A valuable skill

Rose Nevinson’s family has been farming in the Wanganella and Booroorban region for more than 100 years, so a life and a career on the land was almost a foregone conclusion.

Her passion for agriculture inspired her to attend the prestigious Yanco Agricultural High School, after which she honed her skills further by completing the Hay Inc Rural Education program, held in Hay, NSW each year.Several years after graduating from the program Rose is now on the Hay Inc committee, and thanks to her feedback new generations of participants are getting more out of the program than she did.“I joined the committee two years ago,” the 23 year-old said.“Hay Inc always tries to improve the program each year, and I suggested we should include wool handling in to the program.“When I went through Hay Inc we did the crutching school, and it’s still part of the program today, but it was not until I started working a Seig Sheep & Wool in Deniliquin that I realised just how important it is to know about wool handling too.“It is important to know about clip preparation, because by doing so you are able to achieve higher premiums for your product.“It’s about knowing how to skirt your fleece, and keep everything from bellies, pieces, crutchings etc. separate, and realising that vegetable matter and yield play a big part in affecting value.“Most jack and jillaroos would be mustering or doing yard work, but learning how to prepare a clip will prepare the participants for anything and will enable them to help whoever they are working for to improve value.”Rose and her Seig Sheep & Wool employer Amelia Seignior held Hay Inc’s first wool handling session in 2020, and Rose lead the class solo in March this year.It is incorporated in to the two and a half day crutching program at the property ‘Steam Plains’.Rose completed the Hay Inc program herself in 2017.“In my first year out of school I was working on a couple of different stations around home (at Booroorban).“I had also done a few courses at ag college, but the Hay Inc instructors are so knowledgeable — having been on the farm and in the industry so long themselves — and I knew I could learn even more from them.“Hay Inc is great in that it’s not like going to school.  It’s hands on learning.”And if working in the wool industry and being a mentor to young jack and jillaroos was not enough work for Rose, who now lives in Deniliquin, she’s also still on the farm as often as she can be.“I have sheep of my own at the family farm — I started them at ‘Parkview’ and now ‘Ramsay’ at Booroorban,” she said.“I started in 2014 with 31 Merino ewes, and now I have 100 Merino sheep.“I am hoping this year to finally become a stud. I’ve been breeding my own rams which I will be looking to sell in the future.“It’s something I have been working up to for a number of years; it’s a passion project really.“I like keeping busy, and if I could do sheep full time I would.“My family has always been in Merinos.“It’s in the blood really.  The family has been farming at ‘Spring Plains’ for 125 years so far.”Through the Hay Inc program, a volunteer committee provides a unique and sustainable ‘on farm set of skills’ in a ‘hands on’ practical method of training. Hay Inc offers an effective comprehensive and highly cost effective training program. Expressions of interest in the program are open year round on the Hay Inc website — Official applications for the 2022 program will open in August or September this year.