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Beyond the Bale : March 2014
best he can and he loves to shear the most! He enjoys keeping the rest of the gang going hard. Baldwin Shearing currently has 13 trainee staff. Jason tries to encourage development and learning within the industry. He thanks Deniliquin-based shearing instructor Brian Sullivan for his "straight up and forthright" shearing advice and admits the support shearers have these days is much better. "The sheep these days are much bigger than even 10 years ago and so it's great to see so much training and encouragement through shearing events around the country. Back 10-15 years ago there was very little so it's good to see an improvement because we need it to keep people doing what is a very hard job. "With children it's harder to get away and I enjoy being at home. We have teams out 1000km from Tocumwal including Lightning Ridge and Broken Hill where we often have big gangs working on some famous stations for up to six weeks at a time." Jason and Nicole are now responsible for a sizeable part of the national flock being shorn and as professionals they take a lot of pride in the service they offer woolgrowers, both big and small. To this end Jason says keeping the working environment in good shape helps attract the best shearers. "We handle the annual harvest for woolgrowers and therefore a very large part of their income. It's our duty to get the greatest return for them and when the shed and facilities are up to scratch that makes it easy. Often the people that find it hard to get shearers have the worst sheds, put it that way." An Australian machine and blade shearing and woolhandling team will be competing at the 16th Golden Shears World Sheep Shearing and Woolhandling Championships that will take place in the town of Gorey, County Wexford, Ireland from 17-25 May 2014. The top names from an anticipated 35 other nations including New Zealand, the UK and South Africa will compete for the coveted Golden Shears title. More than 30,000 spectators are expected, with a family-orientated festival of food, crafts, fashion and entertainment to run in tandem with the main shearing competitions. An Australian machine shearing and woolhandling team has also recently competed in New Zealand's prestigious "Golden Shears" annual event held in Masterton from 27 February to 1 March. • Jason Wingfield (Vic), 2013 Australian machine shearing champion -- to Ireland and New Zealand. • Shannon Warnest (SA), 2013 Australian machine shearing runner up -- to Ireland and New Zealand. • Daniel McIntyre (NSW), 3rd in 2013 Australian machine shearing championships -- to New Zealand. • John Dalla (SA), 2013 Australian blade shearing champion -- to Ireland. • Ken French (Vic), 2013 Australian blade shearing runner up -- to Ireland. • Sarah Moran (Vic), 2013 Australian woolhandling champion -- to Ireland and New Zealand. • Mel Morris (Tas), 2013 Australian woolhandling runner up -- to Ireland and New Zealand. • Steph Brooker-Jones, Chairperson SSSA, Golden Shears World Council Delegate. • Greg Byrnes (NSW), Golden Shears World Council Delegate. • Wally Humphrys (SA), Team manager in Ireland. • Roger Mifsud (Vic), Team manager in New Zealand. • Winston Flood (Tas), Shearing judge -- to Ireland and New Zealand. • Craig Rowsell (SA), Woolhandling judge -- to Ireland. • Paul McCormick (Vic), Woolhandling judge -- to New Zealand. AWI is providing funds for the Australian team's travel, accommodation and uniforms for the World Championships in Ireland. This support of the national team complements AWI support for shearing competitions at local and state levels, with the main aims being to promote excellence within the shearing industry, and to encourage young people to join the industry. More information: Sports Shear Australia Association (SSAA) is on Facebook. www.goldenshearsireland.com www.goldenshears.co.nz AUSTRALIAN SHEARING AND WOOLHANDLING TEAM Australian shearing and woolhandling team members, who were selected at the SSAA 2013 Australian Championships. BACK: Jason Wingfield, Shannon Warnest, Daniel McIntyre, John Dalla, Ken French, Sarah Moran, Mel Morris, Greg Byrnes, Steph Brooker-Jones. FRONT: Roger Mifsud, Craig Rowsell, Wally Humphrys. 37 ON-FARM March 2014 BEYOND THE BALE