Waters best in show
Young shearing talent Jack Waters, who won the Perth Royal Show’s novice shearing competition, is a true representative of what is required to secure the workforce in the wool shed.
The 17-year-old was awarded the inaugural Brian Beresford Trophy, presented by the late shearing contractor’s son, Nathan Beresford, during the Show’s shearing awards presentation on September 25.
The Brian Beresford Trophy recognises entry level shearing excellence and reflects on Brian’s long association in the shearing contracting business, in which he was known to employ newcomers as a way to train the workforce.
Jack, who contributed his first novice shearing title to “keeping calm”, said he was honoured to win the award.
“It was my first win on the boards since first beginning my competitive run during this year’s shearing circuit season,” he said.
“I learned to shear as a student at WA College of Agriculture, Cunderdin, under technical officer Wayne Laird.”
Australian Wool Innovation shearer trainer Todd Wegner said Jack was an unbelievable talent.
“He takes a lot of pride in his work, but mostly he is a good listener,” Mr Wegner said.
“Although his choice of full-time work looks to be at his family’s farm, Jack’s competitive interest will be challenged with a lack of board time — but what he will lack in speed, he should hold his own in clean shearing and determination.”
Jack, who is in his last year at Cunderdin, grew up on his parents’, Peter and Shannon Waters, mixed cropping and sheep farm in Bencubbin.
He has developed broad experience as a young farmer, enjoying all aspects of cropping and sheep work.
During the seven days at the Show, Jack volunteered his services as part of the shearing demonstrations performed in front of the general public, gaining applause for his efforts.
“It was a good experience to have the city people see a young person having a go,” he said.
“You don’t have to be totally great, but show willingness to learn.”
He also represented his college as a member of the winning team for both the AWI Young Sheep Producers Challenge competition and the Future Sheep Breeders Challenge competition.
Perth Royal Show shearing co-ordinator Don Boyle said there was no shortage of applause and appreciation for Jack and novice shearing competition runner-up George Burt — both great talents.
“They are extremely good- minded beginner shearers — can’t get any better,” Mr Boyle said.
“The industry needs another 10 to 12 entrants every year, just like them.”
Mr Boyle said the industry was reliant on the agriculture schools to give students the training essential to provide them with entry level opportunities in the shearing industry.
“Our industry must continue to strive for proper screening of entry level shed hands to ensure we get willing participants which in turn will provide retention in the workforce,” he said.
WA Competitive Shearing Association president Greg Drew said he welcomed all new shearing competitors to have a go during the competitions held throughout the State.
“Competitions provide a great learning opportunity for both beginners and advanced shearers and wool handling competitors, and encourages excellence in the industry,” he said.
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