AWI Extension Networks Update: New Names, Same Great Service for Woolgrowers

The Australian Wool Innovation (AWI) has announced a name change for its six state-based woolgrower extension networks. Despite the new names, woolgrowers can expect the same high-quality information and training programs designed to help them improve their on-farm practices.

Focus on Best Practices and Grower Needs

The newly named AWI Extension Networks will continue to deliver valuable and timely information through workshops, field days, webinars, newsletters, social media, and conferences. With a combined membership exceeding 17,000, these networks play a crucial role in supporting Australian woolgrowers.

Each AWI Extension Network is guided by a Producer Advisory Panel (PAP) consisting of woolgrowers and industry stakeholders from the state. These panels meet regularly to ensure the information provided is seasonally relevant and addresses the specific needs of woolgrowers in that region.

New Names, Continued Commitment

Here’s a breakdown of the newly named AWI Extension Networks:

  • AWI Extension NSW (formerly AWI Sheep Connect NSW)
  • AWI Extension QLD (continuing to invest through Leading Sheep with Queensland Government)
  • AWI Extension SA (formerly AWI Sheep Connect SA)
  • AWI Extension TAS (formerly AWI Sheep Connect Tasmania)
  • AWI Extension VIC (continuing to invest through BESTWOOL/BESTLAMB with Agriculture Victoria)
  • AWI Extension WA (formerly The Sheep’s Back – name changed in September 2023)

Strengthening the Connection with Woolgrowers

AWI CEO John Roberts emphasized the vital role AWI Extension Networks play in connecting AWI’s research, development, and marketing efforts with the woolgrowers they represent. He highlighted the network’s commitment to assisting all woolgrowers, regardless of their location, farm size, experience level, or age.

“The AWI Extension Networks address everything from new shearing shed designs and production models to perennial challenges like flystrike,” Roberts said. “No matter your specific needs, there’s an AWI Extension Network in your state to provide information and workshops to help you succeed.”

The name change aims to address confusion among some woolgrowers who weren’t aware of AWI’s involvement in the extension networks.

Networks Tailored to State Needs

AWI National Extension Manager Emily King explained that the networks cater to the specific needs of each state while also delivering key AWI extension programs. These programs include Winning With Weaners, RAMping Up Repro (co-developed with Zoetis), Picking Performer Ewes, and the AWI Flystrike Extension Program workshops (SimpliFly™ and ClassiFly™).

A Valuable Resource for All Woolgrowers

King encouraged all woolgrowers to get involved with the AWI Extension Networks, whether they’re seeking to improve their business or simply connect with fellow woolgrowers. The networks offer a wealth of resources and opportunities for learning and collaboration.

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