Kate Mason - Kojonup
WHEN Kate Mason was just 19, she decided to give the egg industry a crack.
After moving to Kojonup to join her now-husband Rhyce on his family farm, she wanted a project of her own to earn a bit of pocket money.
While discussing it over morning tea one day, her father-in-law Peter suggested she get 50 chickens to keep her busy.
"But I thought, why waste my time with just 50 chickens?" Kate said.
"So I bought 150 instead and that number just kept growing."
The young entrepreneur first began by selling her free-range, organic eggs through a wholesaler in Perth after she would collect, weigh and package them in her kitchen.
Then in 2007 she saw an episode of Landline with a story on egg production and true to her spontaneous nature, jumped straight onto the computer to track down the three egg farmers featured.
Within weeks she was on a study tour to Kangaroo Island, South Australia, to visit five chicken and egg producers and learn about producing eggs on a commercial scale.
"It was so interesting to me, I got to learn about systems that were a lot more advanced than what I was doing," Kate said.
"For the first time I saw things like an egg grader and automatic nesting systems, it really got my mind ticking over.
"That was when I started to think of my business as a business."
While on the trip, she also came across Maremma guard dogs, which came in handy not long after when a fox cantered into her chook pen on Melbourne Cup day and effectively cut her brood of chickens in half.
Not one to wait for it to happen a second time, Kate had two Maremma pups on the next flight from Queensland and they haven't had an attack in the five years since.
By 2008 the Masons had grown their organic chicken numbers to 500 and Kate decided to attend the World Poultry Congress held in Brisbane, which she found very inspirational.
"I started researching how to go about expanding my number of chickens and turning it into a commercial business whilst retaining the integrity of the free range quality," Now Kate's high quality eggs will be available to you. As Kate says "the pictures tell the story"