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January 2015

Merino Breeders Group Building Momentum

Wed, 21/01/2015 - 14:00

This March will see the inaugural Jemalong Wool Merino Breeders Group (JWMBG) circuit, with some of the Central West's best managed merino flocks on display.
It has been more than twenty years since a maiden ewe competition of any sort has been conducted in the Forbes area, despite the fact it remains a strong area for breeding merino sheep. However, this is not a ewe competition as such, but rather a showcase and networking opportunity for merino breeders to see what others are doing, gather new ideas, and use the knowledge of others to further develop their own merinos. Merinos have proven they can, and in fact are, a profitable enterprise if managed well. Gone are the days of relying on the wool clip alone, in particular in the finer micron types, which continue to struggle at the wool sales. Combine that with the fact that these types of sheep are generally a "specialist wool producing type", it makes it difficult at present to profit from them. The modern merino has become very much a dual purpose type sheep producing not only a quality wool clip, but exhibiting carcase traits to compete with the traditional meat breeds. Judges for the event will be Mr Paul Swan , Australian Wool Innovations General Manager for Research, Mr Grant Nivison, principal of Yalgoo Merino Stud at Walcha, and Mr Ed Thomas (Associate Judge) of Jemalong Wool Cooma.

The objective of the JWMBG is best summarised by the groups' mission statement:

"It is the objective of the Jemalong Wool Merino Breeders Group to improve the profitability of Merino producers, particularly those participating in the group, by networking ideas and practices relating to sheep husbandry and management, sharing information, and developing innovative ways to improve the productivity of their merino enterprises and ultimately benefit the entire Merino Industry."

The JWMBG Circuit will be held over two days, Thursday 5th and Friday 6th March, 2015, culminating in a dinner and awards evening at Eat Your Greens Function Centre at Eugowra. Guest Speaker for the evening will be Mr Jimmy Jackson, General Manager for Product Development and Commercialisation with The Woolmark Company.

We encourage Merino producers from everywhere to take a look at what's going on in the Central West. For catering purposes, bookings are essential, and anyone interested in attending should contact Megan McLauchlin on 02 68514000.