Clip improvement wins Hine PGG Wrightson Academy Award
PGG Wrightson Wool Trainee Hine Mullany was recognised recently as the company’s top young talent. Hine was named as Dux at the recent PGG Wrightson Academy Awards, her success based on a project to improve the clip of Canterbury woolgrowers, mother and son team Nicola and Ben Stokes.
A partnership between PGG Wrightson and the Primary Industry Training Organisation, PGG Wrightson’s Academy selects approximately 20 of the company’s employees each year to study together for a Certificate in Rural Servicing (NZQA Level 4).
A major component of the programme is the PGG Wrightson dissertation, where participants select a client, work with them to identify a production issue, develop an innovative solution for that issue, then model the effect the solution will have on the business over the next five years.
For her dissertation Hine chose Nicola and Ben Stokes, who farm Wyndale, a 600 hectare Sheffield sheep and beef property, and are clients of PGG Wrightson Wool rep Doug McKay.
“Wyndale runs 1300 Romdales (Romney-Perendale cross), and the Stokes thought there was scope to improve the quality of their clip, particularly wool colour.
“One solution we discussed was to consider shearing twice per year. We went through and evaluated that, identifying all the benefits of a second shear regime on a farm like theirs, considering costs and animal health, as well as improvement of the wool clip.
“Although second shearing obviously costs more per annum across the shearing board, projected survival of cast ewes and their off spring, more than made up for that, and with the wool clip improving in quality, the conclusion was straightforward,” says Hine.
Wyndale has already introduced second shearing.
“Another positive is that should weather or nature intervene to make shearing impractical and/or risk animal health, they can always revert to one annual shearing. As it is, the change has been worthwhile, improving the quality to the point where they gained 32 cents per kilogram compared to their annual shear.
“Improving the genetics of their mob is the next part of the strategy,” says Hine.
Working with the Stokes inspired her to go for it in the Academy programme.
“When I met them, I wanted to win the top award for them, so it was great to achieve that.
“I worked closely with Ben, who has a lot of ideas and a future thinking approach. It was cool to bounce ideas off each other and discuss the industry.”
Hine graduated from Lincoln University with a Bachelor of Agriculture in 2021, and began working for PGG Wrightson in February 2022.