Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Leading Sheep forum signals increasing Merino interest

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Leading Sheep, Media Release, 21 April 2021

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Photo: Laura Barry on Unsplash

Queensland sheep producers and woolgrowers have signalled their interest in boosting Merino numbers in the State with the annual Leading Sheep Forum and dinner at Longreach attracting strong attendance.

Under the theme of Meeting the Markets with Merinos, the forum was held on 26 March at Qantas Founders Outback Museum, and attracted 50 attendees representing 17 individual primary production businesses.

The forum included presentations from industry leaders focusing on market analysis, data, diversification opportunities, industry services and how technology can be utilised to enhance business decision-making and drive greater returns for producers.

Jed Sommerfield, Extension Officer with the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries said feedback from producers attending the forum indicated intent to make on-farm changes in response to information presented.

“The forum included presentations from Australian Wool Innovation’s (AWI) Miles Barritt on the wool market and future opportunities, and Henry Ridge delivered an overview of the functions of WoolQ,” Mr Sommerfield said.

“WoolQ is AWI’s online platform that allows woolgrowers and industry participants to access and share data, information and communication. Henry displayed the common functions of WoolQ that producers use, and the potential advantages for woolgrowers of using this technology in their business.

“Matt Dalgleish from Thomas Elder Markets delivered practical and relevant insights on the Merino meat markets.”

While the forum was the first face-to-face event Leading Sheep has held in the region in over 12 months due to COVID-19 restrictions, Mr Sommerfield said interactive meeting technology was also used to deliver some aspects of the forum.

“Agrista Director, John Francis, presented on the advantages and disadvantages of diversification. John’s presentation was delivered online, and he made use of integrated software to collect feedback from attendees in real-time. This allowed him to fine-tune the content of his presentation, so he could deliver information to target the priorities of attendees,” Mr Sommerfield said.

“We used the same technology to collect feedback from attendees at the end of the forum.”

A dinner followed the forum featuring keynote speaker and futurist, Paul Higgins. Paul works with groups and organisations to challenge the status quo and facilitate strategic thinking and capacity.

Leading Sheep is a joint initiative of Australian Wool Innovation and the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, supported by AgForce. Leading the way for a more profitable Queensland sheep and wool industry through new technology knowledge and skills.

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