THE South West Slopes Merino Field Day has become a highlight on the Merino calendar in NSW having been the focus of southern producers for many years.
Committee president, Steve Phillips, said the Merino industry was certainly going through a great phase at the moment with lamb, mutton and wool prices experiencing historically very high levels with the outlook looking bright.
“This unique event features 56 Merino and Poll Merino studs on display all under cover and all in the one location at the Harden Showground,” Mr Phillips said.
The various studs will display many of the Merino rams coming up for auction during the on-property ram sales which will be commencing soon.
“The genetic diversity of the Merino will be on display and there are sheep to suit all environments and situations,” Mr Phillips said.
“It is a great opportunity to compare bloodlines and make some important decisions as to where you want your flock to sit within the industry.”
The Merino is the backbone to most sheep livestock operations and having the right genetics extremely important to the productivity and profitability of your enterprise, Mr Phillips said.
There will be exhibits of machinery and sheep related equipment which will be of interest to all involved in the industry:
Merino ram competitions include the Wendouree Shield Pen of Three Merino Hogget Rams and the South West Slopes Merino Ram of the Year.
“The South West Slopes Merino Field Day is a great opportunity for people with busy lives to allocate one day to see the cream of the NSW stud Merino industry,” Mr Phillips said.
Return judge, Ben Simmons, has worked full time at Langdene Merino stud for the past six years. He won the National Merino Junior Judging Event in 2011 and since then has judged at a number of shows and associated at ewe competitions as well as South West Slopes Field Day in 2011.
Competition judge, Tony Inder, commenced his career in the wool industry shearing from 1984 and in 2000 he and Penny purchased Allendale Merino stud from Eric Woods upon his retirement. They live on “Nyrang” near Wellington, where the stud of 900 ewes is based. Mr Inder now joins 6000 ewes and at his last on-property sale he sold 70 rams.
Associate judge, Sam Phillips from Yarrawonga stud, Harden, won the NSW Junior Merino Sheep Judging final at the Sydney Royal Show in March this year at 17, which is possibly the youngest to win this award.