Education and training
Avington employs some of the best people in the sheep and wool industry in Australia. Their skills rate at the highest level in all management issues including:
Training other staff
Measurement and recording
Working with clients
Interacting with industry and community groups
Australia has a long history of training young people in agriculture. Trainees known as Jackeroos were once part of Australia’s national farming heritage, but sadly the Jackaroo has faded over the past 20 years.
The Avington Jackeroo program was started in 2012 out of concern for the lack of training for young people who want to work on farms and focus on sheep and wool production. The program allows us to ensure Avington’s world class farming standards, methods and procedures are passed onto trainees and graduates in agriculture. Avington has well-established links with the Veterinary School at Melbourne University and students spend time at Avington gaining practical farm experience. Jackeroos live and work on the property during their training.
The facilities at Avington are some of the best in Australia and are made available for industry training, visitors from overseas, Landcare groups and students.
Avington is actively involved and supports the local community:
Kyneton Agricultural Show
Kyneton Football and Netball Club
Kyneton Men’s Shed
Macedon Ranges Agribusiness Forum
Baynton-Sidonia Landcare Group
North East Catchment Management Authority
Pastoria Country Fire Brigade
Numnuts Training Day
At Avington it’s no secret that animal welfare is our highest priority. In our constant search to evolve our management techniques we recently came across a revolutionary castration tool known as “numnuts”. The Numnuts castration tool is used to apply a traditional rubber castration ring and also seamlessly administers a dose of ‘numocane’, a local anaesthetic. This alleviates post application pain to the testicles and tail, allowing treated lambs to walk freely and continue feeding unaffected by the process.
On the 2nd of July Avington was host to a training day featuring product developer Robin Smith (Senesio), Tristan Jubb (Bendigo sheep vets) and Leigh Coglan (Kyneton Veterinary Hospital). This course provided an introduction to the best practice procedures of lamb marking and hands-on training with the Numnuts system.
Early trialling of the process at Avington shows a remarkable change in lamb behaviour post marking, with no affects or physical displays of pain. Results included an easy unaffected walk back to grazing paddocks and an instant return to normal feeding behaviour.
Given the outstanding results we will now proceed in making all of our 2019 progeny using this method.