WICKEPIN stud breeder Grantly Mullan is not fazed by traveling halfway around the world from WA to Argentina to learn more about the Merino industry.
Sipping herbal tea through a communal straw and getting a handle on the Spanish language will be just some of the challenges facing him as the successful applicant for the 2004 Argentina Sheep Breeder Exchange.
Grantly, who is a co-principal of Eastville Park Merino stud at Wickepin with his father Rob, was rewarded for his commitment to the Merino industry.
Sponsored by Landmark, this program is jointly arranged by the Stud Merino Breeders Association of WA and Asociacion Argentina Criadores De Merino in Argentina and gives a young stud breeder exposure to the Merino industry in Argentina.
Since leaving school, Grantly has worked on the family stud at Wickepin and has also had a stint at Collinsville for two years as a jackaroo.
Grantly's commitment to promoting the Merino industry is unquestionable ‹ he has been the president of the Prime Merino Lamb Alliance for the past three years, and has also been involved in helping agricultural college students from across WA at Roy and Coral Mahony's ram shed prepare for Merino junior judging competitions.
When he leaves at the end of January for the three-month exchange, he will have a couple of objectives he wants to achieve.
Grantly said he was very happy to win the exchange and represent the WA Merino industry in Argentina.
"When I get there my aim will be to promote the WA industry, especially with the upcoming AWI World Merino conference in Perth in 2006, but I am also hoping to learn more about their industry and see how it compares to ours," Grantly said.
"I want to put WA on the map and push our genetics, as I have heard they do use some eastern states genetics over there.
"The exchange has just come at the right time for me, I have thought about applying for the last three years, but because of the seasons we have had in Wickepin it has been to hard go away for an extended period."
As part of the exchange, Grantly will attend a number of shows and sales, plus visit numerous sheep and wool growing properties in Argentina, including the areas around Patagonia where the average annual temperature is 6 degrees ‹ a far cry from our Australian summer.
Red shirt for Dennis
ONE of WA's well-known livestock identities, Dennis Roberts, is changing companies.
As of December 1, Dennis (currently with Landmark) will commence work with Elders Breeding Services working within the stud stock area.
"Although I have really enjoyed my time with Wesfarmers or Landmark as they are now known, my new role will give me a greater focus and direction in the stud cattle and sheep areas," he said.
"Elders have a lot of young guys out in the field and I am looking forward to working with them and hope that I can pass on some of my experience to assist them."
THE annual Landmark and Farm Weekly Beef Field Days aren't too far away. The field days showcase some of WA's best beef breeding genetics and this year have been extended to take in the whole week commencing Monday, November 24, and running to Friday, November 28.
The field days will kick off in the Williams district commencing at the Cowcher family's Willandra Simmental and Red Angus studs, before moving down to the Albany, Many Peaks and Mt Barker areas, then on to Manjimup, Bridgetown on the third day, Karridale, Margaret River and Busselton on the fourth, before finishing around Boyanup on day five.
Up for grabs again this year is a two wheel ag motorbike, donated by Landmark and Farm Weekly and supplied by Bunbury City Motorcycles.
Anyone who attends any day of the field days can enter the competition.
For more information contact your local Landmark branch or agent.
THE other big beef event coming in November is the Beef Showcase at the Bridgetown Show. Taking place on Saturday, November 22, the show has increasingly been recognised as an excellent cattle show.
This year there is $6000 in prize money up for grabs, and a couple of new classes, including the pen of two steers and heifers competition and a led steer/heifer competition.
Six places in the Breeders Pair competition will be rewarded as opposed to four last year and there will also be a junior handlers competition this year.
For further information, contact cattle co-ordinator Paul Lubout on 9761 2697.