Following on the back of an excellent spring with continuing high wool and meat prices, the 2017 biennial Peppin-Shaw Ewe Forum was always going to go well.  Nine local properties from a varying background of corporate and family entities displayed well grown young Merino ewes. Add to the mix a variety of discussions in the yard and bus covering breeding and pastoral management the event was not only informative but also entertaining for participants and exhibitors.

Over 1000 km were travelled across the plains during the two day Forum.  The first stop on the Tuesday morning was the inspection of the Wyvern young ewes at the new woolshed owned by the Field family followed by a drone display by experienced operator Ben Watts. Ben had on display several drone models for participants to view and operate. Discussions with Ben were about the different drones’ role as tools in the industry to assist large scale farmers. The bus next moved to the Mulberrygong woolshed to inspect the Burrabogie young ewes owned by Australian Food and Fibre before heading down south to view the McCrabb’s commercial ewes at the Avenel Merino Stud.  A delicious smorgasbord lunch at the Wanganella Hall included a presentation by Bayer on the new farm management app AgriWebb. The final stop for the day was the Lugsdin’s property Warrendale near Gunbar where the use of electronic tags and a wand was discussed during the sheep inspection.  A social evening at the Waradgery Club featuring the drone footage collected at the property visits was viewed to conclude the day.

On Wednesday the bus headed north east of Booligal to the Vagg’s family property Furlong. With Allan Vagg entertaining participants with his bush poetry skills to pass some time the bus returned to Booligal and then headed west. The Turner Family put on display their young ewes and the newly renovated woolshed at Woorandara west of Booligal.  Next followed a quick stop at the Morphett family’s 103 year old Alma woolshed before moving to the Dowling’s property Merritop. Dowling’s young ewes were displayed in a new set of yards near a bore towards the back end of the property.  On the local backroad to the next propert, the participants viewed a mob of goats caught in a trap yard and a solar bore used for stock waters before arriving at the Nield’s family property Benilkie. It was there they had lunch in the woolshed and inspected the house desalination plant that the Nields used, afterwards it was short trip to the yards to inspect the Benilkie ewes.   Cameron Nield also put on a very entertaining display of some skilled drone mustering to bring sheep that were out of view back to yards.  The final stop for the bus was to inspect the large mob of young ewes that Tupra had on display in the recently built Nandum yards owned by the McLachlan Family.  At each stop the Assessors made comments on the sheep in the yards after the landholder presentations.  The Assessors were Courtney Sutherland from Wagin in WA covering the wool and Jarrod Slattery from Landmark in Wagga discussing the meat attributes.

For further information on the Forum visit the website at www.peppinshaw.com.au or contact the Secretary Annabel Lugsdin on 0428539167

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