An organisation driven by grassroots merino breeders and service providers is restructuring in line with changing research and extension demands.
MerinoLink Limited is a not-for-profit company and was instigated by a progressive group of ram and commercial breeders and service providers in 2012.
It aims to promote networks, innovation, technology, genetic benchmarking and research to improve the production and profitability of merinos around Australia.
Under the guidance and leadership of chief executive officer Sally Martin, MerinoLink has grown over the past six years to a membership of 200, of which 54 per cent are commercial breeders.
MerinoLink has become a leading organisation in the sheep industry engaging with research and development corporation (AWI and MLA), the Sheep CRC, universities, government organisations and other production groups to facilitate research and development projects and trials valued at $3.5 million.
Chairman Richard Keniry said the growth, increasing membership and number of projects required the organisation’s structure to move with the changing demands.
“For MerinoLink to continue to grow and to future proof the organisation, the board in conjunction with Sally has conducted a review of the existing business operations to determine the required business model for the future,’’ Mr Keniry said.
“As a result of this review, the need to diversify the current resource base beyond individuals and ensure we have the right foundation for growth has been identified.
“In line with this, an agreed transition plan has been developed which will see MerinoLink go to market for a new CEO and Sally Martin to step down from the position in December 2018.’’
Ms Martin will continue as project manager and technical advisor and said MerinoLink had developed to a level where it was highly valued by the industry.
“This success means a change in structure is required,’’ Ms Martin said.
“With the increasing demands from our key projects it is important to bring other people into the organisation to continue to grow the business, and ensure we have a sustainable organisation into the future that does not revolve around one key individual.’’
Mr Keniry paid tribute to Ms Martin for her tireless work to maintain the momentum and growth enjoyed by MerinoLink since its inception.
“I thank Sally for her efforts and support, she works day and night on so many projects while managing the organisation, and without her contribution and dedication MerinoLink would not be where it is today,” he said.
Mr Keniry said the CEO recruitment process had begun and directors would work with Ms Martin to ensure a smooth transition.