UNDERSTANDING the business you are working with is key to making improvements in the flock, according to long-time sheep classer Craig Wilson.
Mr Wilson, Wagga Wagga, has been in the business for about 25 years with his passion for sheep starting on the family property between Lockhart and The Rock.
After he spent time as Jackaroo and working for Hazledean, he started his own business in 2000 and now has clients in Western Australia, Victoria and across NSW.
"What really got me into it was my love of genetics and breeding," he said.
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And it's the chance to constantly be making those decisions that Mr Wilson enjoys about the job.
"The difference with an advisory role or sheep classing role is you get to make those genetic decisions all the time whereas if you've only just got your own farm you might only do that once a year," he said.
"Whereas [as a sheep classer] you might be doing it for 30 or 40 different places."
For Mr Wilson, one of the most important things to be able to achieve flock improvements is to understand the structure of the business.
"Sheep classing is really only a small part of a bigger picture I feel so you've got to have a broader perspective of the total business that people are running," he said.
"You've got to understand some of their limitations around capital and labour and their country and what they can achieve. I don't have a blanket approach across my clients - it's very much specific to who they are and what they can achieve."
To help achieve improvements Mr Wilson has been using objective measurements and breeding values with running wether trials.
"Having clients put their sheep in those trials allows you to understand the genetics," he said.
"It takes out the management and the nutrition from the genetics so you can then just measure the genetics. You need to understand what the capacity for them to get better is and what traits they need to select for to make their sheep better."
Mr Wilson said it was not one specific trait, it was the combination of all traits that leads to the end result of an improved flock with balanced sheep important.