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Beyond the Bale : September 2019
ON FARM 41 “W e’re still a mixed farming business in that we’re about 50/50 land use between pastures or livestock and the cropping component. But we get contractors in to do the cropping part and we specialise in the sheep breeding part of the deal,” Andrew said. Andrew did an AWI-funded Nuffield scholarship ten years ago and the results of his studies sent him in the direction of trying to breed a dual purpose maternal type of a Merino sheep. “Four years ago I started on a journey to really put those traits into our breeding objectives. Now we’re seeing the result of that breeding program actually express itself, and there’s been a marked change in the type of sheep that we’re breeding. “It was just fortunate at that time some pretty handy research was coming through with regards to building those maternal traits of more fat, more muscle and more growth into the ewe. It’s really just breeding that ewe a bigger fuel tank, a bigger capacity, a bigger reserve so that you can grow that wool and raise those lambs well.” Andrew has introduced six months shearing. He says shearing costs cancel out the gain from the extra wool being cut. So why does he do it? “It’s once again this maternal behaviour. Now we’ve got the great opportunity that we can join and lamb about six weeks off shears and that is when sheep are just absolutely doing their best. It’s one of the greatest management things we have introduced, along with using Wedgetail wheat, that has transformed what we do more than anything.” MORE INFORMATION Both the 2012 and the new video series are available on the YouTube channel of Sheep Connect NSW. Note: the footage for the current series was recorded in 2016 after a run of favourable seasons; since this time, farmers across NSW have experienced a period of significant drought. Andrew Bouffler places great importance on new technology in their sheep enterprise and has redesigned their Merino ewes to make them a better, dual purpose, maternal type of animal. ANDREW AND MANDI BOUFFLER, LOCKHART BREEDING LEADERSHIP APPLICATIONS OPEN Participants at the 2018 Breeding Leadership course at Clare in South Australia. If you are passionate about your industry and want to develop your skills to make a difference in the future, AWI’s Breeding Leadership professional development course is for you! Breeding Leadership is designed for anyone 25 to 35 years old currently working in agriculture with a focus on the wool industry. Held every two years, the course is next being held from Sunday 9th to Friday 14th February 2020 in Clare, South Australia. It is an excellent opportunity to network with more than 20 like-minded people from across Australia. Participants will get the opportunity to learn from skilled deliverers and be trained in areas such as people management, corporate governance, strategic planning and time management. The week’s events involve a mix of both classroom and field-work and, as well as excursions to stud and commercial operations, there will be an exposure to a variety of non-woolgrowing enterprises. At the end of the course, participants will have developed foundation leadership skills that will enable them to become enthusiastic, influential, dynamic and dedicated leaders within the wool industry and their local community. More than 150 young Australians have attended the course to date, with many previous participants now holding leadership positions within business and industry. Breeding Leadership was established in 2002 by the South Australian Stud Merino Breeders Association and became a national program through the Australian Association of Stud Merino Breeders in 2004. Since 2012, AWI has funded the course. Participants are required to pay a course fee of $420 (GST inclusive) which contributes to the cost of the program. Applications close on Wednesday 30th October. MORE INFORMATION The application form is available at www.wool.com/breedingleadership Applications are now open to young woolgrowers from across the country to join AWI’s 2020 Breeding Leadership course in Clare, South Australia, aimed at helping foster the next generation of leaders within the wool industry.
In the Shops - September 2019