New WoolProducers youth ambassadors aim to raise the baa

Terry Sim, August 30, 2021

New Raising the Baa youth ambassador Makaela Knapp

PEAK grower body WoolProducers Australia has selected Victorian Erin Douglas and Western Australian Makaela Knapp as its 2021 Raising the Baa youth ambassadors.

WoolProducers president Ed Storey said the youth ambassador position offers people aged 18 -35 years the opportunity to understand the policy cycle and how a board works, “so that they understand how policy is developed in the best interests of industry.”

The Raising the Baa Program has two streams, with applicants able to apply to undertake a fully-funded company directors course with the Australian Institute of Company Directors, or to be appointed to a WoolProducers’ Youth Ambassador position.

Makaela is involved in her family’s farm, is a proud hands-on wool grower and is actively involved with advocacy as a member of the WA Farmers Livestock Council.

“I am absolutely honoured to be named a WoolProducers Australia youth ambassador.”

“I’m also exceptionally grateful to WoolProducers for the opportunity and their willingness to pass on knowledge to help shape the next generation of producers.

“I cannot wait to see what the next year has in store,” she said.

Erin’s passion for sheep and wool started early

Raising the Baa youth ambassador Erin Douglas with one of her Corriedale sheep.

Erin Douglas has had a passion for wool since she was 12, when she started working with her high school’s livestock show team. She continues to be involved with youth through judging and showing her stud Corriedales throughout Victoria.

“The opportunity to attend the WoolProducers committee and executive meetings has and will continue to be an invaluable experience throughout the following year, and beyond.

“It is an honour to sit amongst such successful, like-minded leaders and mentors of our industry and be a part of important present-day conversations,” she said.

“I am excited to see what differences we can make and how this Youth Ambassadorship can support Australia’s young agricultural enthusiasts in the future.

“I look forward to making significant connections and contacts and learning along the way,” Erin said.

The two young growers attended the recent WoolProducers Animal Health and Welfare Advisory Committee (AHWAC) and executive meetings in mid-August.

This year’s outgoing youth ambassador, Sam Wan, also attended the recent AHWAC meeting, and provided an overview of her time at as a WoolProducers youth ambassador.

Ms Wan who is already very well known in the industry through her wool business specialist role with Elders and other industry initiatives, recapped her policy project on mulesing status and market trends.

Samantha gain insights into agri-politics and policy

Elders’ wool broker Samantha Wan

Samantha Wan said her time as the 2019/20 WoolProducers Youth Ambassador has been invaluable.

“I learn best by doing, and by both attending committee and board meetings and working through the policy project the program has provided me with incredible insight to agri-politics, the fundamentals of policy development and the wool industry in Australia.”

“My role as a wool broker has been positively impacted by understanding the processes and people involved with policy development and by being exposed to a detailed understanding of current issues facing the wool industry through a national representation lens,” she said.

Mr Storey said WoolProducers is very pleased to be able to offer this opportunity to young people in the industry and continues to be amazed at the quality of candidates that received each year.

“Sam, Erin and Makaela are wonderful examples of the depth of talent and passion we have in our industry

“We look forward to working with Erin and Makaela over the next 12-months and beyond and we wish Sam all the very best in her future endeavours,” Mr Storey said.


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