There are a few things I love in this world; my family, my ambitions, and sheep without a doubt I love my sheep. After returning home from a shortened gap year in England, I shed a tear when I came home and saw a sheep. I have so much passion and admiration for these animals and their capacity to grow nature’s most environmentally sustainable fibre.
I know I have my Dad, my role model, to owe for this immense passion and strong interest. Particularly in breeding and comparing genetics and in learning how to operate a successful profitable business. I remember growing up we were always asked ‘Would we like to come and help?’ not ‘You are coming to help!’. I believe this choice helped determine my passion as it was my decision, and I did it because I wanted to be there not because I had to.
My gap year in 2020 saw me work alongside my Dad. I involved myself into every aspect of our business from rousabouting to genetic data collection and analysis. The things I was able to learn from my Dad and other progressive industry leaders is irreplaceable. I want everyone to have this opportunity as well.
I was fortunate to continue my gap year at home helping my family’s commercially owned and operated merino seedstock business. I spent every day working alongside my dad who is a driven and progressive producer. I took initiative into immersing myself more into our family business in the form of marketing and promotion. I initiated the creation of social media pages, collating the ram sale catalogues and introducing the Greendale newsletter- I saw an opportunity, and I took it and that’s what I want others to be inspired to do – to take an opportunity, educate themselves and believe they have the potential to have influence and impact.
Working alongside my parents has been the biggest reward for my blossoming interest and career aspirations. Pictured here is my Mum, Michelle and my Dad, Alan.The importance of being family owned and operated is paramount to our progression.
Dad has taught me most of what I know today, not only about farming, sheep production and business and also about life. He has given me the to create opportunities and to look holistically at everything. I have just started my tertiary studies and I believe the values and lessons my father has taught me has already benefited my studies. I have clear career aspirations which allowed me to direct my focus onto things that will benefit my progression. Yet I have found the education system and the industry to not be equipped in educating youth in areas such as genetic evaluation and comparison for profitable and sustainable economic performance.
This is why I believe education is crucial. More needs to be done in enhancing people’s understanding and knowledge about the benefit of data analysis and ASBV’s as well as how to use these genetic tools and systems. The potential of genetic selection in allowing more profitable and sustainable breeding decisions is unparalleled in comparison to relying on subjective opinion.
“Choose a job you love and you will never have to work in your life” – Confucius
In order to be fully understood, direct focus and applicable demonstrations need to be conducted and continually revisited – genetics always vary and progression and change should be the goal.
Ideas of initiating mentorship programs with interested youth and progressive, data focused producers or creating ongoing education programs that teach the whole industry should be the focus of the industry.
There is an apprehension to change. Changes in normality, changes in the process and unpredictability of the outcome. Change is inevitable and the issue I aim to address is the lack of adoption towards these changes. As an industry the key to success is progression. I have ambition to initiate change and promote the importance of adopting new systems into businesses – I want to focus on the youth that will help bring and incorporate this development and boost the productivity and profitability of our industry.
‘We have a powerful potential in our youth, and we must have the courage to change old ideas and practices so that we may direct their power towards good ends’
-Mary McLeod Bethune.
#womeninwool #youthinag #YouthVoicesinAction