Rural Notebook | Seeking fresh ideas, faces for association

USING YOUR HEAD: Young farmers observe all the safety requirements and many have excellent stock handling skills.
USING YOUR HEAD: Young farmers observe all the safety requirements and many have excellent stock handling skills.

BATHURST Merino Association will hold its annual general meeting on Monday evening, July 22 at 7.30 sharp at the Bridge Hotel, Perthville, where we may see several changes in management positions.

This group has soldiered on through some pretty tough times and most of its early workforce have stepped aside to allow keen younger members to drive the organisation.

A look back at BMA and its goings-on during its 27-year existence:

  • A Central West wool producers meeting at Trevards Restaurant in Howick Street, Bathurst caused the Department of Ag "Sheepo" Joe Cahill from Cooma to suggest that the Central Tablelands should form a producer group similar to one at Cooma.
  • The group was formed and held its first ewe competition in March 1993.
  • Wether trials attracted more than 100 spectators to result days.
  • OJD raised its head in the mid-1990s and BMA was heavily involved in the debate: three delegations to state ministers, speakers at two federal state inquiries, a 10 member delegation or study tour to the New Zealand Otago region.
  • The debate was won when details of Spanish Gudair vaccine were leaked at a gatecrashed meeting of vets at Sydney's Boulevarde Hotel. That was game, set and match.

Subsequent BMA committees have soldiered on through the fibre peasant stage of the crash of our wool reserve price scheme, $1 per head grants to shoot sheep and many awful seasons since the 1990s.

It's been a great effort by genuine volunteers who have kept the association going and they now need some fresh faces with new plans so that our sheep and wool producers have a vibrant group to involve with as the great times that lie ahead are realised.

FAMILY MATTERS: Seaman first cousins at a mini reunion: Ray (Sam); Brian, Len, Bruce, Marie Goodwin, Anne Miller, Nola Costa, Jenny Paul, Gaye Medbury, John Seaman and Mark Seaman.

FAMILY MATTERS: Seaman first cousins at a mini reunion: Ray (Sam); Brian, Len, Bruce, Marie Goodwin, Anne Miller, Nola Costa, Jenny Paul, Gaye Medbury, John Seaman and Mark Seaman.

Don't delay

APPLICATIONS for community drought relief projects can still be made, but closing dates are imminent.

Federal Government grants of up to $1 million per local government council were made available during late 2018 and details will be found by Googling "Fed Grants to councils drought relief".

Applications must go through our local council. Minimum grant is $25,000, maximum $40,000 and projects must be completed by December 31, 2019.

Suggestions made to me include:

  • Commence trials of plants, pastures, horticulture to combat climate variability. There are many sources of professional advice right here in our community.
  • Shearer and wool handlers training schools (in conjunction with Australian Wool Innovation) as a means of training a much-needed future workforce and ongoing employment for our rising generation.
  • Assistance for workers involved in agriculture to commence post-school education and trade courses at tertiary and trade institutions. Many of these courses are priced out of reach for young rural workers and children of farmers who are flattened by years of severe drought.

Farmer organisations and producer groups are urged to seriously consider applying to councils for a slice of this drought relief money that is offered in good faith.


Mudgee date

LOTS of Bathurst and district residents make the annual foray to the Mudgee Small Farm Field Days and everyone appreciates this well-organised, community-focused day where friendship and learning are features.

Visitors from our side of the Turon may visit the exhibits from Glen Esk Corriedales and Winya Merinos as their studmasters Ric Hoolihan and Allan Dawson always bring stud sheep to these events in Bathurst.

We all know how important these social events can be when times are tough, but we also know the great feeling of attending similar events just after a week's solid rain.

Please take your best mate to Mudgee, forget the day-to-day worries and have a few laughs with friends.

We're all in this together and we'll celebrate together when the general rain finally stops.

Weather or not

IF you believe that laughter is the best medicine, you won't want to miss Baby, It's Cold Outside - The Weather in Revue at the Robert Hooper Community Centre, Oberon on Saturday, August 17 at 1.30pm.

There are desperadoes in the presenter listing that include Brian Beasley, Ian Gordon, Jan Lanser, Anne Russell and Alexandra and Rod Tuson.

Tickets are $30 per person and include high tea and a glass of wine. Proceeds to charity; tickets at Arrows Newsagency. Details:

For those without a sense of humour, here's your chance to grow one: If 51 per cent of people laugh with you, you're the Government, and if 51 per cent laugh at you, you're in Opposition.

Diary dates

  • Tomorrow and Saturday: Mudgee Small Farm Field Days.
  • Monday, July 22: Bathurst Merino Association annual general meeting at Bridge Hotel, Perthville at 7pm. All positions declared vacant. Please come and bring a friend.
  • Saturday, August 10: Bathurst Merino Association Ram Expo, working dog auction, junior sheep judging and Super 6 competition. Bathurst Showground.
  • Saturday, August 17:Baby, It's Cold Outside at Robert Hooper Community Centre, Oberon at 1.30pm.

Wool report

THE wool market finally turned in a positive direction after six straight weeks of decline. Merino wools gained around 20c/kg, while the crossbred wools held their ground.

The Northern Market Indicator finished the week on 1738c/kg - up 7c/kg.

The market lost 171c/kg in the six-week fall, but buyer sentiment has turned around and some business has been done in China at better levels, so next week we could see the market dearer again.

Next week will see 34,831 bales on offer for the last sale of the 2018-19 selling season before a three-week mid-year recess.

Mark Horsburgh, TWG Landmark

Laugh lines

SHE was on her very first cruise and the ship's captain tried to chat her up on several occasions. On the fifth day at sea, she wrote in her diary: "Captain Smith said if I don't spend the night in his cabin, he'll scuttle the Liner." On the sixth day, she wrote: "Last night I saved the lives of 2,765 innocent people ..."


GEORGE bought a 10-year-old Camry that the dealer told him was owned from new by a little pensioner lady who only drove it to church each Sunday. He asked the dealer for an address so he could return the cigar butts, two empty gin bottles, a pair of silk garters with spangles on them and a pair of red knickers.