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Beyond the Bale : June 2016
48 ON FARM Due to limited opportunities now available in the jackaroo/jillaroo system, AWI has launched a new set of educational resources for workshops that aim to highlight the importance of the core skills of stockmanship and Merino visual classing in running a successful Merino enterprise. AWI has developed new educational resources in stockmanship and Merino visual classing to help build the skills of young people interested in the Australian wool industry. The content is designed for late secondary school, university and TAFE students, as well as new entrants to the industry. The resources, which are intended for use in a workshop setting, are available via the AWI website and include PowerPoint slides for each of the two topics along with presenter notes. Practical activities are a key element of the workshop design. AWI’s Woolgrower Extension and Adoption Manager, Emily King, said the decline in the jackaroo and jillaroo system in recent years has led to less opportunity for young people to learn and build their skills in the industry, and this new resource is intended to help fill the gap. “Due to a combination of factors including reduced sheep numbers, competing youth employment and the move away from larger Merino flocks, the traditional way for many young people to enter the industry has waned,” she said. “Woolgrowers have provided AWI with feedback that training of the next generation in fundamental sheep observation and appraisal skills is important for the running of Merino enterprises. “This new workshop package helps address this concern by focusing on skill development in the key areas of stockmanship and Merino visual classing, which both contribute to on-farm profitability, and sheep health and welfare.” The stockmanship resources highlight the importance of animal observation and understanding natural sheep behaviour to effectively handle sheep. The aim is to teach skills that minimise stress on both the sheep and the handler. The Merino visual classing topic covers the principles of visual classing (including practical activities in the yards), flock objectives and selection for a ‘type’ to suit the environment, and the importance of balance between visual and objective assessments. The resources are designed to provide the presenter with flexibility to deliver the workshop as a half-day Introduction to Merino Visual Classing and a half-day Introduction to Stockmanship, or as stand- alone full-day workshops with practical hands-on activities. The presenter can modify the workshop materials to suit the level of industry knowledge, understanding and experience of the participants. The resources also include short video clips to demonstrate the stockmanship activities, and hand-outs with pointers to further reading. The AWI website also points to further training opportunities and relevant links with other programs. The workshop package is currently a pilot version and will be updated as AWI makes improvements to the content following further feedback. AWI encourages suggestions, which should be emailed to email@example.com “This package aims to promote career pathways in the Australian wool industry and enhance AWI’s education and extension program that already includes Wool4School and Learn About Wool,” Ms King added. MORE INFORMATION PDF versions are available to download from the AWI website at www.wool.com/workshop-resources. PowerPoint files and other resources are available from AWI on application to firstname.lastname@example.org Screenshot from one of the educational videos on stockmanship in AWI’s new workshop materials on stockmanship and Merino visual classing. BUILDING SKILLS IN STOCKMANSHIP AND VISUAL CLASSING
In the Shops - September 2016