North East & Goulburn Murray Farmer - - Front Page -

El­iz­a­beth Sut­ton joined a record num­ber of vis­i­tors and ex­hibitors at the 2014 Aus­tralian Sheep & Wool Show, show­cas­ing the best of Aus­tralia’s world-class wool, prime lamb and fi­bre fashion in­dus­tries.

THE 2014 Aus­tralian Sheep & Wool Show had a record num­ber of en­tries across the com­pe­ti­tion board, at­tract­ing an in­crease in vis­i­tors to Bendigo’s Prince of Wales Show­grounds.

With close to 3000 sheep en­tries and 500 fleeces from all states, the big­gest show of its type in the world has ex­pe­ri­enced a three-fold in­crease in the 15 years it has been held.

The show’s youth com­po­nent, with ju­nior com­pe­ti­tions and judg­ing has also has a year-on-year in­crease and this com­po­nent of the event will con­tinue to be ex­panded by the Aus­tralian Sheep Breed­ers’ As­so­ci­a­tion.

The Wool­craft sec­tion had an in­crease in en­tries, with ex­hibitors com­ing from both metropoli­tan and re­gional ar­eas to take part.

Rep­re­sented on the ground via the Aus­tralian Sheep Breed­ers’ As­so­ci­a­tion were com­bined hold­ings of stock and pro­duc­tion worth more than $895 mil­lion.

A mere seven per cent of pri­mary pro­duc­ers who at­tended the show pro­duce 163,000 prime lambs, 220,000 sur­plus sheep and 26,000 bales of wool per year, as well as sup­ply­ing lamb for 200,000 Aus­tralians.

While farm­ers com­peted for ex­cel­lence, did busi­ness via stud stock sales and ab­sorbed the lat­est in­dus­try knowl­edge on ge­net­ics and in­no­va­tive farm­ing tech­niques, more than 30,000 vis­i­tors headed for Bendigo – the ge­o­graphic mid-point of Aus­tralia’s main sheep breed­ing re­gions – to watch com­pe­ti­tion events, shop for wool prod­ucts, en­joy craft classes, take in fashion pa­rades and hone their food and cook­ing skills.

The cham­pi­ons of each breed were judged to de­ter­mine the Supreme Prime Lamb which was won by Val­ley Vista Park in Coolac, NSW (Poll Dorset) and Supreme Long Wool which was won by Quamby Plains, Ha­gley, Tas­ma­nia (Cor­riedale).

This year’s fea­ture breed, the Merino, had record com­pe­ti­tion en­tries which in­cluded the Na­tional Merino Pairs Com­pe­ti­tion, se­lect­ing the coun­try’s best ram and ewe.

Supreme and Grand Cham­pion Ram was won by Grath­lyn, Mudgee, NSW and Grand Cham­pion Ewe was from Rock-Bank, Vic­to­ria Val­ley.

The most suc­cess­ful ex­hibitor was won by Ro­seville Park, Dubbo, NSW.

The Bendigo Fes­ti­val of Lamb is also part of the event and chefs and food demon­stra­tors at­tracted large crowds as they high­lighted the ver­sa­til­ity of lamb.

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