Claire masters a juggling act

You always make time for the things you love.”Claire Mactaggart

“I never take for granted where we live.”

That outlook on life continues to take Claire Mactaggart (nee Wyland, RGS 1992) towards new opportunities, her most recent being on the Board of Directors for Beef 2021 (2 – 8 May).

“Like everyone, we all have balls up in the air,’’ Claire said.

This juggling act also includes being a mother-of-four girls, married to Andrew who oversees their three cattle properties in Central Queensland, and continuing on a 14-year journey as the Queensland contributing writer for Country Style magazine.

“You always make time for the things you love,’’ Claire said.

And it’s a team that helps Claire continue making time for these passions.Claire was one of five children growing up at “Monavale”, north of Yaamba.

“I was a hands-on child. I grew up mustering, helping feed cattle, helping plant, helping stick pick. All the bits and pieces. That was great,’’ Claire said.

Claire now calls “Balcomba” home, a cattle property 43km north of Duaringa which Andrew oversees their other breeding properties, “Angle Creek” which is north of “Balcomba” and “Wirranda”, two hours south of the family home,’’ Claire said.

“I help and support Andrew with that, so we have our certain roles.

“I honestly do feel so lucky.

“I have this off-farm job that has taken me all over Australia and met all kinds of people. 

“It’s about celebrating regional living. That’s so important to me to tell people what’s great about living in the country and regions.

“Being part of Beef feels like a give back in my small way, because I’m only a small part of it.

“Everyone (at Beef Australia) has been so supportive. I thought, what do I have to offer. I’m not a big industry figure and spokesperson, but you get into and see where you can help. That’s a nice transition when you feel like you are pulling your weight.”

Beef Australia events are always massive to organise, let alone having to deal with worldwide COVID-19 challenges.

Claire has always attended Beef events and in 2018 joined the Property Tours committee.

“They are a popular part of the Beef programme and sell out quite quickly. I gained an insight into how that all worked as part of Beef,’’ said Claire, who is still involved in the 2021 property tours.
“Beef is a big collaboration.

“People host the property tours off their own generosity, allowing people to visit and ask questions on their farm. There’s a lot of good will and a big desire to make it a success. A lot of people feel ownership of being a part of the Beef event.

Claire said has pushed ahead with her fellow team at Beef to make this event happen, despite the challenges along the journey.

“We’ve been doing everything as we would. Obviously there has been risk assessments and looking at scenarios. 

“Even if you’re not directly associated with the (beef) industry you can go along and learn about it and make a connection with the people who are growing food and all the associated industries.

“You want the local community to be engaged and you want people to come to Rockhampton and have a good experience.”

Being a part of Beef has also allowed Claire, who studied Agribusiness at the University of Queensland’s Gatton campus, to continue her learning journey of life on the land.

“I’ve learnt so much about being a part of that family (Mactaggart) in terms of business skills. There’s so much – we measure grass, measure livestock units. Everything is very measured and run in a very business-like way,’’ Claire said.

“People do it in different ways. Like any small business. People have different formulas to how they run their business.

“I never take for granted where we live. Every time when I’m out in the paddock I think wow this is our home. Everything about it is beautiful. You can see change and be a part of change in a small way is really wonderful.”