Bursary helps young stud breeder on her way
WHEN she was 11 she started a poll merino stud with her brothers and now, aged 21, she is well on her way to becoming an agriculture advocate.
There is not much holding Felicity Brumpton back.
The latest goal she is working towards - alongside her teenage brothers Charlie and Lachie - is to breed the perfect merino sheep that suits both meat and wool markets.
"A lot of people are going one way or another with their sheep, they are going for meat or for wool, but we are trying to breed a dual-purpose (animal),” she said.
"There will be a lot of challenges, with sheep it's hard to get both traits perfect.”
Last week Felicity won the prestigious Gus McGown bursary, a scholarship from AgForce that will help with her with university fees and granted her a spot in a four-week agriculture advocacy workshop.
When the Rural Weekly caught up with her to chat about her recent achievement she had just completed the 13-hour drive home from the Sydney Royal Easter Show.
However, the long trip back to Baynham, her parents' Nigel and Rosemary's property near Mitchell, Queensland, was sweetened as she was returning with a swag of ribbons.
Jolly Jumbuck Poll Merino Stud, which is still run by her and her brothers, cleaned up.
"We won reserve champion medium wool poll ram, and reserve champion fine-medium wool poll ram,” she said.
"We were happy with that.”
The Brumptons have become well-known on the show circuit.
"We registered the stud in 2007,” she said.
"We wanted to start breeding our own sheep and take a little bit of responsibility for that.
"Everyone at the shows has got to know us over the years. They have all given us a chance.
"I like meeting and learning from the well-established stud owners, hearing their advice and new ideas.”
Her parents own Mt Ascot Merino Stud, which has been in family hands for more than four generations.
Today Jolly Jumbuck Poll Merino Stud runs about 600 ewes.
Management of the stud has been a little bit of a juggle in recent years, as the trio have had school and work commitments over the years, but they always made it work.
"My brothers are up north chasing cattle at the moment,” she said.
"We are pretty good. We don't always agree with each other, but Dad will give us lots of advice and we always listen to him.”
Currently in the thick of her Bachelor of Animal Science from the University of New England, Felicity can't wait to put her knew knowledge into practise.
Felicity predicts creating a dual-purpose sheep will involve time, trial and error and cumulation of sciences.
"I think nutrition will be a big part of it,” she said.
"I am also very interested in that. To see how different diets can produce changes in sheep.
"I think it will be about combining it all together.”
Ultimately, Felicity would love to one day be at the helm of her own property and business - that's always been her goal, but now she envisions herself in an advocacy role as well.
"I would love to be involved in a role that supports everyone working in agriculture. I want to try to keep it alive.
"As agriculture has been a big part of my life, I would like to give back to it and encourage or mentor the younger generation into this vibrant industry. And like AgForce, I would like to fight for the bush to ensure our agricultural industry remains sustainable.”