The world needs creative, innovative and courageous young people who can connect, collaborate and act. We know that youth may only be 20% of the population but they are 100% of the future. The time is now to let them share their dreams and design the future they want to see.
The purpose of the MerinoLink Annual Conference is to provide an opportunity for sheep producers and service providers to network, learn about research outcomes and management programs and also to have a positive influence on the future direction of the sheep industry in Australia.
A highlight of the conference will be the Hour of Power, sponsored by T.A.Field Estates, which will give an opportunity to nine young professionals to speak about their work and passions within the wool industry. During this session Art4Agriculture will be represented by Young Farming Champions Dione Howard and Emma Turner.
Dione will elaborate on concepts she delivered last year at the Australian Farm Institute’s Roundtable Conference where she encouraged industry to invest in and support young professionals. See her inspirational speech here.
Dione, who will be appealing to both new and experienced members at MerinoLink, says these are her take-home messages:
There are many opportunities that exist for young people to get involved in the wool industry.
Programs such as Art4Agriculture’s Young Farming Champions exist so that our industry can invest in us as young people in wool.
I urge members of our industry to get behind young people with an interest in wool and support them to step up and take on available opportunities.
Emma, who is set to graduate from the University of New England in October, will use her time at the Hour of Power to present her honours project to industry.
My honours project, on the implementation of shorter shearing intervals at Ivanhoe comparing six and twelve month shearings, is highly relevant to the industry and I am hoping the Hour of Power will give my research exposure and provide networking opportunities as I job hunt for the future.
Rounding out Art4Agriculture’s involvement in MerinoLink will be National Program Director Lynne Strong who will be the speaker at the conference dinner. Lynne will use her life journey from a pharmacist to a farmer to illustrate how the wool industry will benefit from the investment in youth and how working together makes innovation fast and easy.
It is wonderful to see the 2018 MerinoLimk Conference following our vision to help young people stand up and be confident to share their own stories
Day 7 took us from Junee to Boorowa and School’s Twenty Nine and Thirty with Boorowa Central School (Primary) first up
“Patchetta” is bold and colourful and tells a wonderful story about wool.
She has multi coloured ‘patches’ with images and information which is relevant to various sectors of the wool industry in Australia. The content of these sectors was driven by the research groups that the class was divided into. These sectors included: What can wool be made into; Different types of wool; A photo collage; A timeline of the wool industry in Australia; Shearing tools; Different places that sell wool; Fleecy and Woolly facts; and Scarf felting.
Each group did their research work, and then designed their own ‘patch’ on “Patchetta” to tell their story. The combination of these patched stories gives a wonderfully complete picture of the wool industry.
The felted scarf is colourful, beautiful and very well made! The perfect accessory!
Next up was School Thirty: Boorowa Central School (Secondary)
“Archibella Milkshake Boo” very much has her own personality. Her unusual name was the result of suggestions from the school community. “Archibella” (because she is a female Archibull!) and “Milkshake” were the two favourite names chosen by the school, and “Boo” stands for Boorowa.
Her personality shines through everything on her, but particularly is reflected through her makeup and the flamboyant socks (from Crookwell), her scarf and her horn decorations.
This school took a unique approach to their Archie:
“though our fibre was wool, we decided to tell our wool story with the assistance of the beef meat cuts, to translate the connection between the cow canvas and the fibre we were allocated. In the various cuts of meat, the Boorowa Central Archibull team translated their interpretation of what wool meant to the township of Boorowa.”
My name is Cassie Baile and I am a fifth generation sheep farmer from Bendemeer which is a village of 485 people on the Macdonald River in the New England region of New South Wales.
The road to Bendemeer
I am 22 years old and lucky enough to have grown up on a farm with the wide open spaces of paddocks and the familiar surroundings of horses, dogs and sheep
I have many fond memories of running around in the shearing shed, helping to draft, drench and watching the shearing. We always had few pet/poddy lambs at the house after lambing. It was a great joy to care for them and watch them grow into sheep.
One of my most memorable recollections was heading with Dad to check on and/or muster the sheep. I would have been happy to do this every day, 365 days of the year. It is all the wonderful memories and farm life experience that have fuelled my passion for agriculture and in particular the Wool Industry.
Following my successful selection for an Elders Traineeship in May last year, I have been provided with on-going support and training from my mentors and the Elders team and this has allowed me to progress to my career pathway in the Wool industry.
I now live and work in Sydney, for Elders as a Wool Technical Support Officer at the Yennora Wool Selling Centre. I really love my work and look forward to each day, as there is always something happening.
That’s me in the middle at the Yennora Wool Centre
My Elders Traineeship has given me incredible exposure to the many and varied facets of the Wool Industry including
Ram Sales and Bull Sales, on property and regional sales
Attending sales both on property and regionally, has enabled me to gain extensive knowledge and skills, interact with clients, improve upon my networking skills and also learn how to process sales and complete buyer registrations.
Throughout the past 11 months, I have travelled the state to towns including Newcastle, Dubbo, Cooma and Walcha. Each of these have been a great opportunity to learn more about Ram and Ewe selection, wool characteristics and selling options and also to meet and interact with existing and potential clients.
This year, I was also fortunate enough to attend the Sydney Royal Easter Show to network with sheep breeders and take in all that the Sheep and Wool pavilions had to offer. The Sydney Royal was a great experience, which enable me to see some of the highest quality sheep and wool from all over the country on display.
Farmer Interaction and Networking opportunities
Meeting dedicated and committed wool growing families is an inspiration to me as I know it is to the wool industry and wider community.
My job with Elders allows me to travel meet and network with farmers in either a hands on way through face to face meetings such as attending on-farm shearings and assisting with ram selection at Studs and over the phone conversations. I particularly enjoy meeting and speaking with wool growers at events like the Newcastle Wool Sales and Industry Functions. The positive atmosphere at each of these functions is amazing, with like-minded farmers and employees able to interact in a friendly and supportive environment and build upon as well as share their own knowledge of the wool industry.
It has certainly helped build my confidence and enabled me to become a more outgoing person.
Elders team at Newcastle Client Night 2013
Most recently, I have begun auctioneering at the weekly Sydney Wool Sales. This has been a fantastic opportunity for me to learn the new skill of being a Wool Auctioneer and also to improve my communication skills.
Me Auctioneering with Craig Brennan, Yennora Wool Technical Manager
Presentation is very important when you are trusted to sell a client’s wool clip. They are trusting you, as their broker and auctioneer, with their annual income and therefore it is very important to know the client and their product well. Its is very important to present the clip and yourself well, to achieve the best possible price for your client and their product. I also help to prepare for the weekly sale through firstly the lotting of the client’s wool specification, the valuing of the samples located on the show floor and by interacting with buyers in order to gain an idea of how the market may perform that week and over coming weeks, depending on supply and demand at that time. The opportunity to become an auctioneer has been another, very exciting step facilitated by the help and training provided by my trusted mentors within Elders and the industry. Each week I challenge myself to improve my previous weeks’ performance and believe with the amount of support of my mentors, lots of practice and commitment, I have the potential to become a highly valued Wool Auctioneer in years to come.
The Wooltrade selling system is an internet-based system trading 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Wooltrade provides woolgrowers with an alternative marketing system for their wool that is complementary to the traditional auction system. The very nature of the Wooltrade system has opened up the Australian wool market across all states, allowing buyers to purchase wool nationally rather than just regionally.
Wooltrade is based on computer technology, but it is also a managed system providing personal support to assist users. The technology used by Wooltrade enables ease of access for buyers who are able to cost-effectively and efficiently buy wool and secure future supply. Source http://www.wooltrade.com.au/
I have been involved with all of these processes, including selecting suitable lots of wool and listing them for sale on the computer system. These systems assist in both the marketing and selling of wool clips, and help woolgrowers have the flexibility to optimise prices for their wool clip and potentially avoid market volatility and the vagaries of prices on traditional sale days. See footnote
The wool industry has a proud history and plays a pivotal role in providing high quality fibre and clothing to countries all around the world.
My career in the Wool industry is allowing me to surround myself with inspirational people who are generously giving their time to mentor me. It is opening so many doors and I am committed to giving back by sharing my story with next generation and hopefully inspire other young people to join me and ensure a bright future for the Australian wool industry
About 85% of wool sold in Australia is sold by open cry auction. ‘Sale by sample’ is a method in which a mechanical claw takes a sample from each bale in a line or lot of wool. These grab samples are bulked, objectively measured, and a sample of not less than 2 kg is displayed in a box for the buyer to examine. The Australian Wool Exchange conducts sales primarily in Sydney, Melbourne, and Fremantle. There are about 80 brokers and agents throughout Australia
About 7% of Australian wool is sold by private treaty on farms or to local wool-handling facilities. This option gives wool growers benefit from reduced transport, warehousing, and selling costs. This method is preferred for small lots or mixed butts in order to make savings on reclassing and testing.
About 5% of Australian wool is sold over the internet on an electronic offer board. This option gives wool growers the ability to set firm price targets, reoffer passed-in wool and offer lots to the market quickly and efficiently. This method works well for tested lots, as buyers use these results to make a purchase. About 97% of wool is sold without sample inspection; however, as of December 2009, 59% of wool listed had been passed in from auction.] Growers through certain brokers can allocate their wool to a sale and at what price their wool will be reserved.
Sale by tender can achieve considerable cost savings on wool clips large enough to make it worthwhile for potential buyers to submit tenders. Some marketing firms sell wool on a consignment basis, obtaining a fixed percentage as commission.
Forward selling: Some buyers offer a secure price for forward delivery of wool based on estimated measurements or the results of previous clips. Prices are quoted at current market rates and are locked in for the season. Premiums and discounts are added to cover variations in micron, yield, tensile strength, etc., which are confirmed by actual test results when available.
Another method of selling wool includes sales direct to wool mills.