Emma Bentley joins the Elders' team at the Bibra Lake woolstore

By Mal Gill
May 12 2022 - 5:00am
Emma Bentley is the latest addition to Elders' wool team.

ELDERS' latest addition to its WA wool team has a strong background in sheep - but not the traditional Merino that produces most of the wool she deals with at work.

Emma Bentley, who recently turned 22 and has joined the Elders' team at its Bibra Lake woolstore as a wool technical support officer, has been helping breed and raise White Suffolk sheep for six years and more.

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Her grandparents, Warren and Barbara Thompson at Wickepin, have the Hedingham White Suffolk stud and while Ms Bentley grew up and went to school in Collie, she spent most of her free time on her grandparent's property.

"I started working full time in the stud when I was about 15," Ms Bentley said.

"When I turned 15 I took my first job in the shearing shed there and I've worked there ever since - (as a) roustabout, shearer and wool classer.

"I've got an owners' stencil, I'm an owner classer."

Ms Bentley trained as an owner classer with Rob Carter at South Regional TAFE, Narrogin and has started studying for her full classer's stencil but has not yet achieved that.

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"I also do a lot of the shearing (at Hedingham stud) with crutching and that," she said.

Ms Bentley and her grandfather have been working towards an all natural mating - the stud's last artificial insemination season was 2017 - and an earlier lambing, which this season started on April 26.

She and her daughter Lillie, 4, moved to Perth last year to be with her partner, but her new role with Elders - lotting wool and helping prepare wool auction catalogues - allows her to return to the farm at weekends.

"Even though I live here (Perth), I still do a lot of work at the farm," Ms Bentley said.

"Working with Elders allows me to be in Perth during the week but still have the connection with the farm at weekends, while I'm doing something that I love.

"Ever since I was a kid I've known I wanted to be in wool and livestock."

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