With lifetime involvement and a number of successes in the Merino industry, Jock McLaren from Nerstane Merino stud, Woolbrook, has been selected as the new chairman of the Australian Merino Sire Evaluation Association (AMSEA).
Mr McLaren has been involved in some way at the New England sire evaluation for around 20 years. He has been on the AMSEA executive committee for the past 10 to 15 years and has served under chairman, Tom Silcock, as the vice-chairman for six years.
“It is a pretty exciting time to be in wool. It is an exciting time for the Australian Wool Industry and AMSEA, with the Merino Lifetime Productivity (MLP) project and the normal Merino Sire Evaluation,” Mr McLaren said.
“It is now my turn to step up. It has been a passion of mine the whole time and I am a big believer in progeny testing – a ram is not totally proven till progeny is on the ground and tested.
“The sire evaluation and MLP are great platforms to test and learn from hands on sheep production.”
Mr McLaren looks forward to working with a great committee through an exciting time for wool and encourages people to get involved in the hands on testing and learning as “the more people involved the better”.
“The standard sire evaluation and MLP is a great thing for the industry going forward,” he said.
Mr McLaren will be taking over from Tom Silcock, The Mountain Dam Merinos, Telangatuk East, Victoria, who had been in the position for the past six years.
Following his 20 years of involvement in the evaluation at the Balmoral trial site and his time on the national committee, Mr Silcock will continue to be involved in the AMSEA and MLP project.
This will be as the site manager of the Balmoral site and a representative on the AMSEA national committee to ensure continuity.
The Balmoral site is the largest site in Australia, joining 24 sires in the MLP project and recently joining 20 entries in the standard Merino Sire Evaluation trial. They will be holding a field day on February 16 that is likely to be the biggest field day to be held for the sire evaluation.
“Two drops of the MLP project will be on display, plus standard sire evaluation 2017 lambs on the ground. The first drop of F2 progeny – progeny out of the progeny, will also be on display,” Mr Silcock said.
He said it is an exceptionally exciting time to be in the industry and for the industry.
“It is exciting not only because of the financial returns but also because of the increasing improvement in genetic potential and new ongoing selection tools becoming available such as DNA and genomics.
“All those things make it an exciting time to be involved in the industry.”