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Beyond the Bale : December 2013
Armed with their sketch of a sheep and a sentence to describe constitution, forty five students from Trinity Catholic College, Goulburn; Lithgow High School; and St Gregory’s College, Campbelltown, climbed off their buses at Gundowringa’s shearers’ huts ready to go. ’Gundowringa’, NSW’s oldest Corriedale stud, at Crookwell, NSW was host to Corriedale breeders from around the state for a field day on 5 November, aimed at improving the classing, judging and handling skills of the students in a natural environment with sheep straight out of the paddock. NSW State President of the Australian Corriedale Association, Tony Manchester, Secretary Rick Houlihan and Gundowringa’s Jeff and Charlie Prell were on hand to welcome the group, and the first speaker, veterinarian Mr Bill Johnston from the Livestock Health and Pest Authority in Goulburn, got their attention with the question, “What is constitution? What does it mean?” In all, nine stud masters were present, along with Anthony Shepherd the principal of agricultural consultancy Sheepmatters from Cootamundra, plus Mr Johnston and the staff from the three schools. All were on hand to provide advice and were delighted at the quantity of questions asked and the interest shown by the students. “The plan was to have a relaxed, interactive day, starting with classing the sheep and ending with everyone getting the chance to judge the sheep chosen,” said Henry Thompson, the Events Coordinator for the NSW Corriedale Association. “We were lucky to have Anthony Shepherd come to show us all the benefits of objective measurement technology, and the convenience of identifying all your sheep’s information from its tag.” A fleece of Corriedale wool was on display and there was a lively discussion on the differences of Corriedale wool versus Merino wool. The print out of the objective measurement was there to refer to, and the figures added to the visual impact of the length, loft and lustre of Corriedale wool, and the differences in final products for which Corriedale and Merino wool would be respectively used. Lithgow High School and St Gregory’s College both have Corriedale studs and show at Canberra, Sydney, Bathurst and Dubbo shows. Trinity Catholic College is starting its Agricultural Program at the school and so far has a paddock to plate program using Corriedale ewes. All students are keen contestants in the junior judging and handling competitions. They were delighted to receive a sample bag from AWI including pens, sheep-shaped key rings and a copy of the latest edition of Beyond the Bale. Lunch was provided, Corriedale chops of course, cooked ably by Mr Thompson. “The Association was grateful for this show of AWI support in yet another project to promote our industry into the future,” Mr Thompson added. FAST FACTS l Students and staff from three NSW colleges attended a field day in November organised by the NSW branch of the Australian Corriedale Association. l The field day, held at NSW’s oldest Corriedale stud, ’Gundowringa’, aimed to improve the classing, judging and handling skills of the students. l All students are keen contestants in junior judging and handling competitions. Charlie Prell of ’Gundowring’ talking about some of his Corriedales. PHOTO: Louise Thrower, Goulburn Post. Participants at the field day organised by the NSW branch of the Australian Corriedale Association. Corriedale field day 42 42 42 ON-FARM December 2013 BEYOND THE BALE