As a fifth generation woolgrower, Jack Cotton from Kelvedon Estate, Tasmania, has lived through the many ups and downs of the wool industry over the years. Whilst indeed there have been dramatic highs and lows in relation to wool performance, prices, supply and demand over the past 60 years, Jack says that the tools the industry operate on are still very much similar to those used in the 1960s.
“The industry itself hasn’t really changed too dramatically over the years,” says Jack, “And it’s probably time that it should evolve with the times.”
Now supported by his daughter Anna, he is optimistic about the future of the Australian wool industry and is proud to see Anna embracing both the commercial and operational sides of their business.
“Anna’s progressive attitude and approach to wool-growing is an asset to our business and her enthusiasm about Kelvedon and the Merino industry is great to have on board,” says Jack.
“She really believes that there is no better time to be embarking on a future in the wool industry.”
At this year’s shearing, Anna encouraged Jack and their team to use the new WoolQ™ eSpeci instead of the traditional paper speci.
After setting up their Kelvedon business profile on the WoolQ™ portal, Anna captured their clip information on the iPad in the shed to create a digital record on their WoolQ™ dashboard.
At the completion of shearing, she signed the eSpeci declaration, and the eSpeci was then automatically emailed through to their broker.
“I found the eSpeci really user-friendly. It is extremely logical as it’s a step by step process,” says Anna.
“The App prompts you along the way and removes the margin of human error, which we all know can happen in a busy shed.”
The Cotton’s broker, as part of the experiment, embraced the new WoolQ eSpeci tool.
The broker set up their WoolQ™ profile and connected to Kelvedon Estate on the WoolQ™ App. The completed eSpeci was then automatically received into their system, which eliminated the need for manual entry.
Having witnessed the eSpeci in action throughout shearing, Jack sees the benefit of the next generation embracing new technology on farm.
“I can certainly see its advantages, especially for avoiding mistakes, so I think it’s a good development and it is definitely worth giving it a go,” says Jack.
“Whilst I don’t use computers much myself, I’m very supportive of Anna introducing tools like WoolQ™ to support the running of our business.”