Wimmera Farmer presents a monthly feature that profiles young people in agriculture and looks at what drove them to a life on the land.
A TELANGATUK East merino breeder hopes to learn more about the wool industry during a study tour of China.
Daniel Rogers, 24, runs Mount Yulong Poll Merino stud with his parents Peter and Julie Rogers.
They run a commercial flock of about 9000 merinos.
Daniel knew he always wanted to work on the farm.
He left school after year 11 to work full time on the farm.
Daniel continued his farm education by working as a jackaroo in NSW in 2011, before returning to the Wimmera in 2012.
He worked at Uardry Merino Stud near Hay.
The stud was an 83,000-acre station that ran 25,000 sheep and 1000 cattle.
He said he loved the work.
“I learnt a lot, but it’s completely different work because it’s different farming,” he said.
“It was great though, I met a lot of good people.”
Despite having farming in his blood, Daniel said he hated sitting on the tractor.
“I love the stud side of things and the genetics,” he said.
“It’s all about trying to improve what we do every year.”
Daniel said it was an exciting time in the merino industry at the moment.
“We sold wool for $2000 a bale last week and meat prices have been strong too,” he said.
“It’s a good season, and it makes everything so much easier.”
On February 19, Daniel will join 14 other farmers from across Australia and travel to China.
Other Wimmera producers, such as Nurrabiel’s Warren Russell, Brimpaen’s Sue and Rod Miller and Laharum’s Cameron Mibus, will also attend.
The trip is being run through the Australian Wool Innovation.
“It’s the second year they have ran this study trip,” Daniel said.
“The trip is about teaching us what happens to wool once it leaves the farm.
“When the wool leaves here, it’s about more than it just going to Melbourne and us receiving money for us.
“We are learning about the product and what we can do to improve it at the other end.”
The tour will visit Hong Kong before heading to Shanghai.
Participants will go to the Wool Resource Centre in Hong Kong and the Australian Wool Innovation’s office in Shanghai, as well as businesses such as Jiangsu Sunshine Group and Xin Ao Knitwear Development Centre.
The tour runs until March 3.
Daniel said he was looking forward to the experience and he hoped the benefits from it would help the wool industry.
“It’s a great opportunity and AWI is organising it – it’s something you wouldn’t do by yourself,” he said.
“It will be good to meet new people.
“I’m hoping I will come home with shared knowledge with other farmers and we can work together to improve the industry as a whole, rather than just coming home and forgetting all about it.
“I want to bring something back.”
I’m hoping I will come home with shared knowledge with other farmers and we can work together to improve the industry as a whole.Daniel Rogers
Daniel has continued to make a name for himself in the wool industry.
In 2014, he was named the Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria’s Young Sheep Breeder of the Year.
That same year, he was one of 22 young Australians selected for a professional development course run by Australian Wool Innovation.
At the course, he was trained in areas including people management, business innovation, corporate governance, strategic planning and time management.
Daniel said taking sheep to shows was also a good way to showcase the stud.
He said the stud usually took merinos to shows at Ballarat, Bendigo and Hamilton.
“Shows aren’t overly beneficial for the stud financially, but it’s about getting our name out there and it’s fun,” he said.
Daniel said he was excited to see the stud and the merino industry grow and improve.
“It’s so exciting for merinos at the moment and in the next 10 years, the way wool and meat are going, it will improve even more,” he said.
“They really are a dual purpose animal and they have to be more profitable than other breeds because of that.
“Previously meat prices were always strong, but now wool is up there as well.
“I also want to continue working with fertility to improve the meat side of the stud.”