Tungkillo's Alan Lintern is a step closer to being able to shear his own Suffolk stud sheep.
At last week's SA Sheep Expo he was the recipient of the Heiniger Learners Scholarship, which includes a new Icon FX handpiece that has only been on the market for about six weeks, and other shearing gear including combs and cutters, a tally counter and shearing singlet.
As part of the requirements of the award, Mr Lintern needs to attend a tafeSA shearing school in the next 12 months and use his new-found skills to enter a shearing competition in his local area.
Heiniger Australia territory sales manager Brad Watts said with dwindling numbers of shearers in Australia, the company recognises the importance of encouraging the next generation.
"We get a lot of applicants for the award but from our point of view it is about finding someone not just interested in dabbling in the industry but dead keen to take it on," he said.
"It is the most difficult time for any new shearer starting off but if we can give them a head start and kit them out it can go a long way."
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Mr Lintern will also spend a day with a Heiniger representative at a local field day or show.
"There are lots of different aspects of shearing not just the shearer and farmer, there is also the side that looks after the tools and equipment," Mr Watts said.
In 2013 Mr Lintern completed a tafeSA learners school at Roseworthy and dags and crutches his own sheep but he is keen to put in the long blows.
"I had been talking about doing (a course) for a while, now it is a matter of making time," he said.
"Quite often finding a shearer for a small number of sheep isn't easy and if you don't do it well it can cost you serious money when you come to sell your sheep."
Mr Lintern established his Seymour Vale Suffolk stud in 2013, buying the entire drop of ewe hoggets from Urrbrae Agricultural High School.
His stud comprises 35 ewes.