Stock Handling & Animal Welfare

South Australia plans new sheep expo for industry youth

Terry Sim, December 17, 2015

SASheepExpo logoSOUTH Australia’s next big sheep event – the SA Sheep Expo – is seeking sponsors to support the inaugural event in April next year.

The expo’s committee of SA sheep industry veterans and newcomers launched the event’s website today, seeking sponsors for a program designed to foster junior development in the sector.

Organizing committee member and Elders employee Samantha Neumann said the sheep industry was profitable, exciting and using new technology, but the average age of farmers was increasing and the industry needed to continue to be proactive to attract young people. Organisations like Australian Wool Innovation were running successful youth programs like Breeding Leadership and the National Merino Challenge, but these were aimed at young people who were already involved or invested in the industry.

Ms Neumann said the SA Sheep Expo would be modelled on the successful SA Junior Heifer Expo to attract and foster newcomers to the industry by showing them what industry options were available.

“Opening the doors to people who might have considered it and solidifying people’s decisions to be in the industry.”

The expo will be held from April 27-29 2016 at the Adelaide Showgrounds, during the second week of the April school holidays, and is designed for high school age participants.

The interactive program will include hands-on sessions, demonstrations and presentations from leading industry experts. Topics will include wool reparation and assessment, biosecurity and animal Health, animal assessment and handling, nutrition, livestock marketing, technology, pregnancy scanning, condition scoring, genomics, consumer demands, industry structure, education and careers.

Entry to the expo will be open to young sheep enthusiasts aged 12-23 years, split into three groups: junior 12-14 years; intermediate 15-17 years and senior 18-23 years. Major incentives will include a study tour to New Zealand and sponsored trips to Lambex 2016 for the senior age group. Registrations will open in late January 2016. Sponsorship applications close Monday, February 1, 2016.

The SA Sheep Expo committee includes Ian Pfeiffer, chairman and retired White Suffolk breeder; Nikki Ward, secretary; Matt Ashby, mid-north Merino breeder; Malcolm Buckby, Royal Agricultural and Horticultural Society of SA; Peter Button, Yoprke Peninsula stud breeder; Rachel Chirgwin, livestock contractor; Heather Dalla, Merino breeder; Karen Dennis, Eyre Peninsula stud breeder; Mark Grossman, Barossa Valley White Suffolk breeder; Stephen Kellock, Merino breeder; Brenton Lush, breeder and farm merchandiser; Samantha Neumann; Allan Piggott, stud breeder and former Lambex chairman; Gregory Pittaway, TAFE SA co-ordinator; Penny Schulz, Livestock SA and sponsorship co-ordinator, and; Margy Wright, SA Agricultural Teachers Association.


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  1. Edward H Wymer., December 28, 2015

    I believe it is morally wrong to encourage gullible 12-17 year olds into any industry with misleading information.
    I hope the instructors make the students aware that the Australian sheep population has dropped over 100,000,000 in the last 25 years. If there was a good future for anyone, the sons and daughters of current farmers wouldn’t be heading off farm and there would be no need for this expo.
    All the prospective occupations mentioned in the expo preamble are not very secure, with lots of unpaid down time, which is not good for anyone.
    The first mentioned — wool preparation — is typical. With 19,200 wool classers registered with the Australian Wool Exchange, they can only average four days work each per year. Even master wool classers only average only average three months work per year, on AWEX’s own figures.
    Students should watch the 1975 film ” Sunday Too Far Away”, a film set in the wool industry, where the actor playing Mr Dawson, the property owner, gives a good portrayal of the contempt for employees in this industry.
    If the Federal Court of Australia can be fooled as told in ” The Wool Sting “, by a large rural company, what hope have 12-17 year olds got?

  2. Andrew Geddes, December 19, 2015

    Congratulations on the idea. Good luck with your organising and I hope I get some kids from Booleroo involved.

  3. Brie Harvey, December 19, 2015

    I’m a young shearer from up in the Barossa and stock manager on our family farm at Mt Pleasant.

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