The New Zealand Sheep Council
More profit from sheep
The Sheep Council was created in 1990 by the Meat and Wool boards to replace the vacuum created by the restructuring of MAF in 1989.
It has four Regional Councils, two for the North Island and two for the South Island, centered on four established research centres: Ruakura(Hamilton), Palmerston North, Christchurch and Invermay.
The Sheep Council brings farmers, researchers and marketers together to help the transfer of research into practical use on the farm. They exchange views on research projects and how best to transfer information and results to farmers and discuss needs for future research.
Sheep Councils promote projects they believe deserve sponsorship and organise technical workshops for farmers. The need for this work in the sheep industry was urgently needed, as sheep numbers were falling due to comparatively lower returns from sheep products with other land uses.
Greater co-operation amongst various sectors and research is needed, since funding for sheep production research has been declining and additional funding from other sources had to be obtained. The main focus of the Sheep Council is to make sure these things happen by promoting effective communication at ground level.
The regional Sheep Councils are funded by WoolPro and Meat New Zealand. Nominated research provident also participate in the councils. They include: AgResearch, Massey University and Lincoln University. Other participating organisations are MRINZ and WRONZ. Major sponsorship has been given by ANZ Bank, MSD Agvet and Ravensdown a.o.
Membership of Regional Sheep Councils
WoolPro, Meat NZ, AgResearch and Massey and Lincoln Universities are nominating two farmers each to the regional Sheep Council, which forms the core of each council. Other persons and organisations may attend regional meetings at the discretion of the sitting councilors. Appointing bodies need to keep an eye on duplication of nominees, geographical spread and the length of appointment. All farmer appointees are reimbursed for actual and reasonable travel expenses.
Guide to Sheep Council Activities
Sheep Councils should provide a sounding board for ideas and how to transfer technologies and establish priorities. They can occasionally do the work themselves or find the best person or organisation to do the work and find the finance.
Sheep Council objectives are:
The Monitor farm programme has close links with Sheep Council and council members are part of each monitor farm community group.
Sheep Council Publications
The following publications have been published with the help of WoolPro and Meat NZ:
The Sheep Council encourages farmers to access both the Meat NZ and WoolPro web sites where current research directory of projects is maintained for both meat and wool. Subjects include diseases, parasites, on-farm productivity, meat and wool growth, nutrition, reproduction, genetics, forage cultivars etc.