Stories

Lochie on Leaving School to Chase His Dreams

‘Since I’ve been young I’ve always known I wanted to become a stockagent’ – Lochie McLauchlan, Mortlake Victoria

Starting Out 

I’ve always grown up on the farm. We have a family of four: Mum, Dad, my sister and I. The farm has always been a family operation. 

My interest in becoming a stock agent actually started with a cousin of mine. I have an older cousin in Wangarratta who works for Nutrien Livestock Agent Company. 

Ever since I knew he was a stock agent, I was like, you know what, I’m going to be one too. I’ve always known I wanted to do it –  it was just a matter of growing up and getting old enough to do it. Now in the reality of having to make it happen.

I grew up as that typical sort of country kid who was going to leave school early and go work on the farm. As I went through school, in year 8 and 9, I thought I’m actually going to finish year 12

Lochie at the Melbourne Show

Leaving school in year 11 

School really wasn’t for me, I never really found it easy. If school were easy, and I didn’t find it hard, things might have been different but it got to a point where I wasn’t really going to get more of an education. Year 12 wasn’t going to benefit me and I didn’t want an atar. 

I got some part time work in the saleyards, where I spoke to a few stock agents and they said ‘you’re not going to get any further in life whether you finish school or drop out right now’. So I thought why not try and get an extra 12 months of work by leaving school in year 11. That was the idea behind leaving school early. 

I rathered life experience. The dairy farm was good for me, it taught me how to work, how to get off my bum and actually go and get work. 

I was working full time on the dairy farm which was on a roster of 4 days on 2 days off. On the two days off I would go help Charles Stewart, a stock agent company selling cattle and sheep.

On the way to becoming a stockagent

Now I’m working on the family farm and running it alongside my Dad as well as working casually for Charles Stewart. 

I’m a trainee with them, which is pretty much just learning the ropes. I’ve got a mentor there Matt Baxter. I walk around with him or walk around with one of the senior guys there so they can teach me. It’s mostly about me learning the ropes and taking it all in.

The plan is to stay local. I have no real intentions of moving away from home just yet. But once I get going I’d like to grow my own little clientele base and get a name for myself out there. 

I’ve always wanted to own my own farm and will continue the family name – PJ Cattle Company. I’d like to buy a little block of land in the near future and buy some cows, and work for Charles Stewart and service clients. 

Images: Emily H Photography

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