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Beyond the Bale : March 2013
28 ON-FARM March 2013 BEYOND THE BALE progressive team of six: two jackeroos, an overseer of livestock management, and three property maintenance staff. "Our two jackeroos and overseer all have a keen interest in sheep and wool and developing their skills and experience in the industry," Dan says. "While our maintenance staff are all local and live off farm, the livestock staff currently hail from Tasmania, NSW and Victoria, so there is a bit of a spread of different backgrounds." AWI BREEDING LEADERSHIP COURSE Dan was a participant in AWI's four- day Breeding Leadership professional development course in February last year. At the course, the 23 participants discussed marketing, leading and managing people, corporate governance, succession planning, time management and strategic planning. "I found the course phenomenal," Dan says. "It was 12 months ago now but I still get a buzz when I think about it -- it's not often you get to sit down, away from everything that makes you worry, and be with 22 other keen, enthusiastic and excited young people to live and breathe wool for a week. "The new people I met and the friendships we formed are already a big part of my life and will continue to be. That side alone is invaluable; then the actual coursework on top of that was terrific -- taking our knowledge, excitement and commitment to the industry and turning it into workable initiatives and processes was just great. I found it really thought provoking and challenging -- and being in a group of very different people definitely made for some excellent friendly banter!" Dan has since become a Board member and Company Secretary of the Future Farmers Network where he applies some of the skills he learnt on the course. The Future Farmers Network is a not-for-profit organisation that provides its members -- young people between 16 and 35 -- with access to the latest news, events, scholarships, awards and information from across rural industries. LOCAL WORKSHOPS As well as active involvement in broad industry initiatives, Dan also likes to provide support and information wherever he can to other local producers. For instance, Avington has hosted an AWI/MLA 'Bred Well Fed Well' workshop about breeding and feeding to make money. "It went really well -- it was held it in conjunction with two other ram breeders in my area," Dan says. "We had about 62 attendees, lots of topics covered and a lot learnt about using ASBVs and putting it into practice with practical assessment in the yards. "We hope to host a similar workshop probably in September this year. Anywhere that Avington can assist in such initiatives, we will." Dan has instant access to the internet and business files when out in the paddock: "I can respond to communication as soon as I receive it," Dan explains.