Tag Archive for: Australia

Don Macdonald Maconald Co Woolbrokers Wool Academy Podcast 042

#042: Don Macdonald about growing wool in the Australian Outback

Click on the button to load the content from player.captivate.fm.

Load content

Don Macdonald runs his own woolbroker company under the name Macdonald & Co. Woolbrokers in Dubbo in the Australian Outback. In this podcast episode, Don explains lots of details about wool growing under the harsh natural conditions in the Outback. He covers topics such as low rain falls, occasional floods, finding staff and overcoming long distances.

About Don Macdonald

After growing up on a coastal dairy farm Don Macdonald enrolled to study an agriculture course at Sydney Technical College in 1975. The course included wool classing and he has never set foot on a dairy farm since!
Don loved everything about wool from that moment. He loved the iconic history connected to it, the lifestyle of the shearing sheds. He liked working with sheep and even the smell of wool. And, particularly the people involved in the industry.
Don then spent the next eight years in the outback of New South Wales working as a wool classer and a shearer.
In 1984 after the bitter shearers strike over wide combs, Don decided to move into the wool brokers field and gained employment based in the wool stores in Sydney. After two years he then moved to Newcastle with that firm as a field wool adviser, again traveling the outback areas of NSW canvassing wool growers.
In late 1987 Don decided to open his own wool brokerage Lanoc Wool based in central NSW in the city of Dubbo. Nearly all the wool then was transported to Sydney and there were a few county based brokers opening and Don felt there was a good opportunity to open in Dubbo as it is very central geographically and is a natural logistic hub. In 2016/17 Dubbo was the largest storage centre for wool in NSW.
Lanoc Wool grew to become the largest country based broker in NSW and by 2002 was handling over 55,000 bales from one site. Much of their business was from the outback regions of NSW where traditionally the big wool clips were grown. The Millennium drought of the early 2000’s and the incursion of non-wool breeds like Dorpers saw wool production plummet, particularly in the outback. By 2004 the company’s wool volumes had fallen to 30,000 bales.
Things gradually recovered after the drought broke in 2009 and wool production steadied. The non-wool breeds seem to have steadied their increase and fortunately higher wool prices have helped.
In early 2011 a shareholder dispute at Lanoc Wool saw Don’s hasty departure and Macdonald & Co was formed and the new business quickly picked up where the old one left off. A new 7500sqm wool store was completed in October 2011. Macdonald & Co Woolbrokers has continued to grow, this year the company handled 41,000 bales through their new wool store turning over $A63,000,000 on behalf of their 700 wool clients. The company has some of the largest wool growers in NSW as clients and some are up to 800 kilometers west and north of Dubbo. Don is ably assisted by a staff of 15 of which 5 are wool specialists and auctioneers.

Connect with Don Macdonald here

Madonald & Co Woolbrokers website

Facebook page of Macdonald & Co Woolbrokers


Richard Halliday Callowie Episode Wool Academy Podcast 37

#037: Richard Halliday explains how a merino stud operation works

Click on the button to load the content from player.captivate.fm.

Load content

Listen on Apple Podcasts Listen to Stitcher Listen on YouTube
Richard Halliday is a dedicated wool grower and merino stud breeder. In addition, Richard is the current president of WoolProducers Australia, the national voice for wool growers in Australia. In this interview, Richard talks about his operation and his passion for wool. Richard takes the time to explain various sheep terms such as hogget or wether. As the President of WoolProducers Australia, Richard also introduces the organisation and shares his motivation to be serving the wool industry.

About Richard Halliday

Richard has worked in the wool industry all his life. Richard, Jacquie and their children Sarah, Angus and Thomas run the Callowie Poll Merino stud and commercial sheep flock. Their property is located in the south-east South Australia near Bordertown. Richard joins WoolProducers from Livestock SA’s Wool and Livestock Committee.

Connect with Richard Halliday here

Callowie Merino Stud website
Wool Producers Australia website
Robert Ryan Wool Academy Podcast 029

#029: Robert Ryan about the Australian wool industry

Click on the button to load the content from player.captivate.fm.

Load content

Listen on Apple Podcasts Listen to Stitcher Listen on YouTube

Robert Ryan holds various leading positions within the Australian Wool industry. In this episode, Robert explains the different activities and roles of the organisations he is leading which gives a great overview of the set up of the Australian wool industry.


About Robert Ryan

Robert Ryan has 40 years of experience in the wool industry. He is the current Chairman of the Federation of Australian Wool Organisations and Member of the Board of Directors of the National Council of Wool Selling Brokers of Australia.

In addition to these roles, Robert is also the Managing Director and Chairman of the Board of Schute Bell Badgery Lumby, Woolbrokers and Stock and Station Agents in New South Wales and Queensland. Schute Bell commenced trading in 1906.

In June 1996, Robert was elected to the Council of the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW Australia and has held a number of positions on various Committees.  He was Chair of the Sheep and Wool Committee from 1999 – 2009 and was elected President of the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW in June 2014.

A Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for services in the wool industry was awarded to Robert in June 2014.


Connect with Robert Ryan here

Schute Bell Badgery Lumby website

Schute Bell’s facebook page

Schute Bell on twitter

Federation of Australian Wool Organisations (FAWO) website

National Council of Wool Selling Brokers of Australia website

Royal Agricultural Society of NSW website