HOW TO USE THIS ONLINE MAGAZINE
by clicking the arrows at the side of the page.
by clicking anywhere on the page. A slider will appear, allowing you to adjust your zoom level.
and move the page around when zoomed in by dragging the page.
and return to the original size by clicking on the page again.
by entering text in the search field and click on "In This Issue" or "All Issues" to search the current issue or the archive of back issues
a PDF of this magazine.
by clicking on thumbnails to select pages, and then press the print button.
a page via email, Facebook, Twitter and more.
TO VIEW PREVIOUS EDITIONS
, click the
button at the bottom of the screen.
Beyond the Bale : December 2013
ON-FARM 32 ON-FARM There are not too many woolgrowers and shearers who can say they share a working relationship that spans half a century but then again, there are not too many relationships like that of the Rentsch and Vincent families. This year John Rentsch and Kevin Vincent celebrated their 50th shearing as woolgrower-shearing-contractor which represents close to a million sheep shorn for the Rentsch family at Penshurst in western Victoria. Kevin says it is no surprise the relationship has lasted so long as John is famous for the way he welcomes new Kevin Vincent and John Rentsch celebrate 50 years of shearing together. FAST FACTS l This year the wool-growing Rentsch family at Penshurst in western Victoria celebrated their 50th shearing using the Vincent family as shearing contractor. l John Rentsch has a well-presented shed with well-presented sheep and is famous for the way he welcomes new shearers and shed staff. l John runs a shearing school in October for two weeks to help bring new blood into the industry. In all he believes he has shorn more than 138,000 sheep under the “Croxton” brand for the Rentsch family. While many woolgrowers dread the organising, planning and stress that often surrounds shearing, John Rentsch clearly thrives on it. “I think he would enjoy shearing every week of the year if he could, he just absolutely loves it,” Kevin added. Ask John Rentsch about the lack of shearers in some parts of Australia and he’ll ask, “What is the state of the shed you can’t get shearers into?” While AWI will train more than 2500 shearers and shedhands this year, there are woolgrowers who find it difficult to attract shearers. But you will also be hard pressed to find a sheep with two years’ worth of wool on it. John runs a shearing school in October for two weeks before his main shearing where young people from across the country learn the craft and this year included indigenous shearers from the Merriman Shearing School in western NSW. John says he believes it is vital to keep bringing new blood into the industry, and this year the learner shearer in the shed was his own grandson Jordan. “Shearing has always been a great source of work, it is physically very hard and does require some travel but we really need shearers and so I think those with bigger sheds really should be encouraged to take on a learner every year,” John said. Kevin agrees on the importance of promoting younger people into the industry. “As I said to my son Wayne, as long as you can shear you will always be able to find work and that includes overseas. Most countries have sheep and are looking for people to shear them so what a great way to see the world and meet people. I have been fortunate enough to judge at the Golden Shears which was also a great experience.” Many of today’s farmers have got a start in farming through shearing. “Shearing has certainly helped me buy my places and just as importantly it has helped me keep them through the tough times,” Kevin added. “It’s a great partnership between two great wool families, long may it continue.” shearers and shed staff. “I think the woolgrower creates the culture at a shed and I believe it is important to get that right,” Kevin said. “John goes out of his way and really shows a lot of respect for people and in turn it is shown back to him.” Kevin first shore at the shed in 1963, when former champion shearer and Australian Wool Board shearer trainer Kevin Sarre was contractor. In 1965 Kevin Vincent was part of a team that saw Kevin Sarre shear 346 Merinos in a day. In 1968 Kevin Vincent became the contractor and in recent years his son Wayne has taken on the role. “As we lived over 500 km away, we used to take the whole family down as we were there for quite a few weeks and so we camped in the caravan on the property; the kids even went to the local school. We have been treated as a member of the family and it’s just great,” Kevin Vincent said. John certainly goes to extraordinary lengths to show his appreciation for the hard work during his shearing. After finishing his 100,000th sheep in the shed, Kevin was presented with a gold shearing comb, and a silver tea set after his 25th year shearing for the “Croxton” brand. December 2013 BEYOND THE BALE Shearing partnership spans 50 years