Career in wool an easy fit
WA College of Agriculture — Cunderdin graduate Sam Howie is bringing a fresh and youthful approach to the wool industry, taking up a traineeship with Dyson Jones.
After finding his interest in sheep and wool at Cunderdin, he took on a two-year stint at the Bolt family’s Claypans Poll Merino stud, at Corrigin, where he learnt how genetic ram selection had an influence on improving the cut and wool quality of the flock.
“While working at Claypans, I was introduced to many wool growers, which set my sights on a career in the industry,” he said.
“I think there is a lack of younger people in the industry, so I hope to bring my education and experience in filling this void.”
Brought up in Serpentine, Mr Howie’s time in the country also meant trading footy allegiances from his early years at Mundijong before his midfield play contributed towards a 2017 grand final win for the Corrigin Tigers Football Club.
The 20-year-old started his traineeship with Dyson Jones in February and has been visiting woolsheds, attending weekly auctions and helping wool brokers at the Bibra Lake offices and show floor/warehouse. “My traineeship is a great opportunity,” he said.
“I understand Dyson Jones has taken up the program to ensure the future of its business against an ageing workforce.”
Mr Howie represented Dyson Jones at this year’s Wagin Woolorama in March, where he was one of the wool fleece selection judges. He previously participated in youth judging competitions at the IGA Perth Royal Show.
“Woolorama’s fleece entries were very good this year and the supreme fleece had exceptional uniformity,” he said.
Speaking with Countryman at the Western Wool Centre, Mr Howie was proud to point out the Dyson Jones sale catalogue had produced a 1680¢/kg greasy top-price for a four-bale line of 19.8 micron wool, bought by Techwool.
“Even while Australia’s wool production has been reduced to very low levels, and this will be compounded by the Eastern States drought, I am still very optimistic about the industry and look forward to a long-lasting career,” he said.
Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.
Sign up for our emails