Lucinda Ross spends her days networking with beef and dairy cattle breeders all over Australia as she coordinates cattle competitions and events for the Royal Agricultural Society of New South Wales.

Story By Annabelle Brayley

In late March, two weeks out from the opening of the Royal Easter Show in Sydney, Lucinda Ross is at Bellata in central northern New South Wales, lending a hand at a field day organised in conjunction with a new Royal Agricultural Society (RAS) event. This year, for the first time and in partnership with the MacCue family at the Wilga feedlot at Bellata, the RAS held the Sydney Royal Beef Challenge involving weight gain, live assessment, carcass assessment, profitability and taste-test components, all contributing towards an overall score with final results announced at the 2011 Sydney Royal Easter Show. It’s hoof to plate in either the 60-day Domestic or 100-day Export Class. For exhibitors it was an opportunity to see the progress of their cattle. For the show’s cattle coordinator, from Morven in south-west Queensland, it had the added bonus of getting her out of the office and into the paddock, an escape she relishes.
The months leading up to the annual show are increasingly hectic. With up to 1000 head of beef cattle in the first week and 400 dairy cattle in the second week descending on the Homebush complex, attention to every little detail is paramount. “The logistics of moving that many cattle in and out of the city precincts are challenging,” Lucinda says, but attention to detail is her forte. She is very organised by nature and five years managing Wildfire, a restaurant on the harbour in Sydney, honed her time-management skills to rapier precision. She is tested by chaos but works well under pressure.
“There are lots of extra management processes and administrative matters prior to the show and we work long days getting ready but I love what I do,” Lucinda says. “This is my third show as coordinator and the year has been a bit more hectic than usual as I got married in early March, but we planned for that and it all worked beautifully.” Somewhat wistfully though, she acknowledges that the honeymoon had to wait as it just couldn’t fit into the six weeks leading up to the first truckload of cattle arriving at the grounds.

This story excerpt is from Issue #77

Outback Magazine: June/July 2011