Sheep Industry Business Innovation

Breathe new life into your sheep business at our Katanning open day

DPIRD's Robin Jacob and Murdoch University's Maddison Corlett at the 2017 Open Day

The 2018 sheep research open day, ‘Farmer wants a life’, will be held next month at our Katanning Research Facility, hosted by the department in partnership with the Sheep Alliance of Western Australia (WA).

‘Farmer wants a life’ is about maximising the work/life balance by getting the most out of your sheep enterprise through using the latest technology, emerging research and management techniques for sheep.

The open day will be held on Thursday 22 March at the department’s Katanning Research Facility, on Nyabing Road.

The event hopes to build on the success of last year’s ‘Bewety and the Feast’ open day which hosted more than 185 sheep industry participants, including producers, researchers, students and other industry stakeholders.

Department Director of Livestock Research, Development and Innovation Bruce Mullan said “This is now an important event on the sheep industry calendar. Last year’s event proved the value in giving producers the opportunity to interact directly with researchers in a practical setting.

“Seeing research in action is the best way to stimulate discussion and networking amongst those involved in all parts of the sheep value chain.”

A range of expert speakers from government and industry have been lined up to present, including SIBI’s Beth Paganoni, who ensured her 2017 presentation entitled ‘EweTube; Let Siri do the sheepwork’ was interactive by dressing in an eye-catching retro tutu and wig combination, and creating ‘Siri’s rave cave’ with fox deterrent lights doubling as makeshift disco lights in her ‘data disco’.

This year promises to be just as interesting, with Beth’s co-presentation with Amy Lockwood titled ‘Call the midwife!! Let’s minimise lambing strife’. She said of this year’s presentation, “Big mobs mean big mortality, especially for twins. An extra 100 ewes means an extra 2% dead lambs. Cut those lambing mobs down, cut those losses”.

Other presentations include:

  • Sheep parasites: not only affecting your sheep’s bottom, but also your bottom line – Danny Roberts, DPIRD
  • Tough mothers: chewing the fat. The value of whole body energy stores in your breeding index – Sarah Blumer, Murdoch University and John Young, Farming Systems Analysis Service
  • Sins of the father: the hidden mysteries of maternal genetics – Dave Rubie, Smartshepherd
  • Sheep passports: Where they have been? What did they do? (& with who?!) Use individual animal data to get the details – Nathan Scott, Achieve Ag Solutions

More speakers will be announced soon and added to the Farmer wants a life webpage.

Morning tea will be available from 9:30am, with the program running from 10.00am - 4.30pm, and a sundowner to follow.

RSVPs are essential to this free event.

Register online at Farmer wants a life or contact SIBI Development Officer Julia Smith at or phone +61 (0)8 9892 8450.