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Beyond the Bale : March 2016
ON FARM 41 With the spotlight on the Adelaide Oval in November for the world's first day- night cricket test, between Australia and New Zealand, two top Aussie shearers competed at the venue in a complementary ‘shearing test’ against two New Zealand born shearers. The South Australian Cricket Association (SACA) invited Sports Shear Australia Association, with support from AWI, to showcase shearing during the high profile event. In each of the first three days of the cricket test, South Australians Shannon Warnest and John Dalla took on the Kiwi duo of Rick Chilcott and Imran Sullivan who have been working in local sheds. The competition took place on AWI’s two- stand portable shearing trailer set up in full view for the 15,000 SACA members who attended the sporting event each day. After two days the scores were tied at one-all, but the Aussies managed to emulate the result of the cricket test by winning in the final match by a close eight seconds. Seven times national blade shearing champion John Dalla also provided a demonstration of traditional blade shearing during the cricket tea break. Sports Shear SA chairman David Brooker and AWI shearing industry development coordinator Jim Murray provided the commentary for the crowds. “The initiative was a valuable opportunity to promote wool, shearing and careers in agriculture to the public and SACA members from both city and country regions,” Mr Murray said. Eleven students from Years 10, 11 and 12 at WA College of Agriculture, Harvey, attended a five-day shearing and wool handling school, funded by AWI, at Rylington Park near Boyup Brook in November. Reflecting the increasing gender shift to more females in sheds, eight of the students on the introductory course were girls. Rylington Park – which has a shed with a raised board, six shearing plants and plenty of room for training – runs eight schools a year, all by accredited shearing and wool handling trainers. The course not only gave the students practical shearing, wool handling and shed experience – including how to identify different types of wool, hand piece maintenance, drafting and how to safely handle sheep – but also counted towards the students’ Certificate II in Agriculture. To achieve this competency, they had to be able to shear five sheep an hour which is equivalent to the novice shearer rate of 40 sheep a day. “The majority of the students’ parents have sheep and pay the wool levy,” trainer Steve Thompson said. “My feeling was that most of the students were interested, after finishing their schooling, in working in the shearing industry to earn money off farm – it is great to see these young adults wanting to return to the industry.” AWI shearing industry development coordinator Jim Murray added, “With only four of the students having previously fully shorn a sheep, the course enabled the students to come out of the week ready to be safely engaged in shed work during their school holidays. “It also provided the students with an opportunity to gain good grounding for a career in shearing. It is part of AWI’s strategy is to attract and retain new entrants into the shearing and wool handling, as well as increase returns to woolgrowers through improved clip preparation practices.” MORE INFORMATION www.wool.com/shearertraining AUSSIE SHEARING WIN AT DAY-NIGHT CRICKET TEST GIRLS RULE ROOST AT RYLINGTON SHEARING SCHOOL Aussie and Kiwi shearers battle it out for honours at the Adelaide Oval during the world's first day- night cricket test. PHOTO: Steph Brooker-Jones Year 10 student Shania Willison of the WA College of Agriculture, Harvey, at the shearing school at Rylington Park in WA. PHOTO: Farm Weekly
In the Shops - March 2016