By the students of 8W and 8EN1 English Classes
On Thursday last week (14/06/2018) two young country champion farmers came to talk to us in our school auditorium about the wool industry. Their names were Peta Bradley and Caitlin Heppner. The purpose of their talk was to introduce us to the wool industry and tell us about their experiences and how they became involved in this industry.
Caitlin Heppner grew up around sheep and wool in South Australia. She loves riding, rodeos and photography. Cattle showing is one of her main hobbies along with fleece judging. She won the national fleece judging competition and got her wool classing certificate at age 18. She started her career young – at just 14, learning to shear, having acted as a rouseabout since she was 10. She spoke to us about how she went to Canberra to participate in the Country to Canberra event which gave the opportunity for young farmers to be heard.
Peta Bradley is a geneticist in Armidale, she studied agriculture at CSU in Wagga Wagga. She also grew up on a farm and her mum worked at a school, her dad an agronomist and her brother a diesel mechanic. Their farm is near Gilgandra which is about 2.5 hours NNW of Orange. She talked to us about how she starts the process of genetics. When the lambs are first born, they are weighed to get data to track breeding patterns for improving wool production. Every wool farmer wants to improve their micron to make their wool more valuable and their farm more profitable.
We learnt about the wool industry in Australia. There are more sheep than people in Australia. The wool industry has been an important and significant part of the Australian economy for a very long time. These days our major export markets for wool are in Asia, especially China and Europe. An important aspect of the modern wool industry is innovation. Australian Wool Innovation is an organisation whose mission is to enhance the profitability and sustainability of the wool industry and to increase demand and market access for Australian wool. You are probably familiar with the iconic Australian Wool mark symbol seen to the right.
Properties of wool:
We found Peta and Caitlin’s talk very interesting and engaging. We had some interesting questions although many had already been answered during the comprehensive and informative talk. It was inspiring and educational.
This visit was useful for us in our Archibull endeavours because it broadened our understanding of the wool industry, and this is the theme for our entry.