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Young Top End ringers full of confidence in booming northern beef industry

two women standing in front of cattle yards
Kelsey Maher (L) and Kelly Carson believe there is a strong future for young people in the beef industry.

ABC Rural: Daniel Fitzgerald

With high cattle prices, strong demand for Australian beef, and an above average wet season in the Top End, young people heading north to work on cattle stations for the year are filled with confidence.

Consolidated Pastoral Company (CPC) runs 16 cattle stations across the Northern Territory, Western Australia and Queensland, and has been training its newest recruits in the basics of cattle handling, horse riding, first aid and maintenance at Manbulloo Station near Katherine this week.

As the wet season comes to an end, the big cattle companies are readying their new recruits for the year's work ahead, many of whom have just finished school and are looking for adventure up north.

a man with a horse in a paddock.
Harvey Misfud, a new ringer at Auvergne Station.

ABC Rural: Daniel Fitzgerald

Similar to the Australian Agricultural Company's recruits, around half of CPC's new ringers are women.

Kelsey Maher from Oberon in New South Wales is starting out as a ringer at Manbulloo Station.

"We have been told there are people who have started out as cooks on stations and now they are managing places," Ms Maher said.

"I am planning on doing my first year, then depending on how much I love it or don't love it go home for a year.

"But I am loving it already so I'll probably be up here for a while."

William Fagan from Orange in NSW, who will soon be working at Auvergne Station, said the booming beef industry has created more opportunities for young people.

a man holding a horse
William Fagan is starting out as a ringer at Auvergne Station near Timber Creek.

ABC Rural: Daniel Fitzgerald

"For me, coming into the industry, I have a lot more leverage to do stuff compared to a few years ago when the markets shut down in Indonesia."

Kelly Carson grew up on a small cattle farm near Dirranbandi in Queensland, and after finishing school wanted to try experiencing life on a big NT cattle station.

"I just wanted to be involved in something different and CPC had a great reputation for a good work ethic and teamwork, so I really wanted to be involved in that," Ms Carson said.

"They have a different way of working with cattle compared to home, so it's going to be an interesting, fresh look at handling cattle and production."