Executive Committee

The Sheep Genetics Executive is responsible for the operations of Sheep Genetics.
The Executive Consists of
Mr Michael Crowley & Mr Richard Apps

Sheep Genetics Representative

Hamish Chandler

Advisory Committee Representative

Ron Cullen

Advisory Committee

The Sheep Genetics Advisory Committee comprises the Sheep Genetics Executive, six industry representatives and an independent Chair. 

The Sheep Genetics Advisory Committee has been established to assist in communication and representing to MLA the views and requirements of current and potential clients and the wider sheep industry.  The Committee has an active role in business planning and annual review of the operational performance of Sheep Genetics.


Ron Cullen (Chairman)
Ron-Cullen.jpgRon has been actively engaged in agriculture all his working life, with the last 5 years as Chief Executive Officer, Sheepmeat Council of Australia.  In that role he worked on a variety of issues, including the planning, implementation and evaluation of R&D, particularly genetic improvement.  He was part of the successful Sheep CRC extension bid process.  Animal welfare matters in the live export trade were also an important component of his work.

He was a driving force in the development of the Sheepmeat Industry Strategic Plan (SISP) 2010-15.

After completing his time with Sheepmeat Council he now runs a small consultancy business offering services to the red meat industry.

His extensive career in meat and livestock began in 1973, as a sheep and wool extension officer with NSW Department of Agriculture, especially in the Cobar and Cootamundra districts.

He had ten years senior management experience in the NSW public sector in agriculture, water and natural resources.  In 2000, he joined the Commonwealth Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, working on red meat policy and programs, international trade and natural resource management.  He also provided advice on agricultural trade issues to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

He is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.


Murray Long

Mr Murray Long is a 3rd generation farmer on a property near Ardlethan in the Riverina region of NSW. He founded Pendarra White Suffolk stud in 1996 and Murrandi White Dorper stud in 2000 and has always relied on LAMBPLAN to assist in getting the mix of commercially relevant traits just right for commercial clients.

Before returning to the family farm in 1988, Mr Long spent 15 years with CSIRO, Division of Plant Industry and still puts his research background to work conducting feed conversion and genetic trials on farm where his breeding objectives are always commercially focused.

He is the immediate past President of the Australian White Suffolk Association and was the inaugural chairman of the NSW White Suffolk breeders group, and has published a book to promote stud breeding to students and new sheep breeders.


Mark Mortimer
Mr Mark Mortimer is a third generation farmer from Tullamore in central NSW. He works in a family partnership, and with his father Robert helps run the Central Breeding Nucleus for Centre Plus Merinos.
Mr Mortimer has been involved with the use of sheep breeding values since 1990 and sees ASBV's as one of the most powerful tools a sheep classer can have at his disposal. Mr Mortimer's key roles in the Stud are in the areas of data capture with electronic tags and the storage, management and analysis of this data.

Mr Mortimer completed a Bachelor of Management (Farm Business) in 1995, and his off farm interests include sport, family and positions on many local groups and boards.


Mark Murphy

Mark-Murphy2.jpgMark has been in the sheep industry his whole life undertaking all aspects including breeding, shearing, classing and development of a stud. Mark and his wife Vicki operate Karbullah and Boyanga Merino studs located at Goondiwindi QLD, without the teamwork of Vicki and their son Luke , Mark would be unable to  get away to contribute to wider industry.

Mark commenced using genetic selection tools in 2003 and  finds the principles of sheep genetics and the data generated has assisted in their stud and enhanced their breeding  enterprise, increasing efficiency and profitability.

Mark is involved in numerous sheep industry organisations including Director of Agforce QLD Sheep & Wool,  QLD representative on Sheepmeat Council of Australia, QLD Merino Stud Sheepbreeders committee member, CRC Evaluation forums and SAMRC Producer delegate.

Mark promotes and encourages sheep breeders to utilise MERINOSELECT information to their best advantage.


Dale Price
Mr Dale Price with the support of his wife Ruth and son Adam operate the Majardah Poll Dorset and White Suffolk Studs at Glencoe in the lower South East of South Australia.
Objective measurement based on highly accurate data, is a key to the studs' progress. Therefore LAMBPLAN has been utilised in the stud to identify, select and access sheep with superior genetic performance. Long term Majardah clients report improved results stemming from the use of LAMBPLAN when selecting sires.
Currently the Stud is seeking to build worm resistance while maintaining a balanced approach in other traits. Mr Price has welcomed the introduction of the 2020 index as he believes it will suit the needs of producers in the South East.
Mr Price is a member of the Meat Elite Australia group, a co-operative of Poll Dorset breeders located in four states sharing genetics and common breeding goals. The MEA group is at the forefront of the meat sheep industry utilizing LAMBPLAN for progeny testing, embryo transplant and collaborative marketing purposes.
Mr Price has been Chairperson of many local groups and is also past Principal of Penola Primary School.


Warren Russell
Fifth generation fine wool grower, located in Victoria's, Southern Wimmera, Mr Warren Russell is the stud manager of Melrose Fine Wool merinos. Wool growing commenced on the family property in the 1880's with the horn stud being established in 1934 and the poll stud in 1995. The Family run property produces, wool, grain, rams, prime lambs, hay, silage, sand and wild flowers.

Mr Russell returned to Melrose in 1996 prior to which he completed a Bachelor of Arts and spent several years jackarooing.

In 1998 the stud adopted the use of ebv's and index's as part of Melrose's policy of using all tools available to breed the best balanced fine wool merinos possible. The studs current focus is on increasing:- fleece weight, fertility and staple strength while continuing reduction in micron.

Mr Russell has been a involved in many areas of stud merino breeding; participating in showing and judging at many local, state and national events, selling rams at multi vendor sales as well as on property and has enjoyed the opportunity of being a committee member of the, Victorian Stud Merino Breeders Association, Australian Merino Sire Evaluation Association, Merino Consultative Group for Sheep Genetics, Wimmera Merino Sheep Breeders Association, Glenelg Regional Merino Field Days and Southern Victorian Merino Field Days.

Out side of farming Warren enjoys spending time with family, following his children's academic and sporting achievements and surfing as often as possible.


Sara Wilson

Sara and her husband Keith own Jilakin Downs Dorpers and White Dorpers at Kulin in Western Australia. The stud has 1300 breeding ewes. The Stud is part of a mixed farming enterprise including cropping and a commercial prime lamb flock of 4,000 cross bred ewes joined to White Dorpers.

Prior to farming in Kulin, Sara completed a Bachelor of Commerce at the  University of Western Australia. On graduating, Sara completed the Graduate Retail Management Program with Myer Stores and went on to work in Mid-sized and top tier accounting firms in Perth.  After qualifying as a Chartered Accountant, Sara worked for Arthur Andersen in London and Manchester for 4 years across a range of industries.

Sara returned to farming when she married Keith Wilson in 1996. 

The sheep enterprise was 100% Merino.  Extensive reproduction  and wool production measurement and data analysis was completed in the Wilson’s Merino flock.

The commercial sheep enterprise was changed to Dorpers in 2004, with a focus on reproduction and meat quality and productivity.  The stud was established to produce commercially relevant White Dorper  and Dorper rams.

The Wilsons currently supply rams and breeding stock to other Dorper Stud and commercial producers  in all sheep breeding states of Australia, and export breeding stock to Malaysia, Turkey and China.

Sara has established the recording systems and data base at Jilakin Downs and works with other breeders to establish LAMBPLAN data collection, analysis and the decision making that can occur with LAMBPLAN information.

Education of future sheep breeders is a real interest, and Sara has delivered Ram Select training for Wool and Meat production systems and led training days a Farm Training Centres.

Outside of sheep breeding, Sara has been involved with various community groups and enjoys spending time with their three teenage children, watching the kids play sport and has played a season of hockey with each of the children.  Sara is also currently enjoying the highs and lows of working with a very talented, young sheepdog.


Technical Committee

The Sheep Genetics Technical Committee comprises representatives from MLA, AWI, AGBU, UNE, NSW DPI, industry and Sheep Genetics.  

The role of the Sheep Genetics Technical Committee, under guidence of an independent Chair, is to guide and lead the development of the Sheep Genetics analytical engine, OVIS, to continually refine the analysis procedures and develop new ASBVs to meet industry demand.

Chair: Dr Rob Woolaston

AGBU: Dr Rob Banks, Dr Daniel Brown, Dr Andrew Swan, Dr Kim Bunter

Australian Wool Innovation: Mr Neil Judd

Industry: Mr Mark Mortimer, Dr Sue Mortimer, Dr Ben Hayes

Meat & Livestock Australia: Mr Richard Apps, Mr Sam Gill

Sheep Genetics: Mr Hamish Chandler

University of New England: Dr Julius Van Der Werf, Dr Sam Clark