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The Yarn Podcast

What do luxury fashion in Paris and a farm near Burra have in common? Wool!

Join us as we explore wool’s global supply chain; speaking with woolgrowers, manufacturers, designers and everyone in between, about how they're working with the world's miracle fibre. If you have feedback or a question you would like to raise as part of The Yarn podcast, please email The Yarn at theyarn@wool.com.

Episode 255 - February 1, 2024

China is by far the largest destination for Australian wool, not only got processing but also, ultimately, sales. What is less known is the dependence of the enormous Chinese wool processing industry on Australian Merino wool. Hear AWI/Woolmark Country Manager Jeff Ma discuss the latest developments for our fibre within China and why he believes Australia and China with stay wool-dependent on each other for a very long time.

Episode 256 - February 1, 2024

Italy is one of the style-capitals of the world with leading brands as well as some of the globe’s significant upmarket wool processors and manufacturers. Hear AWI/Woolmark regional manager for central and eastern Europe, Francesco Magri discuss the latest wool campaigns and trends in Italy and why he is optimistic for our fibre in this crucial market.

Episode 254 - November 29, 2023

A kiwi shearer with a great eye for innovation, Wayne is known for his very successful crutching trailers but now has a system that uses a board that can change height to allow shearing also. Hear how Wayne is also thinking of what could be done to harvest wool using biological harvesting.

Episode 253 - November 22, 2023

The much-maligned Merino weaner is a vital part of any self-replacing Merino enterprise but often the cause of great frustration in working out how to get the best from them. Megan Rogers of AWI Sheep Connect NSW speaks with two woolgrowers have been through the trials and come out winning with weaners with a few, simple tweaks and are reaping the rewards: Tony Overton from Walcha and Rob Kelly from Guyra.

Episode 252 - November 8, 2023

One of the superstars of agriculture is Anna Speer, from pastoral experience as a jillaroo to the Livestock Exchange, CEO of Auctions Plus to chief operating officer at AACo and now managing director of Greenstock or Woolworths Meat, Anna has quickly become one of Australian agriculture’s most influential figures. What does she make of the juggernaut that is regenerative agriculture and what is the future of the relationship between modern consumers and farmers?

Episode 251 - October 18, 2023

AWI Trade Analyst Scott Carmody talks through the ups and the downs from the 34th Nanjing Wool Market conference, widely seen as the most significant wool industry conference. Some blunt feedback from Chinese processors about wool clip preparation and some good longer terms signs from the trade were amongst the news.

Episode 250 - September 7, 2023

Hear from AWI Chairman Jock Laurie and Professor Phil Hynd from the University of Adelaide on the latest research developments with biological harvesting of wool from the latest field day.

Episode 249 - August 11, 2023

Dr Alex Ball of Rural Analytics explains the enormous gains the sheep and wool industry, or the sheep industry has achieved in the last 25 years but puts the ball in the industry’s court as to the future. Where do we want to be in another 25 years? The potential is out there.

Episode 248 - July 6, 2023

Regen Ag enjoys enormous popularity amongst farmers and consumers alike, but what is its definition and what can it and cannot include? Hear the thoughts from farmer, conservationist, agronomist Cam Nicholson from Nicon Ag about the opportunity for Regenerative Agriculture to be a term that helps unify rather than divide.

Episode 247 - June 2, 2023

Recently returned from both the IWTO congress in Japan and a trip to meet with some of China’s biggest wool processors and traders, AWI Trade Consultant, Scott Carmody has a mix of reality and optimism for wool.

Episode 246 - April 27, 2023

One of the most significant roles in the wool industry is the General Manager of on farm research at Australian Wool Innovation. Bridget Peachey now holds this position and we hear from her about the various projects she now oversees. For those looking to contribute maggot samples for the flystrike resistance research discussed please contact NSW DPI email.insectresistance@dpi.nsw.gov.au
or ph: 02 4640 6446 and supp feeding for lamb survival contact Amy Lockwood (a.lockwood@murdoch.edu.au) or Serina Hancock (s.hancock@murdoch.edu.au)

Episode 245 - April 12, 2023

Canadian company Simply Merino consciously uses Australian Merino for their everyday outdoor wear. Recently they came to Australia and stayed on a farm that sold wool into their products that continue to enjoy strong and sustainable growth in demand.

Episode 244 - March 29, 2023

There has never been a more acute need to find alternatives to harvest wool. The research project with the University of Adelaide to biologically harvest wool using a new protein and a new method of removing wool is making significant headway. Hear chief researcher Professor Philip Hynd discuss headway so far.

Episode 243 - March 15, 2023

The Merino Lifetime Productivity project is the world’s largest sheep experiment. The Macquarie site at Trangie, NSW is winding up but is unique as it focuses strongly on ewe type by examining the lifetime performance of a heavy cutting type versus a dual purpose type of sheep across 31 sires and a lifetime of production. Hear MLP Macquarie Chair Matthew Coddington, sheepclasser Chris Bowman, site enthusiast and breeder Graeme Wells and data analyst Dr Sue Mortimer from NSW DPI discuss the trends and industry ramifications for this momentous project.

Episode 242 - March 9, 2023

A quiet revolution has been taking place in recent years across sheep yards and shed design as well as the rapid development of the myriad of sheep handlers that are now on the market. These are all working to make sheepwork easier but which one is right for you? Ben White from the Kondinin Group talks through the important considerations with AWI’s Emily King at the AWI Sheep Handling Innovation and Demonstration Day in SA recently.

Episode 241 - February 24, 2023

One of Australia's largest woolgrowers, Ian Shippen joins The Yarn to discuss how he found a way to shear many thousands of stranded sheep during the floods using the race delivery system. He also discusses the greater issue of shearer shortages and the need to find solutions. 

Episode 240 - February 10, 2023

With increased transparency comes increased market opportunities but the number and complexity of various supply chain schemes along the path to the final consumer is complex.

Hear the common sense approach and the good news for woolgrowers from Dr Robyn Leeson, a global leader in this area, principal of STR Consulting and vice chair of the Global Reporting Initiative Global Sustainability Standards Board. She spoke at the Sheep Sustainability Framework about where to for the sheep and wool industries.

Episode 239 - February 3, 2023

Australia’s oldest working textile mill: Waverley Mills in Tasmania, is expanding!

Hear from agribusiness veteran and Waverley executive director David Farley about his plans for not only the growth of this important piece of wool history but his optimism for a much larger domestic processing industry in Australia.

Episode 238 - January 27, 2023

Despite global uncertainty, the wool market has started the calendar year relatively well. Given all factors at play, what is the road ahead? We hear why AWI Trade Analyst Scott Carmody is optimistic for wool in 2023.

Episode 237 - January 12, 2023

From shearing for the Queen to outback Queensland and winning at the Golden Shears, Cathy is a legend of the industry and inductee into the Shearing Hall of Fame. We catch up with her at her bakery in Quilpie and hear what it was like to not only pioneer shearing for women but the be one of the best in the business.

Episode 236 - December 20, 2022

As predators, wild dogs cost the Australian economy up to $100 million annually in lost production and control costs, not to mention the enormous stress they cause wool and sheep producers. AWI’s activities follow the National Wild Dog Action Plan, enabling communities to coordinate effective and humane management of wild dogs. Tracey Kreplins, Research Scientist, Invasive Species, WA DPIRD spoke with our newest podcaster, AWI” Tori Kirk.

Episode 235 - December 5, 2022

Demographer, author and business adviser Bernard Salt AM has a challenge for Australian agribusiness as the pandemic wanes: reset and create a big Australian agribusiness on the global stage. Why don’t we have one already given the expertise and resources at our disposal. With an optimistic view of the future, particularly for regional Australia and the industries that drive it, like wool, Bernard Salt joins The Yarn to discuss the big picture.

Episode 234 - November 23, 2022

As the Australian wool industry’s research, development and marketing body, AWI annually reports on its progress and the global operating environment for wool. This episode draws on the main presentations from the 2022 Annual General Meeting, including Chairman Jock Laurie, CEO John Roberts as well as research and marketing General Managers Dr Jane Littlejohn and Laura Armstrong.

Episode 233 - November 10, 2022

Only 5% of the entire Australian wool clip can be processed domestically, leaving the wool industry vulnerable.

WoolProducers Australia has just released "Ensuring a sustainable future for Australia's wool supply chain" - a comprehensive report into this very issue. Hear WPA General Manager Adam Dawes talk through the report and where this important issue heads from here. - Read the report here:  https://bit.ly/3fWERrC

Episode 232 - October 21, 2022

With so much international uncertainty, what does one of Australia’s largest brokers, exporters and processors think of wool’s future? Jamie Lillie, General Manager of Fox and Lillie exports is upbeat about the current state of the wool industry and its prospects for various reasons, despite all the gloom around interest rates, inflation and conflict globally.

Episode 231 - October 14, 2022

As the very first Australian Woolmark licensee and selling quality woollen garments since 1914, Sportscraft holds a special place in the Australian retail landscape. What trends are appearing for wool consumption? What do people want from wool? Hear what this iconic retailer has to say about the future of wool and the people that ultimately buy it.

Episode 230 - October 4, 2022

The Merino Lifetime Productivity (MLP) project is the world’s largest Merino experiment, tracking the lifetime performance of 5,700 ewes as they proceed through four to five joinings and annual shearings at five sites across the country. We are now starting to get some fascinating results which are uncovering some of the mysteries of Merino genetics. Hear from Ben Swain (AMSEA) as well as MerinoLink and Pingelly site hosts Marty Moses and Dr Bronwyn Clarke.  

Episode 229 - September 23, 2022

PIRSA in South Australia have developed an augmented reality App for smartphones to help identify exotic animal diseases such as Foot and Mouth disease. Hear how it works and its significant benefits.

Episode 228 - September 15, 2022

Who would have thought the concept of “exploring better ways to carry” would lead to Merino farms? Well of course it does because when packing for a trip, is there anything better than Merino? Hear from cult figure Taylor Welden as he discusses his love of Merino wool and his day out discovering how it is grown, harvested and sold.

Episode 227 - September 12, 2022

Young woolgrower Katherine Bain speaks with AWI GM Research, Jane Littlejohn about the family woolgrowing enterprise, her hopes for the future and we learn of two new wool marketing campaigns.

Episode 226 - September 2, 2022

Without the trust of the customer there is no industry. Demonstration of sustainable production of sheep meat and wool is critical to secure access to local and global markets. Sarah Hyland is the manager of the sheep sustainability framework and explains it perfectly. We also check in on the health of the sheep industry in SA at the GrowingSA conference near Adelaide with LivestockSA president Joe Keynes.

Episode 225 - August 26, 2022

In South Australia, New South Wales and Western Australia, highly popular school wether competitions are run by the state Stud Merino Breeders Association. These events introduce young people to the sheep and wool industry. Hear from co-ordinator Ben Watts and Brooke Cowan from Gunnedah High School after the successful NSW event which involved 62 schools and over 500 students. 

Episode 224 - August 11, 2022

Is it the only commercial knitting machine on farm anywhere in Australia? Woolgrower Sue McClure of Killmaille in western Victoria is making her dream a reality but it’s taken a lifetime of work to get there.

Episode 223 - July 29, 2022

The threat of Foot and Mouth Disease entering Australia is real and highly concerning for everyone involved with all livestock industries. WoolProducers Australia plays a key role if the disease does reach Australia’s shores, hear what president Ed Storey has to say about the strong measures to keep it out, what individuals can do to protect their flocks as well as the policies and procedures if it is found. Ed also speaks about the significance of the Sheep Sustainability Framework and the overall state of our great industry.

Episode 222 - July 15, 2022

The key textile trade show Premiere Vision was held in Paris for the first time since the advent of the pandemic. The strong focus on sustainability, innovation and versatility has been another great opportunity for wool. Hear from the Woolmark Company’s Western Hemisphere Manager Damien Pommeret fresh from Premiere Vision.

Episode 221 - July 8, 2022

Join Andrew Henderson chair of SAFEMEAT who discusses in detail how the industry is protected, what you can do to help protect the industry, what happens if the disease is found in Australia and the sheep and wool ramifications.

Episode 220 - July 1, 2022

Hear from Thomas Elder Market analysts Matt Dalgleish and Andrew Whitelaw about the drivers of the wool market at the 2022 WAFarmers conference at MURESK and hear from WAF president and woolgrower John Hassel about why the future looks bright for the natural fibre.

Episode 219 - June 23, 2022

Alistair Lade has been producing paddock-based superfine wool from his family’s property for many decades. It has taken dedication across many areas of the business: genetics, pasture, environment, electronic ID, plus no shortage of hard work. However, the hard work is paying off: hear from this superfine wool master.

Episode 218 - June 16, 2022

Join General Manager, Research at AWI, Dr Jane Littlejohn who talks to Emily King about a new opportunity for biological defleecing using the zein class of protein. It allows for the wool production to be weakened but not completely stopped, thus keeping the wool on the sheep to be harvested in potentially new and more automated way. Jane also discusses the suite of research work at AWI.

Episode 217 - June 2, 2022

Worm control in sheep has become a major issue and the spread and frequency of Barber’s pole worm in flocks is alarming. A parasite that rewrites the books for control and the world champion in terms of resistance according to those who know and we are about to hear from three of them.

Episode 216 - May 20, 2022

Hear about the suite of research and development for wool harvesting recently shown near Conargo in the Riverina of NSW.

Episode 215 - May 12, 2022

All industries have issues and wool has global processing and harvesting as top of its list.

Hear what the AWI Board has to say on these and head to WA where the industry is taking important steps to help solve the current wool harvesting crisis. 

Episode 214 - April 29, 2022

With the world in such uncertain times, it is nice to know that at least the national flock and national wool clips are steadily lifting.

New Australian Wool Production Forecasting Committee Chairman Stephen Hill explains the latest figures but gives valuable insight into the strong underlying demand for Australian wool despite the headwinds of ongoing COVID lockdowns in China, significant logistical and therefore financial constraints to the very long wool supply chain.

Episode 213 - April 7, 2022

Finding production efficiency through internal rather than external investment is well worth exploring when interest rates are expected to rise. John Francis from Agrista consulting discusses the options from the Leading Sheep Meat Up Forum in Longreach Qld. We hear also about the shearer shortage and the potential Blackall wool scour from mayor and woolgrower Andrew Martin.

Episode 212 - March 28, 2022

Field Days are back in real life!

Hear from world champion shearers and shearer trainers about the latest catch and deliver technology shown for the first time in public.

Rex Hocking, yard dog champion and woolgrower discusses the importance of field days to the Lucindale community.

Episode 211 - February 4, 2022

The Merino Lifetime Productivity Project or MLP is a decade long project assessing the lifetime genetic merit of 5700 sheep. AWI and the Australian Merino Sire Evaluation Association (AMSEA) have teamed up with five sire evaluation sites, site hosts and nominating stud breeders to deliver a project is worth $8 million dollars in funding from AWI over ten years from 2015, along with $5 million in support from project partners.

Hear how the first results are breaking some long held myths and uncovering new knowledge of the animal that helped build modern Australia.

Episode 210 - January 27, 2022

After many hours of trials in sheds thanks to shearers and researchers alike, being able to detect muscle fatigue and therefore prevent injury is getting much closer.

Hear the latest on this innovative approach to prolonging shearer’s careers, improving shearer training as well as the latest new handpiece design.

Episode 209 - January 18, 2022

A humble wool industry leader, Geoff Power grew up in Melbourne before becoming a woolgrower in the South Australian Flinders Ranges. He has been instrumental in protecting the national flock from wild dogs and has lead national and state woolgrowing organisations on the way to receiving the Wool Industry Medal in 2017. Hear his amazing journey and why he is so optimistic about the future of our fibre.

Episode 208 - December 23, 2021

With a warm and wet summer on the cards for many Australian woolgrowers, the risk of flystrike over the coming months has heightened.

Maximise the effectiveness of your flystrike chemical applications and slow chemical resistance developing, through these practical tips and reminders from AWI’s Research team.

Episode 207 - December 17, 2021

A newly created network for young people in the wool industry, aims to connect, educate and empower the next generation.

The Young Wool Group’s founder, Monica Ley, explains why she created the initiative, and how all industry participants can be involved.

Episode 206 - December 10, 2021

It has many people talking but what do the shearers and woolgrowers themselves think of a machine that removes the catch and drag from shearing?

Head to a working woolshed and hear for yourself!

Episode 205 - December 2, 2021

Displaying dead wild dogs on fences and trees was once a way of letting locals and farmers know that wild dogs were in the area, now these displays undermine support for wild dog management activities.

Ian Evans, AWI’s Program Manager Vertebrate Pests, explains the history of the tradition, and an effective alternative for the 21st century: FeralScan™.

Episode 204 - November 26, 2021

As the world still drags itself away from the COVID pandemic, we examine how our fibre fared in 2021 and the challenges ahead. We hear from experts across on farm research and product development as to the big developments coming our way. 

Episode 203 - November 19, 2021

Living on the Australian land in a regional communities is a fortunate and unique way of life. But how often do we see a true representation of our livelihoods on modern TV?

Producer Bec Bignell, formerly from Kojonup, has made it her mission to showcase the authentic version of regional Australia to a broader audience. With a team of like-minded creatives, Bec produced an Australian series called ‘Homespun’ to show woolgrowers, shearers, shed staff and the local community in a modern way.

Episode 202 - November 8, 2021

The COVID 19 pandemic continues to throw up challenges and postal delays in delivering voting papers in another. However, voting and taking part in the 2021 AWI AGM is relatively easy. Hear AWI Company Secretary Jim Story walk you through it.

Episode 201 - November 1, 2021

The latest AWI Nuffield scholar, Tasmanian woolgrower Collette Glazik is taking a deep dive into current carbon accounting methods for woolgrowers after a first-hand on farm experience was less than satisfactory.

Episode 200 - October 20, 2021

We celebrate the double century by tackling one of the biggest issues to face the wool industry: European labelling laws that portray our fibre as bad for the environment.

Hear from IWTO Secretary General Dalena White about how the Make The Label Count campaign has already made some headway.

Episode 199 - October 8, 2021

One of the most distinctive woolgrowing regions in Australia was devastated by fires in early 2020. Its recovery is occurring at a great pace as it rebuilds stronger and better than ever and, it has a wonderful wool project on the agenda that will interest every single woolgrower in the country!

Episode 198 - October 1, 2021

Hear from the man behind the new sheep delivery system, bringing sheep right to the shearer on the board. What will it cost, when could it be available and who owns the technology? Glenn Haynes from the Shearing Contractors Association explains all.

Also Scott Leslie, the woolgrower creating a digital shearing tally counter, a Farmers2Founders success story. 

Episode 197 - September 23, 2021

With so many added benefits from feeding stock this way, there is no surprise why so many growers now use this method to control their sheep production system. Hear the dos and don’t of containment feeding from those who have done it well.

Episode 196 - September 17, 2021

We hear from two ends of the wool industry. A snapshot from the recent AWI Board question and answer session and then hear about the highly successful secondary school competition bringing kids a first-hand experience with Merinos at their schools.

Episode 195 - September 9, 2021

Breeding Leadership is one of the most popular programs AWI offers young people in the wool industry. Hear how this week long course has changed careers and lives with Amie L’Strange who runs a wool growing and stud business but also now sits on the NSW Producer Advisory Panel.

Episode 194 - September 3, 2021

Where does Australian Wool Innovation still need to improve to better service the woolgrowers who fund it?

Hear from the CEO, Stuart McCullough himself about the independent review of the organisation.

Episode 193 - August 26, 2021

Where does Australian Wool Innovation still need to improve to better service the woolgrowers who fund it?

Hear from the CEO, Stuart McCullough himself about the independent review of the organisation.

Episode 192 - August 19, 2021

Using a board structure, AgEDGE is like a cross between an advisor and a benchmarking group and is giving clarity to big and small farming decisions. Hear how it works.

Episode 191 - August 12, 2021

With about a third of the Australian wool clip bought at retail in Europe, what does the re-opening of society in parts of Europe mean for wool demand and the future of our fibre?

Peter Ackroyd shared his extensive experience and knowledge in this vital market at this vital time.

Episode 190 - August 5, 2021

With a strong track record with the National Farmers Federation and NSW farmers, new AWI Chairman Jock Laurie is first and foremost a farmer himself. In this extensive interview, hear Jock’s view of the current state of the wool industry, future prospects and challenges and why things look so bright for wool.

Episode 189 - July 30, 2021

A lifetime in Merinos, this stalwart of the industry explains why he believes the industry is at the greatest point in his long life so far.

Episode 188 - July 23, 2021

The Australian Fleece Competition attracts hundreds of fleeces every year and has been doing so for 20 years. Measuring through both objective and subjective means it gives great feedback to woolgrowers.

We also head to Gippsland, a wool region in Victoria that has been through it all in recent years but now has a very bright looking future.

Episode 187 - July 16, 2021

It’s the beginning of the new wool selling season, after a very interesting 12-18 months for the Australian wool market. With the EMI recovering over 60% since the pandemic low of 858ac in September ’20, AWI trade consultant Scott Carmody fills us on what’s driving Merino wool prices, where crossbred wools sit, and what the coming months may look like for Australian woolgrowers.  

Episode 186 - July 8, 2021

In future, there will be product labels placed on all garments in Europe, informing consumers of the environmental impact of the garment on sale.

Current methodology measures wool and other natural fibres harshly compared to synthetic, man-made fibres. Hear how AWI and the IWTO are working to correct this.

Episode 185 - July 1, 2021

Where is the digital exchange and storage platform at?
Are woolgrowers, brokers, exporters and buyers on board? Have we reached a critical mass of users yet?
Stephen Hill addresses the big questions.

Episode 184 - June 24, 2021

The flagship of the Australian wool industry is back with superfine wool prices the highest they have been for some years.

The prospects for the industry are very good, but don’t take our word for it: hear from two families central to the industry for a combined 200+ years: Danny Picker and Trevor Mibus speak to The Yarn.

Episode 183 - June 18, 2021

From a reluctant social media user to prolific user of technology on farm.

Hear from sheep farmer and stud breeder Mark Mortimer about his “it has to work for me” approach to new technology.

Episode 182 - June 10, 2021

Woolgrowing in Tasmania has been put under the microscope for profitability with the expansion of irrigation over the last 20 years.

Despite new production options, fine wool is still winning in terms of profitability, stability and reliability according to George Gatenby.

Episode 181 - June 3, 2021

From the Digital and Smart Agriculture (DISA) Festival hear from farmers Nick Seymour (Farmo) and Jen Medway (Agrifutures) about the way technology is improving their business right now. 46% fleeceweight gains in Merinos for example.

Also, they explain much of the jargon around the Internet of Things (IoT) to equip you to decide what might solve problems for you.

Episode 180 - May 28, 2021

The first ever ‘Australian Made Week’ runs this week from May 24 to May 30, encouraging Australian shoppers to buy locally-made goods and support the makers and growers in our country.

We speak with two Australian made and owned wool brands, Woolerina and MiniJumbuk about what it takes to be in retail in Australia, and the significance of being Australian made in an industry where a large volume of wool manufacturing is done overseas. 

Episode 179 - May 20, 2021

Discussions, debates and decisions are all on the cards at the Wool Industry Consultative Panel (WICP) meetings. The WICP represent woolgrowers from far and wide across Australia, to make sure AWI acts on industry issues relevant to each state. 3 WICP members join us this episode, to talk about the industry’s priorities right now and how we act upon them.

Episode 178 - May 13, 2021

When done correctly, joining ewe lambs can be profitable and play an important role in building or maintaining flocks, as explained by Kirsty and Andrew Kennedy of Thrive Agri Services. Their new course called Thriving Ewe Lambs, is providing participants with the science and best-practice management to optimise the reproduction of ewe lambs.

Episode 177 - May 7, 2021

Wool production is lifting but not everywhere: what the flock is happening with it?

WoolQ is gaining steam and sales: hear the latest on this innovative platform for our fibre.

Episode 176 - April 29, 2021

18 months after a significant visit to Australia (episode 108), what has happened to the brands that came and saw the industry?

Hear from Stephen Kelly AWI/Woolmark in the USA and one of the farmers that hosted the trip; Neil Harris.

Episode 175 - April 21, 2021

Sheep Producers Australia and WoolProducers Australia have released the world first Australian Sheep Sustainability Framework (SSF).

The SSF is supported by AWI and MLA and was initiated by Australia’s sheep industry leaders to demonstrate our sustainable practices, identify areas for improvement, and better communicate with customers and consumers. Hear why it is so significant to the future of our industry.

Episode 174 - April 16, 2021

Newly discovered pasture legumes species are being identified to boost profits and reduce risk in mixed farms of low to medium rainfall areas of Australia. These annual legumes are offering improved production benefits to both cropping and animal systems, as Rob Harrison of Murdoch University explains.

Episode 173 - April 9, 2021

New markets, new products, new ideas and new challenges.

Hear how the market has adapted and where the wool supply chain and the wool market is heading into the future.

Episode 172 - April 1, 2021

Replicating the famous Campaign for Wool jumper burial, the Women on Farms gathering in Victoria recently showed how biodegradable wool is, while flying the flag for the crucial role women play in agriculture. 

Episode 171 - March 26, 2021

It’s a lot of money, a lot of wire and a lot of land, but the revolution of cluster fencing has kept many wild dogs out and allowed for the reintroduction of sheep to many pastoral areas of Australia.

In central west Queensland, a cluster fencing program has now protected an area larger than Hong Kong. Hear from RAPAD’s Morgan Gronold and woolgrower David Owens about the endless positive impacts the fences have brought to businesses, livelihoods and communities in the region.

Episode 170 - March 18, 2021

The COVID pandemic has placed great pressure on shearing across the country.

Glenn Haynes from the Shearing Contractors Association explains how a huge effort to train more shearers and increase retention has helped turn the tide, helping make the Australian industry more labour self-sufficient.

Episode 169 - March 12, 2021

The Australian Merino Lamb Trial examined if a wether trading operation could pay for the crops the animals grazed.

Hear Craig Wilson of Craig Wilson and Associates and Jim Meckiff of JM Livestock discuss the surprising results of this very innovative on-farm study.

Episode 168 - March 4, 2021

The ingredients of a successful new shearing shed are the woolgrower, builder and shearing contractor, all being involved in the decision-making process throughout the shed’s construction.

The new shearing shed at Geoff and Linda Bilney’s ‘Broome Farms’ property in WA, is based off AWI’s shed design and will shear over 65,000 sheep annually. We speak to their builder and shearing contractor who explain the costs, design and long-term benefits to all in this shed built through collaboration.

Episode 167 - February 26, 2021

Meet two young-ish people who years ago took a big chance with wool and have won.

Both woolgrowers, Allan Harris is also a breeder and Alister Carr a wool broker. They talk through why they did and why their successful businesses now look so bright.

Episode 166 - February 18, 2021

Post drought, many woolgrowers have enjoyed a good season and now a wet summer which has created issues for fly and worm control. Hear experts talk through the best way to manage these very significant issues this summer to keep your flock safe.

Episode 165 - February 11, 2021

Despite significant challenges, wool marketing has adapted during the global pandemic with strong results.

Hear how Woolmark has partnered with effective channels to get the messages of versatility and modernity to a more discerning consumer.

Episode 164 - February 5, 2021

Shared ledger technology is changing supply chains and offers transparency, traceability and provenance. 

This is what consumers, brands and manufacturers are wanting more of from wool. So what’s the go?

Episode 163 - January 29, 2021

Despite larger offerings and a stronger Australian dollar the wool market has lifted to start the 2021 calendar year.

What is driving this current market and can it last? Hear the analysis with AWI Trade Consultant Scott Carmody.

Episode 162 - January 21, 2021

The dream of owning your own sheep farm seems harder than ever given property prices.

However, an innovative way of matching aspiring farmers and retiring farmers is making the dream a reality for a new generation of farmers who bring new ideas and new energy to Australia’s food and fibre industries.

Episode 161 - January 14, 2021

A clever new platform that allows farmers and experts to discuss problems, issues, questions, challenges.

Created by farmers for farmers, hear how Yacker might be the way we all yack in years to come.

Episode 160 - January 7, 2021

Rams to prepare for joining, weaners to grow, vaccinations to give, parasites to manage; there’s a lot happening on the farm over summer!

Dr Tim Gole shares practical animal health and management advice for woolgrowers over the summer period, to best support your flock for the new calendar year.

Episode 159 - December 31, 2020

A shearing and woolhandling shortage/crisis.

Hear from a meeting of industry stakeholders who have agreed on various important points to improve the issue of shearer and woolhandler labour.

Episode 158 - December 24, 2020

Grazing stubbles is an important component of many mixed farming systems, filling feed gaps over the summer months as a valuable source of feed for livestock.

But with varying crop species, varieties, management and different harvesters, what is the nutritional value of modern crop stubbles? Dr Dean Thomas from CSIRO explains.

Episode 157 - December 17, 2020

Chairman of the Wool Industry Consultative Panel Lyndsay Douglas talks through the new 10-year plan for the Australian wool industry. Over 800 woolgrowers and the greater industry has had input to Wool2030; hear what is in it and what it aims to do for the world’s premium sustainable fibre.

Episode 156 - December 11, 2020

Electronic identification of sheep allows for precision management. How does it work? How does it make woolgrowers more money? This podcast explains it from those who have lived it.

Episode 155 - December 4, 2020

In his 75th edition manging the flagship wool magazine, Richard Smith discusses life in the UK, the evolution of the flagship publication and how you can get into it.

Episode 154 - November 27, 2020

Despite a challenging 2020 for the global economy and therefore wool, the future looks bright.

Hear from the AWI CEO, GM Marketing and GM Research about the state of R+D + marketing and the opportunities ahead.

Episode 153 - November 20, 2020

Whether you’re a woolgrower, shearing contractor or worker, everyone is responsible for safety in the shearing shed. The newly launched SafeSheds is a best practice guide and assessment resource to make the wool harvesting workplace safer for all.

Join us as the WA Shearing Industry Association (WASIA) explain the new program and how you can use it to reduce the risk of injuries and accidents in your shed. Learn more and sign up for free here www.wool.com/safe-sheds

Episode 152 - November 13, 2020

Post drought the price of sheep is hitting record high levels but the flock is so low! Can sheep still be good value? Is it likely to last? Where are all the breeders going to come from?

We head from the west to the east of our great country to seek answers to these questions.

Episode 151 - November 6, 2020

The latest AWI funded Nuffield scholar is Monaro Merino producer Andrew Rolfe. After the last drought showed what was possible through containment, can this be the economically-efficient and environmentally-responsible way to seriously boost production?  

Episode 150 - October 30, 2020

We celebrate our 150th episode of The Yarn by exploring how the industry is educating the next generation on the impact of differing environments on sheep genetics. Recently in Western Australia, 8 teams, 7 schools, 7 different environments and 1 sheep bloodline took part in the AWI Young Breeders Challenge.

We introduce the event organiser Grantly Mullan from Eastville Park stud, and four keen students from the WA College of Agriculture – Narrogin, who took part in the challenge and are excited for their futures in Australian agriculture. 

Episode 149 - October 22, 2020

Michael Caton, one of Australia’s best loved actors, joins The Yarn podcast to discuss his latest film RAMS which explores the very real issue of an exotic disease outbreak in a sheep community.

Listen and see Michael as he joins host Marius Cuming to talk about his experience in the wool and farming industries and how accurate the film is in depicting how much sheep mean to the people who work with them, care for them and are defined by them.

Episode 148 - October 15, 2020
The ground breaking Change Makers series of short, sharp videos is cutting through to woolgrowers, highlighting on farm changes that make a big difference to sheep producers. Hear from sheep consultant Nathan Scott about it.
 
Also the AWI AGM is entirely online in 2020: find out how will it all work and how you can participate.
Episode 147 - October 9, 2020

Sheep reproductive technologies are Dr Michylla Seal’s bread and butter, and her work extends far beyond Australia’s communities and borders.

Hear how Dr Seal is breeding Australian Merino genetics into the Falkland Islands, and get her dos and don’ts on managing your rams prior to joining.

Episode 146 - October 2, 2020

In western Queensland young shearers take up the craft and we hear from Jeff Ma, Country Manager for China about how our biggest market is rebounding. 

Episode 145 - September 25, 2020

The world’s largest economy, on paper: should buy more wool.

Why are wool’s fortunes in the US slowly changing?

Episode 144 - September 18, 2020

Darren Spencer, a shearing contractor in WA’s Lake Grace, is currently down half a workforce as coronavirus keeps vital shearing staff back in New Zealand. But the show must go on.

Hear from Darren how shearing teams are coping and how the industry is focused on supporting and upskilling the next generation of shearers to meet the challenge.

Episode 143 - September 11, 2020

A decade of lambing many hundreds of twin-bearing Merino ewes had delivered enormous benefits for Victorian woolgrower Tony Butler, but its labour intensive and surely can be made easier.

Tony also talks of his enthusiasm for wool having been on a wool tour of China and explains the amazing story of how his family came to farm at Newstead in the goldfields of Victoria.

Episode 142 - September 3, 2020

A very famous name in Australian agriculture.

This young innovator has created the prototype that may make the backbreaking work of fencing much easier.

Episode 141 - August 27, 2020

Helping fuel a boom in agricultural education, the wether challenge concept has introduced thousands of schoolchildren to the sheep and wool industry.

Hear how it is run and why it continues to be such a great success across Australia.

Episode 140 - August 20, 2020

From paddocks of Western Australia with Steven Bolt to the streets of Western Europe with Damien Pommeret. We discuss the current hurdles and hopes in the industry from farm to fashion and look towards the green shoots of wool demand that may be emerging in our overseas markets.

Episode 139 - August 12, 2020

Innovation and a commitment to quality is why MJ Bale grew to be 55 stores and 350 staff in just 12 years.  

Founder and CEO Matt Jensen talks through his woolshed dream of starting his own wool retailing business.

Episode 138 - August 7, 2020

With a change in the local landscape and weather patterns, woolgrower Alistair McDougall is trialing legume pastures to fill his autumn feed gap and improve soil quality. High in protein, highly digestible, hardy and persistent, Alistair shares his hopes for these legumes in his livestock system.

Episode 137 - July 31, 2020

New age wool masks have been produced and may well bring a silver lining to the COVID pandemic.

Australia’s biggest sheep show takes its ram sale entirely online.

Episode 136 - July 23, 2020

The Australian Merino Lamb Trial explores whether wethers can pay for the crop they graze.

Craig Wilson runs the trial which is showing great results.

Episode 135 - July 16, 2020

Surveys are showing concerning levels of resistance to some flystrike prevention options.

Hear head of research at AWI Dr Jane Littlejohn discuss options and where to from here.

Episode 134 - July 9, 2020

What’s around the corner for wool marketing? In an altered reality, hear about the roles that commuting, Amazon, Prada and online shopping will play in marketing Australian wool.

AWI’s GM of Marketing Communications Laura Armstrong takes us past the doom and gloom to better days ahead.

Episode 133 - July 2, 2020

There’s a lot to consider when designing and constructing a new shearing shed, as woolgrower Stuart Le Lievre knows all too well.

Why upgrade, what’re the advantages of a new shed and what information is out there to help? Stuart shares his experience.

Episode 132 - June 25, 2020

Lambing is a critical time for all sheep enterprises across Australia.

Tim Leeming, who knows lambing to be a ‘game of 1 percenters,’ outlines how he gets great results from his precision system.

Episode 131 - June 18, 2020

This week it’s all about what is happening in Asia. An area where more than 85% of Australian wool is sold to. From China, to Japan, Korea, and India to some surprising places where wool is making inroads.

We hear from AWI’s Eastern Hemisphere General Manager John Roberts and AWI’s Country Manager in Japan Samuel Cockedey.

Episode 130 - June 12, 2020

How do you demonstrate to a global audience, that wool is good for human skin and for the environment? Through credible scientific evidence; that is, wool fibre science.

Hear from AWI’s Angus Ireland on how new market opportunities are opening and how the hurdles for wool are being addressed through scientific research of the wool fibre.

Episode 129 - June 4, 2020

The Merino Lifetime Productivity (MLP) Project has reached its halfway mark, so what does that mean for the commercial and stud breeders of Australia’s wool industry?

Plus, the crucial role that sire evaluation and link sires play in the marathon MLP Project, is explained by Ben Swain of the Australian Merino Sire Evaluation Association (AMSEA).

 

Episode 128 - May 22, 2020

Months after a nation-wide lockdown, Italy is easing restrictions. But are the Italian wool mills running and is there consumer demand for wool in Europe? Italy Country Manager for Woolmark, Francesco Magri, explains.  

Additionally, we speak to Russell Pattinson about the Australian Wool Production Forecasting Committee’s latest forecast of shorn wool production.

Episode 127 - May 15, 2020

After years of drought, putting stock back onto precious green feed after drought/containment has many potentially expensive pitfalls.

Hear Dr Jillian Kelly speak about the do’s and dont’s of this crucial exercise.

Episode 126 - May 8, 2020

On farm trials of new solar ear tags are delivering enormous amounts of data to build systems to monitor and manage sheep like never before. This ground-breaking research is opening up new areas of knowledge for sheep and flock behaviour.

Episode 125 - May 1, 2020

From developing the outback to leading the wool industry and agriculture through some of its most difficult days.

Ian McLachlan AO was at the forefront of wool for many years but has never seen the future look so bright. Hear why.

Episode 124 - April 23, 2020

Wild dogs are relentless; they decimate livestock, destroy wildlife, damage regional economies and spread diseases. How do you manage this problem? With a plan, a National Wild Dog Action Plan (NWDAP).

Hear from industry about what the NWDAP is, why it evolved, and how it helps restore communities, livestock and native animal populations across Australia.

Episode 123 - April 17, 2020

Hear how shearing teams around Australia are managing and coping through COVID-19 restrictions.
The restrictions and loss of overseas workers is actually opening up important opportunities.

Episode 122 - April 9, 2020

The wool industry has accumulated decades of skills and knowledge, so how are we passing this information down to the next generation? Two education initiatives, Hay Inc and the Peter Westblade Scholarship, speak to us about how their programs support young people in wool.

Episode 121 - March 30, 2020

In these very difficult days, we hear the very latest from the largest processor and buyer of Australian wool: China. Lizzie Chen has been importing Australian wool on behalf of large Chinese mills since the 1990s.

Episode 120 - March 19, 2020

With so much to complement each other how have so many sheep left what was the sheep/wheat zone? Will they come back and how? We head to WA to find out the opportunities and the appetite.

Episode 119 - March 12, 2020

What will the current and future implications of Coronavirus (COVID-19) be for the Australian wool industry and its consumers? As the outbreak becomes a pandemic, AWI’s CEO Stuart McCullough shares his insight and rates the threat that COVID-19 could present to the wool supply chain.

Episode 118 - March 5, 2020

Maggot and blowfly samples, fly genome sequencing, trialing vaccines: are all essential parts of AWI’s current flystrike prevention program to research the Australian blowfly and project flystrike control to the next level.

Hear the latest research update into flystrike R&D from AWI’s GM of Research, Dr Jane Littlejohn, to tackle this problem, which has always been and still is a huge detriment to the Australian wool industry.

Episode 117 - February 20, 2020

How do feral species respond to bushfire and drought, and can we use these dire circumstances to our advantage in controlling feral populations?

Whether you’ve got wild dogs, foxes, goats, cats, rabbits, pigs or others, hear from NSW Department of Primary Industries’ Peter Fleming about practical control measures and research programs occurring to reduce ferals’ impact on your livestock enterprise.

Episode 116 - February 13, 2020

Where and how do you start again after a bushfire? We head to the famous woolgrowing region of Kangaroo island where the scars are still raw but the spirit is still high. This young and motivated wool community is ready to start rebuilding after a horror summer despite one massive hindrance: the sea.

Hear how KI is approaching a massive rebuild and why it will all be worthwhile.

Episode 115 - February 3, 2020

What does coronavirus mean for the Australian wool trade? Hear straight from the horse's mouth as China-based wool agent Lizzy Shen shares her insights on how the coronavirus might affect wool manufacturing in China. And from Australia, John Roberts, AWI General Manager - Eastern Hemisphere, discusses his experience living in China during the SARS outbreak in 2003.

Episode 114 - January 23, 2020

Precision feeding in and out of containment, knowledge of pitfalls and shortcuts: this monster drought has taught many lessons.

Hear from the experts about sourcing feed and not losing stock when the drought finally ends; given the old saying that more stock are lost after a drought than during it.

Episode 113 - January 8, 2020

Catastrophic fire conditions across the nation have put emergency livestock management into sharp focus. Qualified veterinarian and AWI General Manager of Research, Dr Jane Littlejohn, offers immediate advice to those who have been affected.

Episode 112 - December 23, 2019

Despite how it may feel, the Australian wool industry hasn’t existed since the dawn of time. The first fleet, the first sheep, the first cloth… But who created the first cloth? Join us as we speak to the first textile company ever to use Australian wool.

And with the digital age well underway, education resources are rapidly transitioning online. Learn about a wool education initiative that keeps up with this global trend to digitally inform a growing audience on the benefits of wool.

Episode 111 - December 16, 2019

Hear what Australian Wool Innovation Chief Executive Officer Stuart McCullough has to say about 2019 and what to look forward to in 2020. International demand for wool, key projects at AWI, assisting woolgrowers through and hopefully out of drought.

Episode 110 - December 9, 2019

Australia's best-of-the-best shearers and woolhandlers from across the country migrate to Dubbo to represent their home states at the National Shearing and Wool Handling Championships of 2019.

We speak to trainers and competitors on the ground about their commitment to producing world-class wool harvesting standards and the prospects of recognising shearing as a sport in Australia.

Episode 109 - December 2, 2019

With a massive reduction in the national flock, how do we make the Merino great again? Anthony Close, a 2019 Nuffield Farming Scholar, has travelled the world to investigate how we can reboot the flock.

Get married in your own Merino wool suit; a dream of woolgrower, Floyd Legge. And despite massive time barriers, he did it!

Episode 108 - November 18, 2019

We host and hear from one of the largest garment retailers from the world’s largest economy.

After seeing the industry first-hand, what are the future opportunities for Australian wool in the great US of A?

 

Episode 107 - November 4, 2019

It’s the hardest job known: shearing. Hear about a new project that uses biometrics to support shearers better. We also meet the latest AWI Nuffield Scholar, Tom Hooke, who is studying rotational grazing in the rangelands.

Episode 106 - October 21, 2019

With a connection to the land and an extensive career in retail and the establishment of the Australian fashion industry, the AWI Chairman, Colette Garnsey is a jack of all trades. Making her debut on The Yarn, Colette shares with us her journey from farm to fashion, how she came to be on the AWI Board and most importantly, her priorities for AWI as Chairman.

Episode 105 - October 14, 2019

Taking senior managers from some of the most respected brands in the world to where wool is grown with care and passion, how it is tested and sold is one of the roles of Australian Wool Innovation/The Woolmark Company.

Hear what these highly influential brands have to say about our industry; the people, animals and landscape behind the best natural fibre in the world.

Episode 104 - September 30, 2019

The recent volatility of the Australian wool market has led to uncertainty about the future conditions of our market. But how is the global wool market being affected? We venture to China for the 2019 Nanjing Wool Market Conference, and hear from wool producing representatives around the world to discuss the current state and future of the wool market globally and in their respective regions.

Episode 103 - September 23, 2019
  • Best practice twin lamb management; research is honing in on the benefits.
  • The real potential of some of the next wave of smart tag technology.
  • An ex AFL player now Woolmark licensee explains his marketing of wool bedding and discovers a little surprise on farm.
Episode 102 - September 16, 2019

Are you thinking about renovating an existing shearing shed or building a new one? Hear about AWI’s project on a new shearing shed design, the process and outcomes of a recent project.

With over 20% of children born to western lifestyles suffering from eczema, AWI is working hard to push wool’s wellness attributes to break into the skin health market

Episode 101 - September 9, 2019

Uncertain seasons, new technology, new opportunities. There is no doubting the bright future for the sheep and wool industries, but how can it all be made easier?

Hear how farmers Chris Patmore and Zac Roberts make their enterprises more time and effort – efficient and the advice pasture expert Phil Barrett-Lennard has for those planning an easier system.

Episode 100 - September 3, 2019

As we celebrate 100 episodes of The Yarn, we introduce you to what is largely an Australian wool manufacturing secret: ABMT textiles.

Julian Collins of ABMT gives an insight into the wool market nosedive but offers hope as well.

And we head to Vietnam to hear how wool is reducing its reliance on China and continually finding new markets.

Episode 99 - August 27, 2019

Meet Stephen Glen, the latest winner of the Australian Fleece Competition and hear what it takes to grow a Grand Champion fleece: hint: not easy.

Also, Merineo is a brand-new baby range for newborns, it has taken a long time to break into this valuable market, how has Claire Hausler done it?

Episode 98 - August 10, 2019

After a 3-week break, Australian wool auctions have returned with heavy losses for various reasons.

Hear from an insider: Scott Carmody talks through the exact reasons why the wool market has dropped so heavily a year after record highs.

On a positive note, we also hear from a very upbeat and innovative Australian Woolmark licensee who has a great view of the future for wool.

Episode 97 - August 3, 2019

Colin McDowell is one of the world’s top fashion commentators. Having been a journalist for over 20 years, he has at one time or another written for every quality newspaper and magazine in Britain. Join Ellie and Colin in Wales as they talk about wool's past, present and future and Colin's work as a mentor and judge for the International Woolmark Prize.

Episode 96 - July 27, 2019

Merino ewes can successfully lamb at 12 months of age, but it takes commitment and confidence. Hear the research behind the potential from James Whale, Meridian Ag who studied exactly this.

Episode 95 - July 23, 2019

More resilient, more flexible, more productive:
Hear from the 2019 Southern Australia Grassland Society conference as Australia’s farmers look for better pastures for an uncertain future.

Episode 94 - July 16, 2019

Real time monitoring of stock is unlocking many sheep secrets but using powerful computer learning, could we identify stock by facial recognition also?
WoolQ brings woolgrower closer to the consumer, hear the latest on this exciting new platform for wool.

Episode 93 - July 6, 2019

What does it take and what does it cost to create a woolshed that is 100% off the grid?
The savings, the innovations, the opportunities and the future.
Hear it all from Peter and Jane Waters who have done it with their 4-stand, 2-press operation.

Episode 92 - June 29, 2019

Woolmark’s Jeff Ma in downtown Shanghai explains China’s love for wool.
Travel to the Yorkshire mills in the UK and hear how innovation with Australian wool has kept new fabrics evolving after 200 years.
In Australia though, continuing drought is keeping supply of wool low, while feed and finance are tight for many who actually grow the fibre.

Episode 91 - June 22, 2019

Managing risk and the associated rewards makes Australian farming one of the hardest jobs of all. However, there is a form guide and tools to significantly help manage risk and in turn, help business and ultimately your own well-being.
Cam Nicholson from Nicon Consulting has some key points to share.

Episode 90 - June 18, 2019

From 10-pound pom to OAM, Bob Hall talks of the changes through 50 years as a sheep consultant and why the future looks so bright for sheep and wool.

Episode 89 - June 14, 2019

160 students from right across Australia attended the National Merino Challenge (NMC) to learn about wool and sheep.
What do secondary and tertiary students learn and how does this provide a career pathway into the great Australian wool industry?
Hear from those who have made the NMC the great educational success story it is today.

Episode 88 - June 1, 2019

Ian O’Connell has over 50 years working and training working dogs.
Hear what it takes to work better with your best mates.

Episode 87 - May 25, 2019

China, Japan, Korea and India are giants when it comes to the processing and consumption of Australian wool but with the global economy slowing down, how is wool positioned to stay at high demand levels? Hear from Woolmark’s John Roberts, GM Eastern Hemisphere about the initiatives across Asia and also trade analyst Scott Carmody about the sentiment of the raw wool auction rooms.

Episode 86 - May 22, 2019

Four years into the ten-year long MLP Project, the industry experts from the MLP Industry Steering Committee share the successes of the project so far and the outcomes the industry hopes to see in the future.

Episode 85 - May 11, 2019

Woolgrower, historian and author of "Call of the Reed Warbler”, Charles Massy is now an advocate, hear why.

Episode 84 - May 4, 2019

Merino wool competes in the world's oldest annual marathon alongside a growing international community of athletes.

Episode 83 - April 19, 2019

Once a mainstay of the Queensland economy, the wool and sheep industry has shrunk to a shadow of its former self thanks in part to prices, drought and wild dogs over many years. But a quiet rebuild is in underway with a massive commitment to exclusion fencing and flock restructure, farmers are keen to return to sheep when the rains also return.

Episode 82 - April 6, 2019

Dr. Jason Trompf has a lifetime of experience as a researcher, consultant, facilitator and head of AWI's Victorian extension network, Best Wool, Best Lamb. AWI's Marius Cuming speaks to Jason about the four key pillars of practical change and the integration of education into farming communities. Jason also practices what he preaches, running around 3,000 meat composite ewes in the North East of Victoria.

Episode 81 - April 2, 2019

Capping off our Western Australian series, we head to Cranmore farming to discuss the benefits of Merinos in a mixed farming operation. We also talk to AWI’s WA wild dog coordinator Meja Aldrich, about the management and control of wild dogs in sheep producing areas.

Episode 80 - March 23, 2019

Shearing technique, shearing shed design and building, shearer training; it’s all in Don Boyle’s repertoire. Hear how one man went from a handpiece at 15 to over 20,000 sheep in one lifetime.

Having spent so long in sheds, he now designs and builds woolsheds with sheep, woolhandlers and shearers in mind. Hear what works for all.

Episode 79 - March 16, 2019

The Sheep Collective has been formed to tell the stories of the people, sheep and landscape behind the live sheep trade. Can it continue and how? Hear Dr Holly Ludeman explain.

Episode 78 - March 9, 2019

We head to Western Australia to hear how mixed farmers in the wheatbelt have improved their overall sheep/cropping enterprise by adopting electronic tagging and the AWI/RIST Lifetime Ewe Management course.

Episode 77 - March 2, 2019

Head to far south west NSW and hear some of the epic stories of the Australian wool industry. Wool still plays a significant role for the farming families in this part of the world where horizons are broad, rains are rare but people are warm and welcoming despite facing some unique challenges.

Episode 76 - February 23, 2019

Queensland farmers have been through a lot. From scorching droughts to the recent flooding and the persistent attacks from wild dogs, the elements have thrown everything at Queensland’s rural communities. But at the recent Australian Wool Network conference held in Longreach, the optimism of the Queensland woolgrowers shone through.

Ella Edwards and Anna Buckley from The Woolmark Company – AWI’s marketing arm – were invited to speak at the conference and interviewed woolgrower Peter Clark and AWN representative Greg Hunt about the conditions in Queensland and the attitude surrounding the wool industry.

From exclusion fencing to classing sheep, Peter and Greg give insight into Queensland’s wool industry and what the future holds for Queensland woolgrowers.

Thank you to AWN for inviting AWI to present at the conference and to the woolgrowers and staff for their hospitality.

Episode 75 - February 16, 2019

How long does it take from sheep to shop? Who makes the decisions about what wool design and colour is ultimately seen at retail?

In this episode learn some of the ins and outs of the complicated, wonderful world of fashion and the Woolmark’s company’s key role involved throughout.

Episode 74 - February 9, 2019

Merino consultant Craig Wilson discusses the Peter Westblade scholarship and the great opportunities around Merino into the future. Also, hear from Beyond the Bale editor Richard Smith about his favourite stories and how to get your stories in Australia’s most read wool magazine.

Episode 73 - January 22, 2019

The wool market has started the year with strong demand followed by consolidation.

Given the ongoing drought, supply and what retail sales are doing in the key northern hemisphere winter, what can we expect this year for the wool market?

Hear from AWI trade consultant Scott Carmody and AWI graduate Ben Madgwick.

Episode 72 - December 18, 2018

450 donors have grown the next 100 years of baggy greens for the Australian cricket team.

Gideon Haigh, the country’s best cricket writer, discusses his book celebrating this historic project. We also meet Stephen Field, a cricket-mad woolgrower who explains why he loves the the game and the fibre.

Episode 71 - November 24, 2018

Woolgrower, innovator and agriculture entrepreneur Nigel Kerin speaks about innovations in the wool industry and what new technology he is keen to implement into his business.

Episode 70 - November 17, 2018

Catriona Nicholls and Madeline Scott have been the movers and shakers in getting the Learn About Wool resource in alignment with Australia’s school curriculum.

Teachers can lift the free resource straight from the website or order a full Learn About Wool kit and deliver lesson plans that focus on Australian wool that is specific for their class.

Episode 69 - November 3, 2018

We all want to make shearing less labour intensive but how to actually achieve this has stumped many shearers, engineers and entrepreneurs. Researchers at the University of Technology, Sydney are taking an entirely novel approach by creating possibly the worlds first 3D printed sheep in their quest to solve the robotic shearing quandary.

Hear from shearing legend and AWI’s Shearing Industry Development Manager Jim Murray, as he walks us through the potential these young innovators are uncovering for the Australian wool industry.

Episode 68 - October 27, 2018

The wool market has enjoyed a very strong run over the last 12 months with the benchmark eastern market indicator up about 25% year on year. But in recent weeks, uncertainty has crept into the market. Today we examine, in some detail, both the short and the long-term drivers in the wool market.

We speak with AWI Trade Consultant Scott Carmody about the factors driving the wool price and then we head to the US to hear from the President of the American Apparel and Footwear Association, Steve Lamar who reveals the ins and outs of the trade war between China and the US and how it could potentially affect the Australian wool market.

Episode 67 - October 20, 2018

Craig Heggaton from Kojonup in West Australia has a wool and sheep enterprise that has grown well beyond the woolshed and has a tip on keeping quality staff. Hear also from the manager of Tecka station in Argentina, a massive enterprise producing great fine Merino wool in a harsh climate.

Episode 66 - October 13, 2018

Peta Slack-Smith, General Manager of Corporate Affairs at AWI interviewed a number of industry representatives at the consultation workshop organised by AWI this week.

Ed Storey, the Senior Vice President of Wool Producers Australia, Andrew Wood the Chair New South Wales Farmers Committee and President of the Wool Council and Alan Rae, the President of AgForce’s Sheep and Wool Board, reveal what they think about WoolPoll and the consultation process with AWI.

Episode 65 - October 6, 2018

James Rebanks has become – unwittingly and unexpectedly – a house hold name. His book The Shepherd’s Life has been read by thousands, maybe millions of people, but first and foremost he is a shepherd from the north of England in Matterdale, Cumbria.

James spoke at the 2018 LambEx conference in Perth about his experience as a shepherd and we caught up with him afterward to capture some of his wisdom for The Yarn.

Episode 64 - September 29, 2018

Many of Australia’s woolgrowers have been dealing with drought for many months, others are now slipping into it.

What help is at hand and what advice do the experts offer in terms of the key decisions that have to be made about stock, feed and finances?

Episode 63 - September 25, 2018

As the inaugural Woolmark Performance Challenge charges on with some of the best millennial minds in the textile performance wear space, we speak with some of the finalists whose ideas and innovations have impressed the judges so much so that they are through to the next round of the Challenge.
Hosted in partnership with The Woolmark Company and sportswear giant adidas, the Challenge includes a two-day workshop to inspire and build capacity within these finalists before their final presentation at Outdoor Retailer, the largest outdoor sports expo and conference in the USA.

Episode 62 - September 15, 2018

Her environmentally conscious philosophy creates an aura around the clothing of BODICE STUDIO and is causing a swell in the fashion world, but International Woolmark Prize womenswear winner Ruchika Sachdeva says she doesn’t follow trends, rather her clothes are built to weather the natural changes of a lifetime.

Episode 61 - September 8, 2018

With three new functions now available on the WoolQ platform, doors are opening to new opportunities for all in the Australian wool industry. Listen in to find out what opportunities are opening for you.

Episode 60 - August 31, 2018

Every country presents different challenges for wool growers and for South Africans, big cats and mining are two very large issues wool growers must face.

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