Australian Wool Growers Association (AWGA) newest board member, Tom Moxham, believes there's no silver bullet solution to the critical shearer shortage problem, but he is looking forward to entering into the conversation.
The wool body announced the appointment of Mr Moxham yesterday, a third generation woolgrower from Mullengudgery Merino stud at Nyngan, NSW.
"I am proud that growing wool has been part of my family for more than a century and will continue to be for the foreseeable future," Mr Moxham said.
"Like other growers, we've certainly weathered some industry storms during that period but our passion for producing sustainable wool and belief in its vast potential is what continues to drive us forward.
"I believe that the fibre performance of wool as well as its increasing recognition as a carbon sink and circular economy give wool some of its strongest advantages in the competitive international fibre market."
However, Mr Moxham said the worsening shearer shortage could see the industry simply grind to a halt.
"Australia grows the best wool in the world but if we can't harvest it at the right time, the economic and animal welfare implications could be devastating," he said.
"I don't think there's a single silver bullet solution to this problem either.
"It's a hugely complex industry-wide issue that needs addressing at all levels of industry governance and multilaterally by government.
"I look forward to contributing to this critical conversation as a director of AWGA."
He said he is also concerned about the growing fly resistance to agricultural chemicals and progress in developing viable alternative solutions, such as the flystrike vaccine.
Our passion for producing sustainable wool and belief in its vast potential is what continues to drive us forward- Tom Moxham
"I certainly welcome the additional funding AWI allocated to flystrike research in 2021, but until the whole industry has reliable access to a yet-to-be-developed solution, all growers should be supported to manage their flock using proven effective methods which deliver the best possible animal welfare outcomes," Mr Moxham said.
Mr Moxham was a former director of the Rural Lands Protection Board from 1997 to 2003 and was on the Lachlan/Bogan Native Vegetation Committee from 1999 to 2003.
He is also an experienced lawyer specialising in complex disputes, including in agriculture; and has practised in Australia, Europe and Asia.
AWGA director Charles 'Chick' Olsson says AWGA is pleased to have a grower with Tom's professional expertise join the board.
"If we want our industry to prosper, we simply must have multi-talented and well-respected individuals like Tom in governance and advisory roles," Mr Olsson said.
"His lifetime of wool growing experience, as well as his professional legal career will be an asset to AWGA and to the wool industry".
Start the day with all the big news in agriculture! Sign up below to receive our daily Farmonline newsletter.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.