WEST Australian Merino stud breeder Allan Hobley is proof that nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.
Last year’s winner of the Young Stud Masters’ Muster Young Champion award is continuing to make waves in the agricultural industry with his passion for sheep breeding.
Allan, 32, was recognised for his drive after establishing Wiringa Park Merino Stud, Nyabing, WA, at just 24 years old.
He helps operate a broadacre cropping program and commercial Merino flock and stud across the family’s 5000-hectare property in the south-west of the state.
Wiringa was established off an elite nucleus of soundly bred Merino ewes, which were selected for their superior wool quality.
Since 2006, Allan has grown the stud to sale on average 170 rams per year.
“Dad has always been a good stockman and had a good quality nucleus of rams,” he said.
“We started getting interest from locals and I saw an opportunity to expand our farming enterprise through promotion.”
With the Hobleys’ elite flock of Merinos, who produce an average 19 micron fleece, marketing the rams was achieved through word of mouth and production outcomes.
“Early on it was tough because it is a shrinking market so trying to convince people what we were doing was going to benefit them was the hard,” he said.
“The most effective marketing tool is improving clients’ production.”
Allan’s involvement in the industry has been extensive: holding a position on the WA Stud Merino Breeders committee and more recently becoming president of the WA Great Southern Merino Sheep Breeders group.
Last year, Allan helped launch the revamped Rabobank WA Sheep Expo and Ram Sale, at Katanning, WA, which was a two-day festival.
He said winning the RASV Young Champion award was a humbling experience.
“The world is your oyster - when people are prepared to give you an opportunity then you can do anything,” Allan said. “Some people sit back on the fence and think they’re not worthy.
“If someone is there with an opportunity, you need to be the one that takes it.”