With their backs bowed, they breeze through the wool like a seasoned shearer even though some have only been in the game for just a year.
Shearers, wool classers and rouseabouts - they all share something in common, a passion for helping wool thrive.
Sam and Ella Picker, Bigga
There's certainly friendly sibling rivalry when Sam and Ella Picker hit the shearing floor.
The pair from Bigga strike 'blow for blow' each trying outdo the other.
"I don't want him to double me but he wants to double me (shear two to my one), it's cool shearing with him but it gets competitive," Ella, 23 said.
Ella first picked up the shears because of her brother and went to a shearing school to help on the family farm.
"I did it because of Sam, he was shearing and I thought it looked cool and liked a challenge," Ella said.
Ella just competed for the first time last month in Wellington and Dubbo where she made the NSW novice team, which will compete in Bendigo in October.
For her 25-year-old brother Sam, he has been shearing for nearly eight years but is now back on the farm to help full time.
"It's shearing with my little sister, which is awesome, we have a bit of rivalry all the time, which is good, we egg each other on, but she has me now," Sam said.
Sam has travelled all over Australia and New Zealand in shearing, which has been a highlight of his career.
He has competed over the years and has represented NSW twice.
"I love the people in the shearing industry, if you a put in the right spot with the right people you will have a good time," he said.
Taya Evans, 24, Nimmitabel
With a shortage of shearers, Taya decided to learn the trade.
"I've been shearing for six months and got into it as there were not many people taking it on," Taya said.
She was working as a wool handler and then did two schools with Australian Wool Innovation before starting the job.
"It's tough work but the fact of knowing you can do it instead of watching it has a wool handler is what I love about it," she said.
"My advice is give it go even if you think you are not capable you never know what can happen."
Her personal best is shearing 101 sheep.
Hayden Crocker, 21, Crookwell
Hearing stories from his 'old man' Kenny about shearing was what spurred Hayden to make it his career.
He first picked up the shears when he was 17 where he managed to shear 60 a day but now he hits around 250 as an average.
"My advice for young people if they want to get into this industry is stick with it and push through the pain because there is a lot of opportunity shearing, you can travel the world and have a lot of fun," Hayden said.
He usually shears around Crookwell and Yass but has travelled as far as South Australia and Queensland for work.
His end goal is to make enough money to buy a sheep farm.
"I've bought a house already so I'm one step closer," Hayden said.
Hamish Hammond, 21, Crookwell
Having grown up on a sheep station, Hamish who has been shearing for four years, always wanted to do the job.
"I took a week off school to go to the Australian Wool Innovation school, and it just cemented that this is what I wanted to do," Hamish said.
"I love the physicality and skill of the job."
When he first started, he would shear 100-120 sheep a day, now it's anywhere between 180-300 depending on the sheep.
His career advice is: 'push through the first three to four months and the world will be your oyster'.
"It's one of the most rewarding jobs on the land, you get to travel and work anywhere and meet different people," he said.
Jamie Nicholson, 21, Bathurst
Jamie is "relatively new" to the industry having just picked up the shears last August.
"I moved to a property with some mates and they were shearing and they got me into it," Jamie said.
"I thought I would have a crack so I went to the Dubbo shearing school at TAFE NSW and learned there.
"I got my first job in August as soon as I came out the shearing school."
Jamie said the first time he shore a sheep, he was 'lucky to shear the last side of a sheep".
Now days he shears 120 a day on average.
"I want to stay in the industry, it's good and the lads and farmers are all welcoming, you never have an off day in the shed," he said.
His advice for young shearers is: 'it's all about your heart, if you have a big heart then you will find a long way in the industry."
Daniel Bailey, 25, St George
For Daniel shearing is in the blood.
His grandfather Kevin Lee, father Damian Lee and uncle Brendan Lee are all shearers.
"I travelled with the old fellow when I was young and loved being on the road," he said.
So when an opportunity came up to attend a shearing school at Brewarrina he jumped at it.
The first day he shore 10 sheep now he gets up to between 150 and 200.
"I see a good future in the industry and want to keep shearing for as long as I can," he said.
"It's a great lifestyle and you get to see the country, I've been to South Australia, Victoria, all over NSW and Queensland.
"My advice to young people is give it a go and don't be scared of hard work."
Bill McMillan, 26, Wellington
Stories from his grandfather Greg McMillan about life in the shearing sheds is what spurred Bill into making it his own career.
"He would tell me these stories when I was still at school and so when I left school I began shearing," Bill said.
"He would tell me stories about the days back out west in the sheds shearing with Ralph Blue at Yeoval, big tallies and knocking off driving the tractor to go straight to shearing."
And so Bill hasn't looked back since.
When he started he would shear 65 to 70, now on average it's 240 but he hit a personal best a couple of months ago with 308.
"I love it, it's in the blood," Bill said.
His advice to young people wanting to shear is: "Keep at it stay strong, don't let any criticism affect you and don't cave in."
Billy McDougall, 29, Dubbo
Shearing is in Billy's blood.
His mother Jasmine is a woolclasser while his father Patrick Lindsey and uncles were all shearers.
"It is in my blood especially on my mother's side where my grandparents managed merino studs in Queensland and NSW," Billy said.
On his first day he shore 52 sheep, now it varies from 160 to 200 a day, but his personal best is 304.
His advice is to young people wanting to pick up the shears is: "enjoy the young free lifestyle but keep your head on your shoulders. Hang around with people who have investments so they can teach you how to invest money".
His goal is to get a couple of investment properties and with one already under his belt, he plans to expand.
"I thoroughly enjoy this job and hope to do for another two decades," Billy said.
Tom Drew, 21 Bethungra (who appears on our cover)
It's the salt of the earth people in the industry that make shearing a great job for Tom.
Tom, who has been shearing for the past three years, learned from his father who had been a shearer for 17 years.
"I took to it from when I left school," Tom said
He has also attended three shearer improver schools conducted by AWI.
"They taught me more of the basic skills and different techniques and positions like where to place my feet. It has made it a lot easier," he said.
He likes the atmosphere of working in sheds and every shed is different. Sometimes with a large team, sometimes in small two shearer sheds.
"The people in the shearing industry are down to earth people. It is a hard job but you can earn good money. I can work at my own pace," he said.
Tom also gets to do a fair bit of travelling, and has found employment for most of the year.
"It's always a bit slow in the winter, but allowing for wet weather, it is a fulltime job. We do get a few weeks off over Christmas," he said.
Kayla Richters, 29, Wagga Wagga
She has been a wool handler 'all her life'.
"My whole family has worked in sheds and I just love traveling and meeting people. And we earn good money," Kayla said.
Jacob Bliss, 26 Uranquinty
Jacob has been a shearer for four years. He started his training in sheds picking up what other shearers told him.
"You make good money and it's a good job for people with lots of energy," Jacob said.
His best tally has been 260 cross-bred lambs.
Lochie Robertson, 25, Wagga Wagga
Lochie is a shearing and livestock contractor who has been shearing for 10 years after starting in the TAFE Wagga Wagga shearing course with Bill Kimber.
At the age of 21 he attended an advanced shearing school at Dubbo.
"I learnt a lot from the schools, from the better shearers who are there," he said.
Lochie said he he grew up into shearing, as it was a family tradition, with his father was a shearing contractor. His best tally has been 306 composite lambs
Adam Crowe, 30, Wagga Wagga
Adam has been pressing wool and has been a wool handler in sheds for the past five years.
His older brother got him interested and he really enjoys it.
"It's a lot of fun, the money is good and there is great camaraderie in the teams I work with," Adam said.
Bailey Delaney, 19, Uranquinty
As a fourth generation shearer, Bailey has been shearing for the past 18 months
"I enjoy the shearing, it's lots of fun in the shed with a great bunch of blokes," Bailey said.
He started as a trainee in the TAFE Wagga Wagga shearing school under Bill Kimber. His best tally has been 187 Merino ewe weaners.
"It is a very good income," he said.
Brittnee Bazeley, 28, Wagga Wagga
Brittnee started in the woolsheds 12 years ago.
Her father was a shearer and she used to go out to the sheds with him when she left school and picked up the skills.
"It's a great lifestyle, you get to do a lot of travelling and meet a lot of people," Brittnee said.
"Working in a great team makes the day go quickly, it's not a 9 to 5 job, everyday is different and the pay is good."
Blake McNamara, 21, Holbrook
Blake has been shearing for two-and-a-half years.
His father was a shearer and he saw that it looked like a good way to earn a good income.
"The work is only as hard as you make it," he said.
Blake attended two shearing schools in Tasmania because a friend who was a shearer trainer was conducting them.
"I like the physical work, it keeps me fit. If you want to work hard you can set yourself up with a good career and money. It's a great environment when you get with a good crew," he said.
His biggest tally has been 224 Merino lambs
Emily Spencer, 18, Perth, Tasmania
Emily, who is based in Tasmania and is a fourth generation shearer, only picked up the handpiece 10-months-ago after completing a novice shearing school in her home-state.
She has been working as a shed hand for two years but always dreamed of shearing.
"I was a rouseabout for a year-and-half, which was good but I was a bit bored, my dad was as shearer so I had it in my mind I wanted to do it," Emily said.
"Once I started I loved it straight away.
"Shearers helped me out and let me have a go on the last side of sheep."
Emily said the AWI novice wool harvesting course in July had given her the opportunity to learn and the support and encouragement to "be the best you can be".
"I didn't have the correct technique so it was important to be trained correctly, for me to improve my pace and the quality of my work," she said.
"I just shore my first 200 and now setting a goal to reach 300 sheep in a day."
When asked what are the best things about shearing she was quick to respond: "well, the money is good, I'm 18 and earning as much as my parents".
"What I also like is that you can set your own pace, you can have a real go, you are your own boss and that's empowering," she said.
"There are so many opportunities in the wool industry, it doesn't stop in the shearing sheds, I want to travel, save my money, one day buy a farm and run livestock. This is my future."
Tom Lilburne, 25, Hay
During the 70th Hay Sheep Show, Tom was an entrant in the Ian Munro Blade Shearing competition.
Shearing a sheep with blades always attracts a lot of attention, as many people are amazed at the skill of the shearer.
Shearing a sheep with blades was common until the advent of shearing handpieces, but the skill is still in demand. Tom is the stud manager for the Poll Boonoke and Wanganella Merino studs operated by Australian Food and Agriculture, based at Bonooke, Conargo.
He learned to blade shear as a jackaroo and credits Forbes Murdoch, classer for the AFA studs and his father Ian for teaching him the basic skills.
"It is a great skill and it is good to keep it going. Everyone still blade shears their top sheep and although we only do it twice a year, you get better with practice. It is not all that hard," Tom said.
But he said the most important thing was to look after the shears.
"They can easily be knocked out of shape or lose their sharpness. Setting blade shears is a real skill and sometimes the littlest thing can either throw your shears out or make them perfect," he said.
Angus Dawson, 24, Roseville Park, Dubbo
When he left school, Angus never dreamed he would one day take part in the blade shearing competition at the Hay Sheep Show.
The 24-year-old is a stud overseer at the Roseville Park stud Dubbo, where stud principal Matthew Coddington introduced Angus to the art of shearing sheep with blades.
"I had always been interested in stud sheep and have a stud of my own," Angus said.
"I used to look at those old photos of stud rams and hope I could get into the industry.
"At school I had done a bit of junior judging and while I was at school Chris Clonan (Alfoxton Merino stud, Armidale) would get me to help him with trimming his show sheep.
I missed a few school days to go with him to shows. I started to learn to shear with machines and did that for three years until I came to Roseville Park.
"One day Matt was shearing the show sheep and he threw me a pair of shears and said 'have a go'.
"He is left handed and I'm right handed so I just followed him as he shore his sheep. I haven't yet shorn 100 sheep so I am picking the brains of the best like John Dalla to give me a few pointers."
Angus enjoys the peace of blade shearing.
"It is not as noisy and rushed like a shearing shed and the sheep are a lot calmer. It takes me back in time but it's a skill that shouldn't be lost in the industry. The stud people will still want their top show sheep shorn with blades because it gives a nice tip to the wool. People love watching blade shearing and it's a rare skill that amazes a lot of people," he said.
Andy Murray, 23, Gilgandra
Before he left school, Andy's father Jim told him he had to learn how to shear- and that's what he did.
He was accepted into university to study physiotherapy but he went shearing for a couple of months and was hooked.
"I saw my first pay cheque and thought I would keep doing this," Andy said.
The first day he shore 56, now he averages 180 to 200 a day.
His highlight so far was blade shearing in the test match against New Zealand in 2018.
"It was cool, such a great experience," he said.
He got that opportunity after blade shearing at Sydney Royal after multi-national champion John Dalla saw him compete.
"He asked me to come down to his home and work on my shearing, now I go every year and blade shear his rams and for other studs,' he said.
His advice for someone thinking about shearing is: "get in contact with AWI to find a shearing school and once you get into it, it won't take you long and you will smash it out".
"It's best job, you can travel anywhere and meet all sorts of people," he said.
Hayden Deaton, 27, Hay
In the past eight years the highlight in the job for Hayden was working at Coober Pedy, South Australia.
"It was such a different scenery, the landscape was different for sheep," Hayden said.
Hayden became a shearer because his father Gregory was a shearer and he "always wanted to do it".
The first time he shore 13 sheep in two hours, now it's anywhere between 50 to 70.
His advice for young people is: "stick at it, the first couple of years is hard, it definitely gets easy and pays well".
Shaun Te Maipi, 28, Hay
As he was born in New Zealand, Shaun would love to be able to do a full shearing season there one day.
"I've lived here all my life, mum and dad moved to Australia in 1996 when I was two," Shaun said.
"I've been to New Zealand to work but not for long, my goal is to do a main season day but it's hard to do with a young family."
Shaun got into shearing as his father Eric is a shearing contractor.
"I was 18 when I started as I did it because of dad and because I liked to travel and meet new friends," Shaun said.
"The first time I sheared it took me four months to pay for the school, which was $800 as I could only shore seven to 13 every run - now I shear (30 to 100) in a two-hour run."
A career highlight has been winning and placing in shearing competitions around the state.
"My advice for anyone considering this as an industry is the money is good, you can make your way quite easy if you stick with it," he said.
"Break the pain barrier if you want to shear, it takes a while, some say it lasts forever."
Lleyton Robertson, 21, Edenhope
Lleyton said shearing was a 'pretty handy' trade to have under your belt to help on the family farm.
"It's something you need to know how to do on the farm especially when you only have 30 sheep to shear, it's hard to get shearer so it's pretty handy," Lleyton said, who runs Border Leicester cross Merino ewes.
"Dad and I shore a big hunk of our lambs this year and we didn't need to pay anyone to do it.
"But we will still get shearers in to do the heavy cross bred ewes."
His advice on shearing is: "it's very handy to learn if you are on the farm and it's good money if you want to be shearer fulltime."
Brad Smith, 21, Crookwell
Every school holidays Brad would go in the shearing sheds as his father Ashley was a shearer for 35 years.
Then two-and-a-half years ago he decided to 'give it a crack'.
"The great thing about this job is the lifestyle, you get to work with good people, and everyone sits down and has a beer at the end of the day," Brad said.
He competes in sports shearing and was selected in the NSW intermediate team, which will take the stand in Bendigo this October.
"My advice is work hard, have a crack and listen to people around you, that's how you learn," Brad said.
Zoe Rowe, 18, Oberon
Working as a rouseabout, Zoe wanted a challenge so she took up the shears.
She went to shearing schools and had in-shed training and has now been shearing since December.
"I was already working as a rouseabout when the property I was working at said try and work in the sheds as a shearer," Zoe said.
"You have to have discipline and put yourself mentally there," Zoe said.
"It takes time to be able to do it comfortably, but it's a great job when it clicks."
Her personal best is shearing 141 cross bred lambs.
Zack Thompson, 24, Deniliquin
Zack's been in the shearing sheds since he was a toddler so it was a natural progression to become a shearer.
But before he was able to following in the footsteps of his father Mark, his mother made him do an apprenticeship as a cabinet maker.
But the shears were calling and it's a job he's been doing for three years.
"I love the people, they are different, it's hard to explain, they are cruisier than most other humans," he said.
His career highlight was completing his first 200 when he had been shearing for a year-and-a-half. Now he averages between 140 to 290.
Emma McDonald, 20, Cooma
For Emma, who has been shearing for seven months, it's in her blood.
She is the fourth generation in the game with her father Rowen and grandfather Ernie Constance shearers.
"I have worked in the sheds since I was 16 as a rouseabout and just loved it," she said.
"Sure it's a family tradition but I love the feeling when I shear, it's a feeling you can't describe."
The highlight of the job was winning her first shear recently at the Mitchell Power Memorial Speed Shear at Bombala.
Her career advice is: 'grab it by the horns and have a go, don't be scared'.
Nic Skelly, 25, Crookwell
Nic's mates were shearing so he just fell into the career he's now been doing for six years.
"Me and a mate went to Western Australia to learn to rouseabout and the rest is history," Nic said.
On the first day he shore 41 sheep now he averages 180 to 200.
He said the highlight of the job was travelling across Australia and to New Zealand.
"I loved New Zealand, the culture is different, it's more laid back," he said.
His advice is: 'keeping walking in there no matter how much it hurts."
Elliott Learmonth, 25, Peak Hill
Elliott got into shearing by accident.
He went into a shed one day to help with crutching and got straight on the hand piece, that was eight years ago.
The highlight of his career was becoming an Australian Wool Innovation trainer a year ago.
"It's an extremely hard job but it makes me happy to help someone in the industry," Elliott said.
"My advice is keep walking into the pen, you have to our job is hard and you are going to have hard days but you have to run by run and keep walking in."
Just this year he made the top 12 in the state in the open shearing at Dubbo.
Erin Twigg, 22, Bears Lagoon, Victoria
Erin's advice for women thinking about shearing is to 'give it a crack'.
"I started as a rouseabout and thought I could give it a go," Erin said, who has studied a bachelor of health science at Deacon University.
"I wanted to try something different and prove females could do a male job."
Last week she hit a personal best 76 in a short day.
While she might consider a career path with her degree, she wants to stick with shearing and has started her wool classing ticket.
"It's good money, it's a great environment, it's full on and then you sit down at smoko and have a laugh then 30 minutes you are back at it again," she said.
"There is endless opportunities and you can meet new people and travel."
Brody Tiyce, 24, Taralga
Brody Tiyce had a goal to shear as many sheep as he could in an eight-hour period - so he set his mind to it and did exactly that.
After three months of a rigorous fitness and nutritional program with a personal trainer, Brody unofficially broke a shearing record.
He shore 602 first cross lambs in eight hours just before Christmas - well above the 524 record
"I had a personal trainer who coached me through it all, had attempted a world record before so he knew what I needed to do to be at that level," Brody said.
Brody, who has spent most of his shearing career in the salt bush country, said he got into it because he loved a challenge.
"I have a love for competition and realised I could make a lot of money and be competitive," he said.
"I love this job you get to meet a lot of people."
Brody admits he loves a competition.
"In every shed I've been in since I was 19, I've been competitive in sheds, I've always been like that since I was a little kid in sports carnival," he said.
"I haven't been beaten in a shed for four years now.
His advice for young shearers is: "Learn to look after your body, it will reward you in the long run."
Journalist based on the Mid North Coast for The Land.
Journalist based on the Mid North Coast for The Land.
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