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Beyond the Bale : June 2011
35 June 2011 BEYOND THE BALE ON-FARM The improved season in many places, and strong price of wool set an interesting context for the latest AWI Woolgrower Forum held in March. AWI Woolgrower Forums are held twice each year and are one of the most important regular consultation meetings undertaken by AWI. They give woolgrowers an opportunity to provide AWI further direction for the years ahead. Discussion includes topics such as the profitability and reliability of growing wool, the fibre's opportunities in a carbon economy, on-farm R&D priorities, better communication and new marketing initiatives to lift global demand for wool. The most recent Woolgrower Forum, a two-day event, was held in Sydney on 23-24 March. Similar to Woolgrower Forums held in previous years, approximately 100 woolgrowers and industry representatives were invited to attend and participate. The ideas from a cross-section of the next generation of woolgrowers were a particular focus during a Young Woolgrower Workshop on the first day of the event. The Workshop focused on what's important for younger woolgrowers and future industry leaders, providing AWI's on-farm team with valuable insight to their needs and aspirations. The thoughts and ideas of these next-gen growers were shared with a larger audience of woolgrowers on the following day during a Woolgrower Consultation Day where further debate about the future of AWI took place. AWI sought input to the development of its 2011/12 Operating Plan in light of the current industry environment and outcomes from the plans implemented by AWI in 2010/11. Simon Williamson, a young commercial woolgrower from Williams in WA who attended the Woolgrower Forum said it provided him with a good insight into AWI strategy. "I've really seen an improvement here over the past three that I've come to; it's certainly a confidence booster for the wool industry," Mr Williamson said. "AWI's on-farm investment is definitely a brilliant area that is doing some great work; the split up of the 30/20/50 is brilliant; the more focused marketing, I'm really looking forward to seeing what AWI does with that. "I think if young woolgrowers see the positive things they can get out of wool, the returns and the great pleasure of growing it, then it's going to be a great future for them." AWI CEO Stuart McCullough thanked the participating woolgrowers for taking the time to discuss the future of their industry body. "The Woolgrower Forum is an important part of AWI's annual planning and consultation cycle to ensure input from shareholders," Stuart said. "The consultation generates invaluable feedback. This is an ongoing process and we look forward to conversations with as many woolgrowers as possible into the future." More information: Presentations from the Woolgrower Forum are available to download in PDF format from the AWI website at www.wool.com/2011forums FAST FACTS l AWI conducted its latest Woolgrower Forum in March to get feedback on its strategic direction. l The Forum is an important part of AWI's annual planning cycle to ensure input from shareholders. lThe ideas from a cross-section of the next generation of woolgrowers were a particular focus. AWI Woolgrower Forum Participants at the AWI Woolgrower Forum brainstorming ideas. recognition for their contribution to Australia's iconic wool-growing industry? Don't be shy! Nominating yourself or someone you know for the award is a great way to contribute to the future of the industry, and showcase the remarkable achievements of our wool producers. Nomination forms are available on the Kondinin Group website www.kondiningroup.com.au or email firstname.lastname@example.org Nominations close on 18 July, 2011. All finalists in the Wool Producer of the Year Award will be considered finalists for the overall Farmer of the Year Award. Winners will be announced at the Australian Farmer of the Year Awards Dinner to be held in Sydney on 7 September 2011. Michael Blake of 'Bally Glunin Park', Hamilton, Victoria won the Wool Producer of the Year category at last year's inaugural Australian Farmer of the Year Awards. PUT MODESTY ASIDE AND START NOMINATING TODAY!