A COROWA wool classer has earned one of the top accolades in the industry.
Jorja Reeves received the Australian Wool Exchange National Wool Classers Award and gained $500 in prize money.
Taking up a position in the wool industry was something that surfaced after following in the footsteps of her stepdad George McFarlane of “Maneroo Park.”
He initially asked Ms Reeves to help out as a wool handler during the main shearing in September 2014.
“I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect as I hadn’t been in a shearing shed since I was a young girl,” she said.
“The work was hard, the days were long but what really stood out to me was this aspect of the shearing "team",” she said.
It was the teamwork and efficiency that triggered her interest. She remembers that at the time Wayne Goode's shearer's and wool handlers worked with such rhythm and were in sync with one another that it was almost like watching a game of football where each player would be lost without the other and the wool classer was the proud and experienced coach of the team.
“Although I didn't immediately want to be a wool classer the idea became stronger in my mind with each shearing shed I worked in,” she said. Ms Reeves said the Australian wool industry was like no other industry she had witnessed before.
“There is this amazing sense of pushing oneself to a physical limit,” she said.
“There is a lot of fun to be had in the shearing sheds … everyone is having a quite joke with one another and it has a very relaxed nature. But that does not take away from the fact that they are all there to do a job to the best of their capabilities,” she said.
At a market level the wool industry is considered to be in excellent shape with high prices being achieved.
“It’s an exciting time to be working in the industry,” she said. “Meat and wool prices are at are at a record,” she said.
In recent times Ms Reeves has taken up a role as a Marketing Specialist with Michell Wool at Corowa.
“With wool prices so good at the moment, our clients are happy,” she said.
Ms Reeves completed her wool classing qualifications at NSW Riverina TAFE in Wagga with teacher Rob Harris.
She has also studied at the Walla Walla campus under the guidance of Jenni Turner of Fox and Lilli.