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Beyond the Bale : September 2013
45 45 September 2013 BEYOND THE BALE Expressions of interest in Merino 2014 – the 9th World Merino Conference, have been very strong according to Australian Association of Stud Merino Breeders (AASMB) coordinator for the Australian delegation, Carol-Ann Malouf. “To date over 140 Australians and New Zealanders have requested further information when it is available from conference and tour organisers,” she said. “A final figure of even half this number will ensure excellent representation of our Australian Merino industry and great camaraderie on-tour.” Robert Ashby, president of the World Federation of Merino Breeders (WFMB), under whose auspices world Merino conferences are held every four years, is most enthusiastic about the 2014 venue and host country, South Africa. “It will be a tremendous celebration of the Merino through a rich mix of farming, fibre and culture,” he said. “This is a not-to-be-missed opportunity for passionate producers to share and learn ON-FARM FAST FACTS l The Australian Association of Stud Merino Breeders (AASMB) invites you to join its South African Trade Mission in April 2014. l The Trade Mission will incorporate the 9th World Merino Conference, preceded by a two-day Merino Expo. l Pre- and post-conference tours of varying lengths are also being offered. all aspects of the Merino and see a little of this very special part of the world at the same time. “Woolgrowers often work alone or in small teams, so an opportunity such as this, to travel and see the world through the eyes of other farmers, is always a great experience.” Stud and commercial sheep and wool producers, geneticists, scientists, wool brokers and industry figures from throughout the world, including the 13 member countries of the WFMB, will gather in the historic town of Stellenbosch from 29 April to 1 May. The two-day conference, titled “Merino Breeding: Sustainable Enterprise – Cherished Lifestyle”, is to be preceded by a Merino Expo during which there will also be a joint session with IWTO whose annual congress is to run concurrently in Cape Town. Bookending the conference are tours travelling with Springbok Atlas, one of South Africa’s most established and best-known travel and tour management companies. For over six decades they have moved millions of travellers safely and reliably across South Africa. The pre-conference tour heads out of Johannesburg just over a week prior to the conference. Aimed at showcasing the beauty of South Africa and the diversity of its magnificent landscape and people, the tour will also afford the opportunity to explore and learn about the local Merino industry as it passes through the Golden Gate Highlands National Park to Bloemfontein, Gariep Dam and Graaff-Reinet. Visits to some of the top sheep farms in South Africa will be included as the tour continues on to game drives and luxurious accommodation at Shamwari, the world’s leading safari and game reserve and conservation company. The final day on the road will be at Port Elizabeth, the centre of the South African wool trade, where the group will be hosted by Cape Wools. Flying then to Cape Town, there will be the opportunity to explore the historic and scenic delights of the region with a number of mini-tour and day trip options that include Robben Island, Cape Point, Table Mountain or one of the multitude of wineries in the Cape area. For many, shopping at the Waterfront or visiting its large array of restaurants and bars, may suffice. Accommodation in Cape Town will be at the 5-star Radisson Blu, situated on the beach next to the Waterfront with magnificent views of both Table Mountain and Robben Island. While accommodation throughout the tours will have a minimum 4-star rating, the exchange rate ensures that the all-inclusive tour packages will be very moderately priced for Australian and New Zealanders. A seven-day post-conference tour, to depart on Friday 2 May, will explore the Western Cape Province, travelling from Stellenbosch and overnighting in Matjiesfontein, Oudtshoorn, Knysna and Arniston before two nights at Sanbona. This exclusive park has won numerous awards and is regarded as the premier reserve in the Western Cape. As is the case at Shamwari, game viewing includes the Big 5. The AASMB, with the support of AWI, is offering the only official tour (including travel, tour/s, conference registration) to Merino 2014. Interested persons may register an expression of interest with Carol-Ann Malouf, coordinator of the Australian delegation to Merino 2014. Travel, conference and tour itineraries and costs will be available from late September. More information: Carol-Ann Malouf, (02) 6895 2274, 0427 119 535, Carol-Ann.Malouf@wool.com 45 ON-FARM A pre-conference tour will provide an opportunity to explore and learn about the South African Merino industry. Strong Australian interest in South African conference