Elisha Parker has a lot on her ever-expanding plate. A wearer of many hats, Elisha is the co-founder of Cattlesales.com.au, a national cattle advertising website that is the first of its kind in Australia. As the Queensland finalist for the AgriFutures 2020 Rural Women’s Award, she runs the flourishing site alongside co-founder Annabelle Spann, while working full time remotely as a lawyer and overseeing her daughter’s School of the Air curriculum. Sound like a lot? That’s because it is.
The idea for Cattlesales was sparked four and a half years ago, when Elisha and Annabelle realised there was no single platform that specialised in advertising cattle on a national scale. Selling mobs of their own cattle to fund the idea, the pair, who live 1000-kilometres apart, spent eight months custom building the site. “We built it to take away the problems with geography and make it transparent as to what cattle were where and when,” she says.
The pair used to joke that with small children underfoot, the only time to think would be feeding a baby in the middle of the night or driving the distance to the station dump with a few minutes of thinking time. “I’d often come home, ring Annabelle and say, ‘I’ve just been to the dump’ and she’d say, ‘Oh no, what have you come up with?’,” she laughs.
However, from busy minds come big ideas and when the pandemic reared its head on Australian soil, the dynamic duo were quick to respond to the social distancing measures that ensued.
With drastic changes being made to traditional sale yard offerings, Elisha believes there has never been a better time for producers to explore the potential advantages of digital marketing being offered through online auction sites.
With an eye always to the future, Elisha says virtual and augmented reality could be just some of the next steps. “We’ve got all the capabilities to host that sort of technology on our site, but it’ll be a little while before everyone is able to go and virtually film their bull for people at home to put on their goggles and have a virtual experience walking around and seeing over the top of it.” But you get the impression that when it’s time to press go, as with all facets of her life, Elisha will be ready to take on the challenge.
The AgriFutures Rural Women’s Award is Australia’s leading award acknowledging and supporting the essential role women play in rural industries, businesses and communities. Applications for 2022 open August 2021.
For more information about Elisha Parker and the AgriFutures Australia Rural Women’s Award visit: