Record high wool prices and strong sheep meat prices are sure to spark increased interest in the upcoming Sheep Week.
Headlines declaring the wool market is in a “super cycle” will ensure there is plenty of traffic around this year’s event.
Along with the firing wool market, strong prices for meat sheep in saleyards and works across the country will further boost interest.
After the inaugural event in 2017, which attracted 52 studs and large groups of visitors over five days, the 2018 event has been expanded into more parts of New South Wales and South Australia.
The event will now run across nine days from June 18 to 27, with 58 studs opening their gates.
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Naming right sponsors for the event are Shearwell Australia, with supporting partners Rural Bank, Focus Genetics and Reid Stockfeeds.
The inaugural event was a huge success, both from a participant point of view and a commercial sponsorship point of view.
The success of the 2017 event vindicated the vision of the organisers in recognising the need for a marketing option for small and medium-sized operations.
Many of these studs might not have the resources to go to shows.
With 22 breeds represented, there was a roughly equal split between meat and wool growing businesses.
The design of the event means that in one week people can visit studs of a multitude of breeds across Victoria, as well as sections of NSW and SA.
Fairfax Agricultural Media’s Nathan O’Sullivan said the studs and commercial partners were looking forward to this year’s event, with commodity and livestock prices on a high.
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Day one features additional studs from NSW, with seven entered in areas from Lockhart to Corowa, Yass and Boorowa.
There are also eight new studs from South Australia joining the lineup this year, from Strathalbyn to Bordertown and Naracoorte.
Mr O’Sullivan said sheep studs enjoyed being able to open their gates to the public and provide insight into their operation.
Like the successful Stock & Land Beef Week, participants would have the opportunity of opening their farm gates and interacting with like-minded producers, he said.
Studs will welcome commercial producers and those with an interest in sheep to interact, engage and share feedback around their breeds, sheep and wool, and agriculture in general.
With the ram-selling season starting soon, Sheep Week is perfectly timed for commercial flock producers to identify sheep and genetics they would seek to buy.
New exhibitor this year, Springwaters Poll Dorset stud’s Dane Rowley said they had jumped at the chance to be involved.
“We are keen to open our gate to our existing clients,” Mr Rowley said.
“It’s also potentially a chance for other sheep producers to look at our sheep.
“We are happy to support a new initiative.
“I like the concept and I visit cattle studs during Beef Week.”
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East Loddon Merino will exhibit at the Jerilderie Showgrounds, NSW, with nine other studs
East Loddon’s Marcus Hooke said the first year had been a “good day”, with existing clients and potential clients attending.
Mr Hooke said that bringing the sheep to a central location was easier for the stud and for visitors.
East Loddon would have its 2017-drop, paddock run, rams on display.
Coverage from all properties during the nine days, including an array of photos, videos and stories, will be available on Stock & Land’s website.
It will also be available on the site’s social media platforms, including Facebook and Instagram.
Paton boosts visitor prizes
Visitors to the 2018 Sheep Week will have the chance of winning a Paton Ewe Lift trailer from Paton Industries valued at $2700.
This year, Paton Industries has extended the prizes on offer to include second and third prizes of a Paton 1 Tonne Lick feeder, valued at $1800 each.
Paton Industries manager Nick Luxton said the business was happy to be involved for the second year.
Mr Luxton said the company’s focus was around the stud stock industry that included the industry leaders.
“The people coming to Sheep Week tend to be the serious producers,” Mr Luxton said.
Fairfax Agricultural Media's Craig Davidson said it was tremendous to have Paton Industries back on board as a competition sponsor showing their strong support and involvement for Sheep Week as a concept and event in its second year.
Mr Davidson commended Nick Luxton for his decision to up the prizes this year to be worth around $6300 in total, providing visitors with three chances to win.
"The competition adds that extra interest to the field days whilst showcasing some of Paton's top line manufactured products which are so useful to the producers," Mr Davidson said.
Mr Luxton said that because of the season, the business had been busy with interest in the company’s livestock feeding and handling equipment.
The Ewe Lift trailer could move ewes and lambs and calves safely around the farm using a lifting and lowering mechanism.