Western Australian producer and Wammco International director Dawson Bradford has played an integral part in the development of the nation’s largest lamb-focused event, LambEx.
The inaugural chairman at LambEx 2010, Mr Bradford is a member of the organising committee for LambEx 2018 which is set to return to Perth on August 5-7.
Mr Bradford said the event was initially created to help the company celebrate 10 years of operation.
“Wammco was the instigator. We started discussing how we could celebrate a decade of Wammco and it just grew from there,” Mr Bradford said.
“We then got in touch with event organiser Esther Jones (nee Price), and the idea snowballed.
“It then grew into a state event, and before we knew it, a national event.
“I’m very proud to have it return to WA. It’s a great event and a great occasion, and Wammco are very proud to be a major partner at LambEx 2018.”
Mr Bradford, who is a LambEx 2018 organising committee member, said the 2010 event had ‘just over’ 500 delegates, including 50 from interstate.
“It was initially a very hard sell to get the industry interested, but a federal government grant made a big difference,” Mr Bradford said.
“We had a vision to celebrate the prime lamb industry, and it all came together very well in the end.
“The industry has changed tremendously since the very first LambEx as at the time meat genetics were really starting to gain hold.
“Some of the speakers included Murdoch University’s Professor Dave Pethick on meat quality, University of WA’s Professor Graeme Martin on the maternal instincts of the ewe and Costco’s Marcel Moodley.”
Mr Bradford said the sheep meat industry had changed significantly across Australia since 2010.
“Here in WA interest has shifted with carcase becoming a much more important trait on not only traditional meat sheep breeds, but in self-replacing Merino flocks,” he said.
“Producers now realise the value of muscle in sheep.”
Mr Bradford looked forward to welcoming delegates to LambEx 2018.
“The committee has spent a lot of time in developing an action-packed program which highlights the latest research, exciting technologies and innovations,” he said.
“We have speakers from across Australia and the world who will share their insights on the lamb industry.
“We also have the largest trade stand area in LambEx history with 5500 square metres of display space.
“The social events will also be a stand-out.
“In particular lamb will be highlighted at the Australian Wool Innovation GrandsLamb Dinner, with Wammco providing all of the lamb!”
Wammco Group CEO Coll MacRury said the cooperative had grown significantly in the past decade, now managing two plants - one in Katanning, WA, and Southern Meats in Goulburn, New South Wales.