Merino breeder chief

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Newly appointed Stud Merino Breeders' Association of WA president Alan Hobley.
Camera IconNewly appointed Stud Merino Breeders' Association of WA president Alan Hobley. Credit: Countryman

Nyabing stud Merino breeder Allan Hobley is the new Stud Merino Breeders’ Association of WA president, replacing Scott Pickering of Cascade, who has stepped down after two years at the helm.

Mr Hobley officially started in his position on March 12 at the SMBAWA annual meeting at Cottesloe, and he will set the tone of his leadership at the next committee meeting in June when a vice-president is named.

Representing the third generation of his family’s farm, Mr Hobley, 37, said he was keen to be proactive for the association’s members.

“After a quiet time from COVID restrictions, I would like to introduce a few more seminars for our members, and develop a social media site,” he said. “It is important to show the State’s stud breeders that the association is actively involved in the benefits of educational programs.”

Mr Hobley said the most challenging issue in WA had been the dry seasonal conditions.

“Sheep producers in these times need to adapt their production systems to the environment,” he said.

“Through the use of technology and the appropriate management strategies, sheep production can be made a lot easier.”

Mr Hobley said the price of sheep and wool was not the most important factor. More critical was how producers were able to adjust their sheep systems for any seasonal constraints that may occur.

“When we have a good season, it is then possible to measure how productive our systems are,” he said.

“I am optimistic the upcoming ram selling season will see good clearances.”

Mr Hobley said although quite a few Merino ewes had been sold to Eastern State interests, he believed the recent rains had slowed down the sell-off of good breeding ewes.

“If the season holds on, rams sales will find pace,” he said.

Mr Hobley graduated from the WA College of Agriculture — Narrogin, before travelling. He returned to the family farm as a 23-year-old and developed a partnership with his brother Greg, which led to the establishment of the Wiringa Park Merino stud in 2006, and a concentration on Poll Merinos in 2018.

Mr Hobley, a SMBAWA committee member for 10 years, was the Great Southern Merino Sheepbreeders’ Association president 2017 to 2019. He will attend the Australian Association of Stud Merino Breeders meeting in Adelaide on March 22 and 23.

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