien Wool.
Another of her colleagues, Gilbert Davidson, also spent more than 53 years with the company.
Lucy said Allan had been a fantastic mentor and had shared a “wealth of knowledge, the ability to adapt and the basis to further develop relationships with existing and new wool growers”.
Lucy will cover all areas south of Oatlands, and share her expertise across wool classing, testing, breeding, shipping, logistics and other brokering roles.
Her clients range from superfine Merino growers to those focusing on broader types.
She encouraged young people, regardless of whether they have grown up on farms, to consider a career in the wool industry.
“With wool being globally recognised for its natural and sustainable properties, we are seeing the fibre being used so widely across fashion and homewares, which has opened up many diverse career opportunities, such as marketing, technical roles, social media, on-farm and more.
“Many in my generation tend to shift jobs more frequently, but I have so much respect for people in the Tasmanian wool industry that have worked for 45 years and more.
“Their ability to adapt as the industry has changed so much over the years is really admirable.
“I can’t thank my team and these industry stalwarts enough for the knowledge, wisdom and snippets of information they have passed to me so I can do this job to the best of my ability.
“We have a very exciting time ahead in the Tasmanian wool industry and I am looking forward to working with the Nutrien team and being part of this next inspiring chapter.”