Research and Development

AWI rebrands its extension network branches

Sheep Central, March 15, 2024

Previous Sheep Connect branding has been dropped for AWI’s state-based extension networks.

AUSTRALIAN Wool Innovation has rebranded its state extension networks to more clearly highlight AWI’s funding involvement.

AWI said its six, state-based wool grower extension networks have been renamed, but will continue to deliver practical information and training programs to increase wool growers’ adoption of best practice on-farm production and management.

The networks have more than 17,000 members and will deliver the same valuable and timely on-farm information as usual through workshops, field days, webinars, newsletters, social media and conferences to their growing, combined membership of over 17,000 members.

AWI CEO John Roberts.

Networks are a vital link between AWI and wool growers

AWI chief executive officer John Roberts said the AWI extension networks continue to be a vital link between the research, development and marketing body AWI and the wool growers it works for.

“The AWI extension networks are doing a superb job in assisting all wool growers to improve their businesses, regardless of where they farm or the size of their operation, or their age or level of experience.

“Whether it be new topics and the latest research, for example new shearing shed designs or refurbishment ideas or different models of production like containment feeding or novel pastures, or perennial challenges such as feet, flies and worms, the AWI Extension Network in your state can provide information and workshops to assist with tackling this on-farm,” he said.

“The main reason for the change is to clear up confusion.

“Many growers have told us they didn’t know AWI were involved in the extension networks,” he said.

“They wondered where their levy payer funds were going.”

AWI national extension manager Emily King said the networks’ work reflect the needs of each state.

“As well as delivering seasonal information based on feedback from each state Extension Network’s Producer Advisory Panel, the AWI extension networks promote and deliver key AWI extension programs, including the AWI-developed workshops Winning With Weaners, RAMping Up Repro (co-developed with Zoetis) and Picking Performer Ewes.

“The networks are also playing a significant role in the delivery of the AWI Flystrike Extension Program workshops, SimpliFlyTM and ClassiFlyTM, for wool growers to improve the flystrike protection of their flock through targeted management and improved natural resistance of their sheep to flystrike.”

She said the networks are also a great resource for any wool grower looking to improve their enterprise or for anyone simply wanting to meet and enjoy the company and experience of other wool growers.

All the AWI extension networks will continue to be delivered by the same organisations as they have been prior to the announcement

All AWI extension networks are guided by a producer advisory panel (PAP) of wool growers and industry stakeholders from across the state. Meeting at least twice a year, the PAPs allow woolgrowers to drive the adoption of seasonally relevant, valuable and timely information, AWI said.

The newly-named AWI extension networks are:

  • AWI Extension NSW (formerly AWI Sheep Connect NSW)
  • AWI Extension QLD (continuing to invest through Leading Sheep with Queensland Government)
  • AWI Extension SA (formerly AWI Sheep Connect SA)
  • AWI Extension TAS (formerly AWI Sheep Connect Tasmania)
  • AWI Extension VIC (continuing to invest through BESTWOOL/BESTLAMB with Agriculture Victoria)
  • AWI Extension WA (formerly The Sheep’s Back – name changed in September 2023)

For more information, growers can sign up for a free newsletter and stay informed on upcoming opportunities in regions. To find contact details for the AWI extension network and producer advisory panel in each state, head to  Call the AWI extension network project manager in your state or phone the AWI Helpline on 1800 070 099.

Source – AWI.


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