Merino showcase at Loddon

Merino showcase at Loddon Valley Field Day


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Alan Harris, Koole Vale, with three generations of the McCrae family, Warren, Jack and Rodney, Oakbank Merinos, Marnoo, at last year's Loddon Valley District Stud Merinos Field Day central display at Serpentine.

Alan Harris, Koole Vale, with three generations of the McCrae family, Warren, Jack and Rodney, Oakbank Merinos, Marnoo, at last year's Loddon Valley District Stud Merinos Field Day central display at Serpentine.

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Fifteen Merino studs will be on display for the Loddon Valley District Stud Merinos Field Day.

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WITH optimism in the sheep and wool industries at an all-time high, this year’s Loddon Valley District Stud Merinos Field Day on Friday, March 2, promises to be bigger and better than ever before.

Now in its 35th year, the field day gives stud breeders in the region the opportunity to showcase their sheep genetics and promote upcoming ram sales, according to field day president Alan Harris, who runs Koole Vale Merino and Poll Merino studs, Costerfield, with his family.

“The aim of the field day is to raise the profile of Merino studs in the Loddon Valley region and offers a unique view of each stud and their breeding objectives to current clients and prospective ram buyers,” Mr Harris said.

This year’s field day includes a central display at the Serpentine Recreation Reserve of 10 studs – East Loddon, Akeringa, Cahirblonig, Forest Springs, Hynam Poll, Kerrilyn, Koole Vale, Ninuenook, Wattlebank and Woodpark Poll. 

A further five studs – Kedleston Park, Panorama, Terrick West, Willera and Kamarooka Park – will host on-property open days. 

“Breeders will have a range of sheep on display, including 2017-drop young rams for sale in the spring and rising two-year-old rams which are generally offered at the Bendigo Sheep and Wool Show in July,” Mr Harris said.

After the success of last year’s information sessions, two workshops have been organised for this year to encourage more visitors.

“Hopefully it will make it worthwhile for people attending the field day and provide a double platform of learning,” Mr Harris said.

This year’s workshops will provide an update from Agricultural Victoria on the use of electronic identification (eID) tags on-farm, while Landmark stud stock Merino sheep specialist Stephen Chalmers, will take a hands-on approach to educating producers on the importance of combining visual classing of sheep with Australian Sheep Breeding Values measurements. The workshops will be run from 10.30am to 11.45am and from 1.30pm to 2.45pm.

As an added drawcard, the field day will hold a pen of three ram lambs competition with each participating stud able to enter on the day. The competition will be judged by well-known stud breeders Rod Miller, Glenpaen Merinos and Poll Merinos, Brimpaen, and Warren Russell, Melrose Merinos, Toolondo.  

“The pen of three ram lambs will be judged on wool quality, conformation and breeding potential. People attending the field day can also enter to guess the eventual winner of the ram lamb competition and go in the draw to win a prize.”

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