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 Past Scholarship Stories

 

Jack Walker

Heiniger Scholarship Report

 

 To SA Sheep Expo Committee,

My name is Jack Walker and I was the recipient of the Heiniger Learner Scholarship at the 2018 SA Sheep Expo. The Heiniger learner scholarship has been an excellent experience that I have thoroughly enjoyed. The scholarship not only came with the learner shearing kit, but it had several requirements to fulfil which I met and greatly enjoyed. These requirements were:

  • Attend 1 Learner or Improver shearing school
  • Compete in 1 Learner shearing competition
  • Attend a day with a Heiniger representative
  • Submit a written report on the experience

In early October I joined Lachlan Holmes, the South-East Heiniger representative, and went with him for the day as he visited shearing sheds and conducted repairs on various shearing equipment. This was a very interesting experience because I learnt about the parts and inner-workings of shearing equipment such as handpieces and down-tubes. We travelled around the South-East from Lucindale through to Kingston and visited several farms along the way. I thank Lachlan for dedicating some time to take me and I enjoyed learning new things and meeting new people.

From October 29th through to the 2nd November I attended the TAFE SA learner shearing school at Furner. This shearing school was an amazing experience where I not only learnt to shear but I also learnt about all aspects of the shearing and wool industry. Over the course of the week, we were taught how to shear a full sheep by practicing on shorn sheep, marking the blows with chalk and practicing individual sections at a time until it was all pieced together on the final few days. While attending the school, we also learnt about grinding, wool handling and preparing the equipment for shearing. I thoroughly enjoyed the learner shearing school and would highly recommend it to anyone in the sheep industry. By the end of the shearing school I could successfully shear a sheep in 6-7 minutes which I have gradually refined down to 4-5 minutes. The school had very experienced and world-class instructors that taught us and refined our skills to try and perfect our techniques.

After attending the learner shearing school I entered the Lucindale shearing competition which was another requirement of the scholarship. From the heats I came third overall and I was placed fourth in the final. I really enjoyed competing in the 2018 Lucindale shears so much that I decided to enter the Edenhope shears a week later which I came third overall. Although this was a requirement for the scholarship, it did not feel like it because I was having fun and meeting new people.

Following the shearing school and competitions, I have been shearing at school with Dave Brooker and also at home on the family farm whenever it is needed. I am currently really enjoying my shearing and always excited to pick up the handpiece and shear a sheep.

Throughout my experience with this scholarship I haven’t had any problems, so I have no suggestions for improvement. This scholarship is excellent for kids who seek to work in the wool industry particularly shearing and creates a great pathway into the industry. This scholarship has motivated me to shear sheep and improve my skills particularly through the shearing school
which I have been recommending to many kids that are in the sheep industry. I believe that the Heiniger learner scholarship is an excellent experience for anyone who wishes to enter the industry.

I would finally like to thank the SA Sheep Expo, Heiniger and Darren McEvoy for providing this scholarship and this wonderful experience. I have enjoyed every moment of this scholarship and would recommend it to any participants of the 2019 SA Sheep Expo.

Jack Walker