Arthur Le Feuvre, consultant, Warwick, QLD.
Having been raised on a sheep property north of Julia Creek, worked for the industry in (what was!) Qld DPI for 41 years and continued to have some industry involvement, possibly entitles me to make a few observations.
One of the issues facing the sheep industry in Australia is the fact that traditional information services provided by Governments, particularly State Governments, are declining. There has been a distinct change from local advisers and extension personnel towards online resources such as downloadable PDFs, webinars and suchlike. Large scale events such as regional seminars are also popular with information providers.
The problem this is that most sheep producers are not fully familiar with, or accepting of, these services. It’s the same with some very beneficial technologies such as Worm Egg Counting, genetic selection for worm resistance and smart grazing. It’s hard to believe that someone who has never set foot on your place might know more about some things than you!!
It’s an unfortunate fact that the general belief amongst producers is that if you have been around in the industry for years, you probably know more about things than some young PHD graduate who has just written a landmark paper on worm management. I know, because I suffer from it!!
If you are a producer who receives this electronic newsletter, you are part of a very small minority in the industry. You are also probably managing worms and other issues better than your peers, because you have learnt to embrace change and new ideas.
So, what do you do to help your less accepting peers and friends?
Can I suggest you try (a) forwarding this newsletter to your mates who don’t get it and (b) help organise a small event such as the CRC worm management workshops for you and your mates. Maybe you don’t need it, but the industry will benefit from what your mates will learn. And, over time, so will you. There will be less drench resistant worms, more worm resistant sheep and much reduced management costs.
Think about it.