About 200 people attended the final conference of the Australian Sheep Industry Cooperative Research Centres, better known as Sheep CRC, on Tuesday and Wednesday, marking 19 years of research uniting the wool growing and sheep meat industries.
Officially opening the event was the first chairman from 2001 to 2007 and former leader of the National Party, Ian Sinclair, who reflected on the early days at a time when the average return to producers from the sale of wool represented about two-thirds of their income.
He praised the role of the CEO, Professor James Rowe, a position held from the Sheep CRC's inception and the day in July 2001 when Mr Rowe addressed the annual NSW Farmers Conference presenting his parameters of the organisation's operation.
Mr Sinclair said wool and meat were traditionally regarded as two separate industries, however the CRC's focus was to improve profitability of the sheep industry by optimising returns from meat, wool and skins.
"In these two decades I believe through Sheep CRC the industry is more united and become a single sheep industry sustaining profit and income stability by making the most out of those major models," he said.
In all, 34 speakers involved in aspects of the CRC addressed the conference held at the Dubbo Regional Theatre and Convention Centre together with trade displays from 15 companies associated with or developed from the Sheep CRC.
- Read the full report in next week's The Land