Around the Camp: Blowflies / ASBVs / Business planning / Wool4School competition

  1. Collecting blowflies for research
  2. Using ASBVs for ram selection
  3. Developing your business plan
  4. Wool4School 2018 Design Competition
  5. Upcoming events
  6. eBulletins

1.Your help needed to collect blowflies for research

As part of an AWI-funded project, University of Melbourne researchers are seeking assistance in trapping and collection of 30 adult blowflies on properties across Australia for use in their research.

Anyone interested in participating should contact the researchers prior to blowfly collection. It is anticipated that the trapping/collection would need to take place across the current flystrike season but only one or two different collections from an area are required. If taking part, the researchers will liaise with you regarding the best ways and requirements to trap/capture the 30 blowflies, and the couriering arrangements for the dispatch of the blowflies to the researchers at the University of Melbourne.

Please email Dr Trent Perry at the University of Melbourne at if you are interested in collecting 30 blowflies to be used in the research project or for further details.

Back to the top

2. Using ASBVs for ram selection

Australian Sheep Breeding Values (ASBVs) provide an estimate of an animal’s true breeding value and offer a projection of how that animal’s progeny may perform in the paddock. It acts as a guide to help aid you in understanding the complexities of breeding profitable but practical sheep that are suited to your business and its environment. ASBVs take into consideration various effects that impact upon the performance of the ram including age, management type and whether it was a single, twin or triplet.

As rams are the main driver of genetic change in a flock, buying decisions have a significant and lasting impact on profitability and sustainability of a sheep enterprise – So it’s important to choose right the first time around. The process of determining which ram would provide the greatest genetic gain for your flock should focus on ASBVs that best meet your breeding objective, production system, and target market. In order to determine what ASBVs you require you should first determine what genes are economically important to your business and offer the dollar value you desire. This can be achieved by setting realistic breeding objectives and selecting rams with the best available ASBVs that are functional and affordable.

More information on ASBVs is available at:

Back to the top

3. Have you developed your business plan?

Failing to plan, is planning to fail. Creating a business plan is generally an insightful process that helps your business avoid a lot of lost time and resources by establishing a specific direction for your future plans. If handled correctly the whole process is designed to strengthen your business and your relationships with staff, customers and potential investors. However, many perceptions around the formation of a business plan deter producers from beginning the process, including a lack of time and an ‘it’s just business as usual’ attitude.

A business plan is one of the most important and beneficial documents that can be developed for your business, it forces you to think about the future, provides clarity on your business plans and objectives, and gets everyone on the same page. It also identifies current and potential risks to your business and develops a contingency plan for these scenarios, reducing the impact of these risks if they were to occur. Developing a business plan makes for a more effective, productive and profitable business.

More information on business plans and how and where to get started are available from:

Back to the top

4. Wool4School 2018 Design Competition

Registrations are now open for the 2018 Wool4School design competition with the opportunity for both students and teachers to win prize-money and resources! Students are invited to design an innovative, quirky and multi-functional outfit that must contain a minimum of 80% Merino wool. Designed outfits must also contain a minimum of one and maximum of four pieces. Participants are encouraged to think outside the square and show their creative side. It is not necessary for students to actually create their design they must however illustrate and carefully describe the textiles used in their pieces.

The competition is open to school students from years 7 to 12, with all teachers who register receiving a free resource pack for their class, technical information and other helpful resources. Registered teachers also have the chance to go into the running to win $1000, a Bernina sewing machine and a workshop for their students with a professional wool expert. The Wool4School design competition not only teaches students the fundamentals of fashion design but also the versatility and benefits of wool as a fabric.

Further details on registering, competition criteria and resources are available from along with prize details on offer for students and teachers.

Back to the top

5. Upcoming events

1 March Grazing Fundamentals EDGE, Meandarra. For more information or to register click here

March (tbc) Electronic identification in sheep webinar. For more information contact Nicole Sallur at

5-6 March Grazing BMP, Dirranbandi. For more information contact Andrea Wiles at

6-8 March Nutrition EDGE Workshop, Hughenden. For more information and to register contact Mellissa Holzwart at or Désirée Jackson at

7-8 March Grazing BMP, Nindigully. For more information contact Andrea Wiles at

6/7/8/9 March Turning Lemons into Lemonade- tips and tricks to get ahead this season, Corfield/Muttaburra/Isisford/Stonehenge. For more information contact Kiri Broad at

9/10/11 March Rural Minds Workshops, Dirranbandi/Begonia/Bollon. For more information or to register contact

5-6 March Business EDGE workshop, Charleville. For more information or to register click here.

8-9 March Business EDGE workshop, Goondiwindi. For more information or to register click here.

10 March The Art of Public Speaking- Helen Everingham, Charleville. For more information contact Liz Lynch at

12 March Tambo Nutrition Forum, Tambo. For more information click here or contact Jed Sommerfield at or Amy Palmer at

16 March Are We Riding on the Sheep’s Back Again? Forum & Dinner, Longreach. For more information and to purchase tickets click here or contact Kiri Broad at or Joy Hardie at

23-25 March Breeding EDGE Workshop, Richmond. For more information and to register please contact Felicity Hamlyn-Hill at

4 May 2018 Queensland State Sheep show – Blackall. For more information click here.

May 2018 (tbc) Herd and flock management days across south and south west Queensland. For more information contact Andrea Wiles at

June 2018 (tbc) Electronic identifcation in sheep field days across Queensland. For more information contact Nicole Sallur at

June 2018 (tbc) Grazing BMP, Roma, Mitchell/Morven. For more information contact Andrea Wiles at

Back to the top

6. eBulletins