Stock and station agents from the Elders network are participating in RamSelect workshops in order to offer sheep and wool genetic selection advice based on the latest research and technology.
Five Elders wool and stud stock agents from northern NSW and southern Queensland participated in the first of a series of RamSelect workshops with the Cooperative Research Centre for Sheep Industry Innovation (Sheep CRC) in Armidale last week.
Elders regional wool manager for Walcha Tom Henry said the workshop provided a great opportunity to learn more about selecting genetics using Australian Sheep Breeding Values (ASBVs) via the RamSelect.com.au app, and to exchange ideas with the app developers about its on the ground applications and potential improvements.
“We deal with ram breeders and wool growers on a day-to-day basis who use many different methods for selecting their genetics, but we believe that with more information in front of them about the quality of rams and genetic traits for which they may be selecting, wool or sheep producer will be able to make better ram buying decisions,” Mr Henry said.
“And with many breeders now using RamSelect, we need our wool staff and those involved in ram selling to understand the program and to be able to offer advice with confidence. The RamSelect workshop delivered the information we needed and I believe it will be of huge benefit for staff from across the Elders network.”
The RamSelect app uses plain English and intuitive design to enable sheep breeders to quickly rank rams available for sale that meet their individual business objectives – all of which is underpinned by the individual animal data held on the LAMBPLAN, MERINOSELECT and DOHNE databases.
The Sheep CRC developed the app in conjunction with Telstra, Pivotal Labs in San Francisco, and the NSW Department of Primary Industries.
Within four months of its launch last July, the popularity of RamSelect.com.au quickly grew to include details on more than 12,000 rams from 140 studs – equivalent to over 5% of the national ram market – and has continued to steadily grow since then.
Sheep CRC training program leader Lu Hogan said the workshop doubled as an opportunity to obtain feedback about the app and planned enhancements due to be released later this year.
“There was great interaction between the Elders team and the Sheep CRC team and we’re really looking forward to having further input from Elders staff as we improve the app,” Mrs Hogan said.
More information on objective genetic selection tools is available from www.sheepcrc.org.au.
Media contact: Michael Thomson on 07 4927 0805 / 0408 819 666