Just like with taxation a statesman shears sheep and a politician skins them. Whether it is a bush ballad, Banjo Paterson or Tom Robert’s art, shearing is part of Aussie folklore and psyche.
In mid September we sheared our 490 first cross ewes – 7 bales of Daramalan branded AAA FX, 2 of AAA BKN (broken) and one of dirty bits and pieces – and the 89 Sylvia Vale rams that will be sold in December. The ewes took two shearers (admittedly Boozer and T-Bone were gold medalists at Condobolin Show) ten hours and the rams took Butch (no mean shearer himself) two days.
The artist Tom Roberts described shearing as “noble and worthy enough if I could express its meaning and spirit”. He enjoyed the “quick running..subdued hum of fast working… the rhythmic click..lit warm with the reflection of the Australian sunlight”.
There is an amazing feeling of mateship in the shed and I can identify with the feeling of rhythm as shorn fleeces fly onto the table, are sorted and cleaned, thrown to the bins and then pressed into 180kilogram bales. It’s hard work and high energy but really worthwhile and demands full participation.