Apparel Wool, Meat for a Feast

Forging new relationships between producers and students

27 Jul 2016, Vanessa Binks , The Land

 

One year on and an education partnership forging new relationships between Dohne producers and students entering the livestock industry, is opening pathways for the long term future of the breed.

In July 2015, a flourishing partnership between Muresk Institute, south west of Northam in the Western Australian central wheatbelt and the Western Australian Dohne Breeders’ Association began, in an attempt to secure the breeds future and industry at large with younger generations.

The idea for practical experience for was born after Charles Sturt University, Bachelor of Agricultural Business Management degree students, attended the WA Sire Day as part of their studies in livestock production.

Educator at Muresk Institute, Kathryn Egarton-Warbuton, Charles Sturt University, said the event prompted the initial exposure to the Dohne breed, after viewing first hand the application of breeding and selection theory to practical situations.

Ms Egarton-Warbuton said the opportunity to build on this initial exposure was then granted by providing a demonstration flock to be run at the Muresk Institute.

The partnership was launched on July 29 2015 with the Western Australian Dohne Breeders’ Association donation of 200 commercial Dohne ewes to the Muresk Institute flock.

“It allows students to see sheep breeding in action – I can talk about it all I like in the classroom but until they actually see people using the tools available to make breeding decisions it doesn’t really hit home,” Ms Egarton-Warbuton said.

“They have exposure to performance breeding – the on-site flock has given the opportunity to make the measurements on an ongoing basis and use them as a way of studying the performance of the breed.”

Rhys Parsons, Western Australian Dohne Breeders’ Association president, believes the partnership has “given the industry a great lift” and allowed Dohne breeders a glimpse into a positive future among Australia’s young people.

“Education in livestock has been dropping off for too long and this partnership has given it a boost,” Mr Parson said.

“Some areas of livestock are daunting, such as genetics, and through Dohne breeders being involved, they are making it clearer for students to comprehend.”

Rhy & Kathryn the land

Kathryn Egarton-Warbuton, Charles Sturt University, Western Australia, with Western Australian Dohne Breeders’ Association, president, Rhys Parsons.

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