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Wool Stocktake : AWI Annual Report 2017-18
AWI helps fund participation in practical wool-related training courses in the Monaro Farming Systems Agricultural Traineeship Program. Pictured is this year’s trainee Livinia Evans on one of the program’s host farms, ‘Springvale’. • AWI continued to support multiple wool and sheep industry young grower initiatives across Australia, contributing to the Science and Innovation Awards for Young People in Agriculture, Monaro Farming Systems traineeship program, Young Stud Masters Muster at the Australian Sheep & Wool Show, University of New England Farming Futures, Farm Business Boot Camp, Charles Sturt University and University of Sydney Sheep & Wool Tour, Murdoch University Sheep & Wool Tour, Hay Inc. rural traineeship program and SA Sheep Expo, to name a few. • AWI-supported extension networks continue to provide opportunities for producers to get involved in practical programs that focus on making positive changes to on-farm production and management practices. The networks are fundamental to the spread of new ideas, continuing education and the adoption of best practice, as well as providing a two-way communication platform for growers and AWI. Networks are present in each wool-growing state and all woolgrowers are encouraged to get involved. The AWI-supported extension networks – BESTWOOL/BESTLAMB (Victoria), Leading Sheep (Queensland), Sheep Connect NSW, Sheep Connect SA, Sheep Connect Tasmania and The Sheep’s Back (WA) – have seen another successful year. 128 events were held throughout the year; the satisfaction rating of participants with the events was rated 8.6 out of 10. All states are performing well above target with the national average annual cost saving to woolgrowers participating in the networks in 2017/18 being $2,918. • Scott Nicholson of Stawell in Victoria was awarded AWI’s 2017/18 Nuffield Farming Scholarship to investigate ways technology can help modernise and improve profitability in the sheep and wool industry. By supporting the Nuffield Scholarship program, AWI is increasing practical farming knowledge and management skills in the Australian wool industry. • AWI continues to support Katherine Bain studying agribusiness at Marcus Oldham College, and Amelia Gibson studying veterinary science at the University of Adelaide, through the Horizon Scholarship program (a joint initiative of RDCs to support students studying agriculture). This year, AWI started supporting Anna Horton studying agribusiness at the University of New England. • AWI’s Australian Rural Leadership Program (ARLP) position was awarded to David Young from Bookham, NSW. The ARLP graduates funded through the program by AWI use their learnings for the benefit of rural and regional Australia, and the sheep and wool industry in particular. • 23 wool industry representatives, from every wool- growing state, participated in AWI’s Breeding Leadership course held in February 2018 in Clare SA. Held every two years, Breeding Leadership arms the young participants – selected from throughout the wool industry, from on-farm to education and wool marketing – with the skills and tools to become better leaders. The program develops skills and knowledge in personal leadership as well as strategic planning and team leadership. It also provides an excellent opportunity for participants to network with 22 other like- minded people from across Australia, as well as the skilled program deliverers and others from the wool industry. • Although Making More From Sheep (MMFS) – AWI and MLA’s package of information, tools and learning opportunities for Australian sheep producers – finished active delivery in December 2016 after nearly nine years, AWI and MLA are continuing to ensure the MMFS materials are kept up-to-date and are available to all via www.makingmorefromsheep.com.au. • It’s ewe time! forums were held in August 2017 at locations in NSW, Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia. These popular half-day forums, which are a joint initiative between AWI and Meat & Livestock Australia, are designed to increase producer awareness of the principles, practices and tools of sheep enterprise profitability and productivity. Forums were also held in July and August in 2018 (including Queensland). • AWI ran 12 one-day, hands-on sheep classing workshops, for people of all ages and enterprises, that are a practical way to learn about increasing the production of their Merino flocks. Through a combination of theory and hands-on components, experienced sheep classers lead the workshop and take commercial producers through the process of classing sheep, including understanding the type of sheep that breeders are aiming for, comparing individual traits between sheep, and other sources of information. • A new 20-page Sheep Selection Tools booklet was launched in September, which provides a summary of a wide range of industry tools available to woolgrowers to help achieve their breeding goals, along with the strengths of each approach and what is needed to incorporate these approaches into a commercial or ram breeding situation. The booklet provides an ideal introduction for new entrants to the industry; late secondary school university and TAFE students; as well as woolgrowers who would like a recap on the tools available. Topics covered are sheep shows, wether trials, flock ewe competitions, Merino Sire Evaluation (and the Merino Lifetime Productivity project), MERINOSELECT, Visual Sheep Scores, RamSelect, workshops, sheep classers and advisors and saleyards. Copies are available from the AWI Helpline on 1800 070 099 or at www.wool.com/publications 40 REPORT OF 2017/18 OPERATIONS – WOOLGROWER SERVICES
AWI Annual Report 2016-17