New President for AASMB

Mrs Georgina Wallace was elected unopposed to the top position of President of the Australian Association of Stud Merino Breeders at the AGM held late last week in Melbourne. Mrs Wallace is the first Tasmanian Council member to hold the position of President. She is well supported by new Vice-President Mr Peter Meyer from South Australia and retiring President Mr Phil Toland from Victoria who was elected to the Treasurer’s role for the next twelve months.

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Merino Ewe Lifetime Productivity Project

Australian Wool Innovation (AWI) and the Australian Merino Sire Evaluation Association (AMSEA) last week announced the beginning of 10 years of work to follow the expected 3,800 Merino ewes bred from a diverse array of 120 sires for up to seven years of age, with the first site at Harrow already off to a running start with 2015 joining completed.

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Successful Merino EID Workshop

A group of 10 participants from NSW and Victoria participated in the first of two pilot workshops held at Wagga Wagga, NSW last week, with a half day follow up on farm still to be arranged.

Service provider, Sally Martin, led the workshop over two days and covered topics of electronic tags, using equipment to capture data and then managing that data to make more informed decisions. Participants were also interested in how collecting data could be streamlined to assist in submission for MerinoSelect data analysis.

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Australian Merinos in Argentina

Australian Stud Merino Breeders’ President, Mr Philip Toland, recently returned from judging Merinos at Comodoro Rivadavia, Argentina and a visit to Uruguay where it is hoped the next World Merino Conference may be held in 2018.

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Animal Health our Problem

As sheep producers, animal health and welfare has always been our concern and our responsibility. Nothing has changed except for the increasing spotlight and oversight by some, sometimes with an alternative agenda to good commercial sheep health.

In November 2014, the Australian Association of Stud Merino Breeders accepted an invitation for membership to the Wool Industry Animal Health & Welfare Advisory Group being offered from Wool Producers Australia. Funding and a service agreement for this group comes from the Animal Health Australia (AHA) budget from levies applied to livestock sales.

The Wool Industry Animal Health & Welfare Advisory Group is chaired by Richard Halliday of Callowie Merino Stud in South Australia and President of Wool Producers Australia.

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Pilot workshop goes ahead

Two pilot Merino workshops designed to assist Merino stud breeders with technology and data management have been organised and places are filling. Running over two and a half days, the first pilot in NSW to be held in March will pave the way for a second in Western Australia in July this year.

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