Apparel Wool, Meat for a Feast

Christmas Newsletter 2023

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ADBA Office
Christmas break – The secretary’s office is now closed for Christmas holidays it will reopening on Monday 8 January 2024.
Sheep Genetics Analysis
The first analysis for 2024 will be:
•    DOHNE MERINO – Friday 5th January

Councils’ Year in Review
The year seems to have flown by quickly, and considering all the things coming up for the Dohne Merino breed, the next probably will too!
In September Liz and I had the privilege of visiting all studs in Western Australia. Thank you to everyone for your hospitality and for sharing your breeding philosophies, concerns and views regarding the Dohne Merino breed. It was great to put faces to names and we hope these relationships grow in the future. In 2024 we intend to travel to the Eastern States and meet as many as possible there too.
Sales for the year have been variable; quality rams have been well supported, but the lack of station orders have made clearance difficult. From what I’ve gathered the shedding breeds have become very popular due to a combination of lack of shearers, cost of shearing, and lower wool prices. This has certainly hurt our breed and other Merinos, but I feel confident that with rising wool and lamb prices (especially for un-mulesed), our breed can re-gain market share. 
Towards this goal, the ADBA continues to invest in research, such as the AMSEA trial at Coonong Station. A Field Day will be held there on Wednesday 21st February to release the most up to date data. This includes a first for AMSEA: MEQ (meat eating qualities). I urge any interested people to attend this day and the de-brief at Narrandera the following morning. Thank you to the Trial Committee and Tom and Sophie Holt and staff for making this possible.
The annual Face to Face Meeting of the ADBA Council will coincide with the AMSEA trial. Also held in Narrandera, it will include the inaugural meeting of the yet to be named group for young, next generation breeders, with the aim of gaining information and direction from those that will lead our breed into the future. 
Major items on the agenda for councillors to discuss will be:
1.    Bendigo ASWS Feature Breed – including promo and show committee combined meeting.
2.    Budget 24/25
3.    Sheep Genetics 
4.    New owner/classer forms finalization, Junior Membership/School Membership
The other main focus of the past year has been the ASWS at Bendigo. It will continue to occupy the attention of the Council and committees until July, and will be a great platform for us to promote our unique Dohne Merino breed to a broad community of sheep breeders. It is always a time to catch up with old friends and make new ones. I really hope for a strong turnout of studs competing at the event, and also lots of people interested in the breed, including commercial breeders as well. Please book accommodation early and be part of making 2024 “The Year of the Dohne Merino”.
Hopefully, you can all take a break over Christmas and begin 2024 with confidence of better prices, demand and a good season.
Greg Hall, ADBA President 

Practical Guide
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