Increasing business and technical skills for sheep producers and industry

Page last updated: Wednesday, 1 May 2019 - 7:45am

This Sheep Industry Business Innovation (SIBI) subproject aimed to build industry capacity, both human and physical, to deliver the volume and quality of sheep and meat required by new markets. It did this by increasing business skills of producers and service providers to the sheep industry.

Background

An investment was made to enhance the skills of producers through the Lifetime Ewe Management program (LTEM), the Lamb Survival Initiative and a genetics extension program to facilitate adoption of Australian Sheep Breeding Values (ASBVs) for new and existing quality and production traits. Further work around identifying and addressing barriers to adoption supported the increased confidence in investing in and increasing productivity in sheep enterprises.

Improving ewe management

Objectives

  • the training of up to 600 producers in LTEM over the three years 2015-2018
  • the Lamb Survival Initiative would target growers in at least five producer groups to record and measure their lamb survival in order to boost lamb turnoff and grow the flock.

Activities 

  1. Increased support and awareness of LTEM:
  • evaluation of LTEM in Western Australia - in conjunction with Australian Wool Innovation (AWI), the department conducted an in-depth evaluation into the success, format and course design of LTEM
  • developed an adoption strategy for LTEM delivery in WA based on the outcomes of the evaluation including the development of a recruitment coordinator role
  • supported the training of new LTEM trainers in conjunction with Rural Industries Skill Training (RIST)
  • LTEM professional development training for advisors and consultants
  • LTEM case studies - please see the documents on the right.
  • provided support for LTEM courses in WA through a co-investment with RIST to employ a WA-based recruitment officer, supported by AWI and Sheep Alliance WA
  • provided industry support through presenting an LTEM professional development day

2. Improvided support to LTEM train the trainer events.Provided support to producers to achieve 100%+ lambing through training, support and mentoring:

  • Lamb Survival Initiative – five grower groups participated in the initial year of 2015 and six in 2016/17
  • 100%+ Club (2015) – support and recognition of producers achieving 100%+ marking, plus a study tour to LambEx and key producers in Victoria and New South Wales.
  • Lamb Survival Initiative groups – coordination of initiative with six grower groups including data collection and analysis
  • Lambing Planner app – the popular Lambing Planner tool has been developed into an app for both Android and iOS
  • Case studies on LTEM participants, producers using ASBVs and Lamb Survival Initiative participants.

Outcomes and achievements

SIBI, together with AWI, conducted a detailed evaluation of LTEM in WA. The recommendations and outcomes have shaped the approach to recruitment, management of groups and accreditation of trainers.

The Lamb Survival Initiative has increased involvement from five grower groups in 2015 to six grower groups in 2016 and six in 2017. Adjustments were made to the program based on survey feedback from 2015 participants.

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Contact information

Rebecca Butcher
+61 (0)8 9651 0540