Breeding Leadership - Flashback to 2018

    Ally 1If every upcoming wool specialist showed as much passion and insight as Ally Jaffrey, the industry would be in safe hands.

    In February 2018, Ally, the Wool Area Manager for Landmark Crookwell, took part in this year’s Breeding Leadership course, adding to her already impressive list of credentials to her name.  

    The then 27 year-old who originally hails from Gilgandra, was endorsed by NSW Stud Merino Breeders because of her convincing attributes as a future wool industry leader.

    Ally started her love affair with the Australian sheep and wool industry in her teens.   

    After enjoying agriculture and business studies at Gilgandra High School, Ally studied a Bachelor of Agriculture Business Management at Charles Sturt University, Orange.

    After that, her road to wool started to weave its path.

    With Landmark for six years now, it was in 2013 that Ally moved to the Southern Tablelands from Wagga and graduated from NSW TAFE Illawarra (Goulburn Campus) where she was trained by Greg Bush and Alex Wilson
    in Certificate IV in Wool Classing.

    She was awarded the 41st DAS Campbell award for the top placed NSW student at the Sydney Royal.

    During this time Ally was also completing her wool traineeship at Landmark Goulburn.

    In 2014 she was promoted to wool area manager at Landmark Crookwell.

    And since then she hasn’t looked back.

    In 2014 Ally outclassed her competition at the Sydney Royal to win the coveted woolclassers Golden Stencil.

    The Australian Wool Exchange (AWEX)/TAFE National Graduate Woolclasser Competition was contested by 11 woolclassers from across the country.

    Back to the present, Ally is making use of every opportunity that presents itself to give her a rounded approach to her chosen industry.

    A wool specialist as such, Ally admits she loves more about her job than just wool.

    “I really enjoy the breeding side of sheep, but I think you have to be doing it all of the time, it’s full on,” Ally said.

    “But having that knowledge would give a more rounded approach of the industry to my clients.”

    She said spending time on ram selection for clients’ enterprises with stud stock specialist Rick Power assists in the direction clients are heading.

    “I believe naturally, that should be a part of my job,” Ally said.

    “I know I need to have the technical side of my role down pat, but I also believe the production side is critical.

    “Seeing what has happened up to the point the wool came off the sheep and what has influenced that - that is important.

    “So much more can go into helping my clients from that lamb when it first hits the ground to when they are shorn – the genetics, the nutrition, the season  - all of that is so interesting to me.”

    Traditionally her role would be from the bale onwards, but Ally would like to think she can help her clients before that stage.

    So the product that goes into the bale is the product you want,” she said.

    “Do you want to produce big robust crimping style wool that is going to cut eight kilos or do you want to cut fourkilos of ultrafine wool?

    “It is completely different, what you are doing beforehand, to get to that, even though they are both a Merino product.”

    Ally said that is one of the benefits of working for a company like Landmark is you’re exposed to all the different opportunities out there.

    “I am continually finding information out that is relevant to pass on to my clients,” Ally said.


    Twenty-three participants took part in the week-long Breeding Leadership program, funded by Australian Wool Innovation (AWI), designed to improve the leadership skills of young people involved in the industry.

    Participants were selected from all facets of the wool industry ranging from shearers to farm owners and woolclassers.

    “It was an invaluable experience. I made some really good connections with people from across the country,” Ally said.

    “Everyone, from a wide range of backgrounds, was open and willing to share their personal experiences which I think really helped  - you learn from that more than anything.

    “So many aspects of the industry were bought together.”

    Delivered in Clare, South Australia, at Clare Country Club by consultancy firm, Rural Directions, Breeding Leadership covered personal leadership skills as well as strategic planning and team leadership.

    “It was all about communication,” Ally said.

    “It was also very good for succession planning, corporate business and family farms – business is business.”

    She said the on-farm visits were a highlight of the course.

    “This was a mix of going to see studs and their sheep, but because we were talking about business all day, we would end up talking about business with them, whether that be succession planning or new ideas they were implementing on-farm,” Ally said.

    Ally said it was one of the better programs she had been on.

    “They change the structure of how they execute the week every time they conduct the course,” she said.

    “They get feedback and work on any changes or implementations that need to be made.”

    Long-term, Ally said she can’t see herself anywhere but involved Australia’s wool industry.

    “I think there will be times when things prove a bit tough,” she said.

    “But I can see more young people getting involved and better networking within the younger generations.

    “That has to be a positive for the future of wool in Australia.”


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