A FOURTH generation Merino breeder from South Australia has been elected president of the Australian Association of Stud Merino Breeders (AASMB).
Tom Ashby of North Ashrose Merino and Poll Merino studs, Gulnare, was unanimously endorsed to lead the federal association which represents the six state Stud Merino associations and through them, Australia’s registered Merino stud breeders.
He succeeds Will Roberts, Victoria Downs, Morven, Queensland, whose three-year term concluded at the association’s AGM, held recently during the Royal Easter Show.
Mr Ashby is a co-principal of the North Ashrose studs which he founded in 1996 with his father, Graham and brother, Matthew by transfer of a half share of the Ashrose studs which were established in 1910 and 1957 respectively.
He is a former president of the South Australian Stud Merino Breeders Association and has been vice-president of the AASMB for the past three years. Mr Ashby is also a councillor of the Royal Adelaide Show and a panellist on the 2009 WoolPoll.
During his presidency, Mr Ashby said that he is looking forward to increased communication opportunities with commercial woolgrowers.
“I believe that it is important that those who are breeding the genetics of the industry stay in close touch with our clients, the commercial breeders.
“We are all looking for improved wool prices but we must also emphasise on a worldwide basis that breeding of the Merino provides a sustainable and renewable food and fibre source.”
To this end, Mr Ashby said that he looks forward to leading the Australian delegation on next year's trade mission to Europe which is aimed at increasing the promotion of the Australian Merino. The European mission is being timed to also include the 8th World Merino Conference in Rambouillet, France.
Mr Ashby also said that a further focus of his association would be to identify and monitor opportunities for stud breeders to be at the forefront of climate, water and ecological issues and assist with transmitting the relevant information to members
He said, “In its 50th anniversary year, the AASMSB continues to strive to meet the needs of its members and to ensure that the genetic requirements of commercial woolgrowers continue to be met.”
Current president of the NSW Stud Merino Breeders’ Association, Robert Lindsay, Cora Lynn, Peak Hill, is the AASMB’s new vice-president/treasurer and Carol King, executive director of the Australian Merino Centre through which the association is administered, was re-elected secretary.
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