For Martin Moses, there was no family succession into the sheep and wool production industry. No farming skills and knowledge passed down to him from generations before him. He simply had a strong passion for sheep and wool. This fuelled not just his career in the wool industry, but has influenced the future of many other woolgrowers and the direction of their flocks.
‘We run 3100 merinos over two properties, totalling 1300ha. Our sheep and wool enterprise is a little different to a commercial wool producer, as we are conducting research on both properties. However, we have the same passion for the land we utilise and sheep and the products they produce as most farmers. I love the fact that if managed in balance, sheep are very kind to the land and the people that run them, as they produce sustainable products and they compliment the other farming activities.’
Martin has been involved with the genetic research of sheep since 2009 and it now plays a big part in the direction he is taking his sheep.
‘In the mixed farming zone we operate, we are aiming to breed average sized plain body merino ewes with a wool cut of 7-8kg, 18.5 micron wool and produce 120% fast maturing lambs. We like the wool characteristics to be deep crimping and enable us to shear twice/year averaging 60mm.’
‘We aim to manage the sheep to exceed 120% of lambs to ewes joined. The lambs must be fast maturing. We are trying to avoid selecting breeding ewes for heavy weight as we see that this selection technique creates issues in the production cycle, impacting on animal health, management and production efficiencies.’
Every single decision is well thought out and maps the future for not just his flock but those of his clients at his wool broking company, ‘Moses and Son’ and his own employees across his two properties..
‘I am married to Amanda and we have 7 children/step children (aged 19-38) and 6 grand children (aged 4 months to 6 years). Some of my children have worked on my farm and Amanda was also my stock supervisor for 5 months, a few years ago.’
‘We have a livestock overseer who manages the husbandry calendar and performs day to day checks. We also have an Overarching Farm Manager, employ contractors and other staff members also lend a hand where possible. Being a family operated business in regional areas, community engagement is extremely important to us. From the farm aspect we are involved in the local fire brigade and a member of the local LLS group for biosecurity and coordinated predator management. We use local business and contractors where possible for our farming needs.’
‘Our customer wants to be assured that what they are buying ticks all the boxes, being kind to environment, whilst respecting the animals and people involved in the production of the fibre. Schneider Wool’s Authentico Integrity Scheme is the conduit that allows wool producers to tell that story throughout the pipeline.’
‘Initially our wool broking company engaged with Giovanni Schneider and their Authentico Integrity Scheme on behalf of our Moses and Sons clients. We also saw merit in joining to market our wool as we believe the consumer wants to buy more than a product. They want a story that makes them feel good about the products they buy. Schemes like Authentico will become more widely used and we like to experience what we advise our clients to use.’
‘In the current environment wool producers in Australia need to lead the change in the way we conduct our sheep enterprises. If we continue the short sightedness we have seen from the industry on the big issues like animal welfare and our impact on the environment then the industry will continue to shrink.’