As it turned out Mulga Springs was the successful applicant which will see Wifey, KISSA and KK get the opportunity to trial the electronic identification (EID) technology for 18 months on the Mulga Springs flocks. While there will be obvious benefits from the trial in terms of being able to collect whatever information we want to increase productivity I am most looking forward to seeing KISSA come to terms with the Shearwell electronic eartags and EID reader (which actually looks like a cross between a light saber and Harry Potter’s wand) as well the PS Stockbook software package that are integral to the trial’s success. Now in fairness to my Father-In-Law his mastery of various apps on his iPhone has exponentially increased his IT IQ however I am thinking that if I can get a signed picture of him waving the EID wand around I should be able to find a willing buyer at ‘The Top’ pub in Northampton and make a tidy profit.
On the subject of my Father-in-law it would be fair to say he is coming off a pretty stellar weekend with over 49mm of rain falling across the paddocks of Mulga Springs on Saturday and his beloved Eagles securing fifth spot with a rousing victory over North Melbourne on Sunday. The most rainfall recorded in one day since May 2009 had the added benefit of getting the creek running for the first time in several years which I am pretty sure gave KISSA even more satisfaction than his football team winning.
The same time as this deluge was hitting the Midwest ZASHICA, myself and Lex were on our annual pilgrimage to Dunsborough and were staying with Wifey’s youngest sister who I have unsurprisingly always called SIL (Sister-in-law). Over the years I have become accustomed to seeing some of Wifey’s reactions to events at the farm however I was reminded again of the strong emotional attachment growing up on the land creates while watching SIL looking at photos of the creek running.
In other family related news it would appear that it is not only the Mulga Springs breeding program that is achieving good results in 2016 with Wifey and I recently discovering that we are expecting our third child. With the latest addition due to arrive in mid-January I look forward to the inevitable discussions with Wifey as to how much of harvest she will be able to do before it is time to hang up the ‘blundies’ and await ASH and ZCP’s little brother of sister.
There will obviously be a lot going on between now and then with the next major farming undertaking being that of lamb marking which is traditionally an agricultural activity I have not been too terrible at. I discovered recently that ‘marking’ has historically occurred in the second week of the school holidays as back when Wifey and her two younger sisters were at school they provided an excellent source of free labor while on their July ‘break’. The other reason I like this time of year is that it gives me a chance to have a lighthearted crack at our good friends at PETA. I can hardly wait to see which uninformed pop starlet they wheel out this year to condemn farming practices before slipping back into the trendy suburban cafes of Melbourne and Sydney to sip on their Chai Lattes and plan their next misguided attack on the Australian livestock industry.
One the more exciting items on Wifey’s agenda for the remainder of 2016 is the opportunity to be a member of the panel forum at the Facey Group’s Women in Agriculture Event being held in Wickepin later this month. The topic the panel will discuss will be that of being ‘Female and Farming’ both of which Wifey should be able to contribute to admirably. Coincidentally this event titled ‘Dare to be Different’ has also provided me with the first opportunity to talk about DOAFH in a public forum and I must admit to being very flattered to have been invited to speak at an event with such a strong heritage.
While the prospect of talking to over 100 women no doubt cut from similar cloth as Wifey is one that fills me with a reasonable amount of apprehension I am hoping that anyone reading this who may be attending the ‘Dare to be Different’ event will go easy on me….