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TAS Country : October 28th 2010
Friday, October 29, 2010 Tasmanian Country 3 News FLAT OUT: Frances and Josh Hazlewood tackle a sheep at their Whitefoord property. Picture: JENNIFER CRAWLEY Josh proves he's a cut above the rest JENNIFER CRAWLEY ELECTRIC blades whirr over the big Merino sheep in Josh Hazlewood's arms as the young lad grins and concentrates on shearing. Josh's father and grandfather are shearers, his mother and grandmother are woolclassers and his mother's father was a shearer. So it goes without saying that Josh has got shearing in his blood. ''His father Greg was the same,'' Josh's grandmother Frances said. ''When he was a young kid he used to make out he was shearing the cat --- he was always going to be a shearer.'' Josh and Frances made light work of a couple of big sheep at the family's 242ha Whitefoord property a few days after Josh returned from a mainland shearing competition. Josh, 15, came second out of a group of 30 older men. The Hazlewoods have lived at Whitefoord for 35 years. Frances and husband Stan live on top of the hill at the head of the valley and Josh, his mother Teresa and father Greg live a few hundred metres away. The Hazlewoods run 700 Merinos and lambs. They grow the sheep for meat and wool, sell the fat lambs, breed the wool lambs and breed their own replacements. Stan still shears sheep, but doesn't do as many as he used to. ''Stan's gone up the hill to put some sheep away,'' Frances said when Tasmanian Country paid them a visit. ''He's a bit camera- shy.'' Frances, 65, releases the shorn sheep and they dash down a ramp before being chased down the hill by a group of ewes. Frances said the family's Border Leceisters were used to breed the fat lambs and the Merinos are used to breed the wool sheep, while the Black Suffolks were bred for meat. ''We breed the Border Leceisters out of Merinos to get the fat lamb mothers,'' Frances said. The Hazlewoods are happy about rising wool prices and sell about 25 bales a year. Josh said the main reason he was so passionate about shearing was ''the great people in the sheds''. He said he planned to shear the family flock and a few sheds while he completed a building apprenticeship. Josh said the only part of him that got sore after a week of shearing were his arms. That's pretty impressive given he shears more than 100 Merinos a day. Josh said cross-bred sheep often ''gummed up'' his combs. ''They're a bit straighter and a bit more oily. They're a lot easier free-wool shearing,'' he said. ''They don't have really big necks on them. ''The belly's the hardest to shear --- it's really short in the blows and it's the slowest part because you've got to be careful with the ewes' teats and the wethers' and rams' pizzles.'' Josh said he had a patch of potatoes and swedes, sold ewe poo and had saved enough money to buy a ute. Rising dollar costs Tassie KAROLIN MacGREGOR THE rising value of the Australian dollar is not good news for Tasmania's agricultural industries. With so many of the state's industries reliant on export markets, the rapid increase in value of the Australian dollar com- pared with the US dollar in recent months is putting pressure on agricultural exports. Earlier this month the Australian dollar briefly reached a record 100.004 US cents, and since then has been hovering between US98c and US99c. Economists predict the dollar will remain above US90c for most of next year. Greenham Tasmania managing director Peter Greenham said the rising dollar made Australian and Tasmanian beef expensive in overseas mar- kets. Mr Greenham said the full impact of the dollar value was different for in- dividual beef cuts and products, but overall it was not helping the country's beef industry and exporters. ''Either way it's affecting us because it impacts on the prices or the volumes,'' he said. ''It just slows the whole market down . . . buyers will only purchase what they need when the dollar is so high.'' Mr Greenham said a tightening of supply of some cuts had helped insu- late producers from the full impact of the rising dollar. ''The worst thing is actu- ally when the market goes up and down, because everything keeps changing and it's hard to make forecasts,'' he said. ''If it gets to parity and stays there for while, at least everyone will know what's happening. The market fluctuations are the worst thing at the moment.'' A large percentage of Greenham's beef is also sold into the Australian domestic market, but Mr Continued Page 4 *Offer ends 31/12/10 or earlier if stocks run out at participating Polaris dealers. Excludes fleet clients. Rear brush guard and towbar shown are optional extras. 1300 654 142 www.polarisindustries.com.au NOTHING RIDES LIKE A $5995* RIDEAWAY BEST RIDE, BEST VALUE » 300cc Auto 2X4 » Independent Rear Suspension » MacPherson Front Suspension » Integrated Front Storage Compartment » 340kg Towing Capacity » Disc Brakes all-round » Digital Instrumentation » Steel Front Bumper MADE
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