INAUGURAL LambEx 2014 Young Gunwinner Caris Jones, Armidale, NSW, saysthe best opportunity which came from her win was meeting her future employer.

WINNER: LambEx 2014 Young Gun winner Caris Jones landed her current job as Sheep Genetics MERINOSELECT development officer following her win.

Now working as a Sheep Genetics MERINOSELECT development officer, Caris entered thecompetition in the Honours, MSc, PhD section, to promote the results of her University of WesternAustralia, Bachelor of Agricultural Science Honours project on the topic:Improving feed efficiency hasa negative impact on the fertility of Merino ewes mated at seven to 10 months of age.

“It was a chance to promote my results, but it has led to so much more,” she said.

“It has helped so much from a networking perspective, being able to meet people alreadyestablished within the sheep and lamb industry to meeting the other finalists.

“I met my now boss, plus many other people from key industry groups including Australian WoolInnovation and Meat andLivestock Australia.”

Caris said attending LambEx had also been a boost, providing awide-range of interesting issues and topics.

“From a producer perspective the industry stands were also great -I attended with my parents andwe ended up buying quite a few different products,” she said.

Caris will return to LambEx 2016 on August 10-12 in Albury, NSW, as a presenter – to share herinsights into making a professional career in the sheep industry.

Caris will explorethe application shesees for MERINOSELECT in Merino breeding enterprises, including her own family’s stud breedingenterprise in Western Australia.

“I’m really excited to be able to come and present at LambEx this year,” she said.

“It’s a great opportunity to be able to come back and be a part of the event, I really look forward toattending and meeting this year’s Young Gun finalists.”

Growing up on Ejanding Poll Merino Stud at Dowerin, WA, Caris saidher ultimate aim had alwaysbeen to work in the sheep and lamb industry.

“I always wanted to go straight back on the farm but my father insisted I get a trade or study first,”she said.

“After finishing uni I went back on the farm but only lasted six-months before I called up my Honourssupervisor, who coincidentally had received funding for a new project that same day. I startedworking there the following Monday.

“Then through LambEx I had the opportunity to gain employment as a MERINOSELECTDevelopment Officer, it’s been a really interesting role that I enjoy immensely.

“Breeding and genetics is where I get my sheep geek on, the potential for genetic gain is there and it’s really exciting to be able to work with people on this.”

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