A STALWART of the sheep industry has come up with one of the most innovative approaches to sell sand promote stock during the COVID-19 pandemic.


12 Jun 2020, by Rikki Reynolds, The Land – link to article

The studstock industry has embraced online selling for a longtime and there isn’t anything new in the concept. However, the Rene Stud at Culcairn in southern NSW will conduct its own in-house show and sale in September with the entire event being interfaced online

Scott Mitchell, who earned mainstream media attention during his appearance on the television show Farmer Wants a Wife about seven years ago, explained how the show and sale initiative came about.

He said it was, in fact his father Doug Mitchell, 72, who suggested the idea. A coronavirus-inspired learning curve which meant adopting all things online opened the door to Doug’s way of thinking. And Scott explained that his father had always been at the forefront when it came to embracing new ideas and leading the way with modern approaches.

With everyone adopting google hangouts and zoom meetings plus the accessibility of buying and selling livestock online, the notion gained traction and the family set to work.

The Mitchells will share the event with their friends and industry colleagues from Abelene Park Poll Dorset Stud of Woolomin in northern NSW.

And cleverly they have named the combined show and sale “Abel-Rene,” in a dedication of the commitment of the two stud’s coming together. “It all started due to the COVID-19 restrictions … we had to think out of the box,” Scott said. Scott said the family was committed to making the best of the situation the industry was currently presented with.

Several large-scale industry events including the Australian Sheep and Wool Show at Bendigo were suddenly off the calendar and this effectively closed the door on a portion of marketing and promotional opportunities.

“The aim is to try and bring people together through the use of social media,” he said.

“We decided to make the best of the situation we are in.”

The Mitchell family breed Poll Dorsets, White Suffolks and Charollais sheep. Scott said the aim was to invite Marshall Douglas of the Abelene Park Poll Dorset Stud to the event. This would allow Mr Douglas to judge the sheep from Rene. And Scott would then judge the Abelene Park exhibits.

“It will be great to have him (Marshall Douglas) cast his eye over our sheep and explain what he thinks about each animal … and if we have the show live streamed on Facebook that provides an opportunity for people (potentially) from all around the world to interact,” Scott said.

The show and sale will be held on September 10 and 11 and the auction will be run by Elite Livestock Auctions.

Auctioneer Michael Glasser, is principal of Glasser Total Sales Management will conduct the sale.

He said the Culcairn event was novel and deserved to be commended.

“This is very innovative and who knows what the future is,” Mr Glasser said.

While the concept of online shows and sales has been addressed in the multi-vendor format Mr Glasser said this Culcairn event was the first of its kind for him.