Australia Day medal for superfine wool grower

Stephen Burns
The Land
1 Feb 2019

During the 2019 GSSM in Canberra, Geoff Rayner, Pomarana Merino stud, Sallys Flat caught up with fellow superfine wool breeder John Ive.

During the 2019 GSSM in Canberra, Geoff Rayner, Pomarana Merino stud, Sallys Flat caught up with fellow superfine wool breeder John Ive.

The list of John Ive’s achievements through a career dedicated to agriculture and for which he has been awarded the Medal (OAM) of the Order of Australia in the General Division is simply too detailed to recount.

Suffice to say, congratulations are in order to the superfine woolgrower from Yass for service to the superfine wool growing industry. 

On the property Talaheni which he and his wife Robyn purchased in 1980, Mr Ive deliberately set about restoring the natural ecology returning the property to a level where superfine wool Merinos graze in sympathy with regenerated pastures, tree lines and water conservation.

Mr Ive, who had a career with CSIRO from 1967 to 2006 has served on various committees associated with regenerative agriculture, including Conservation Agriculture and No-till Farming Association, and he has been a state committee member and Southern Tablelands branch representative, Grassland Society of NSW Inc, since 1998. 

As the foundation chairman and member of the Yass Valley Revegetation Project from 1983 to 1990, and member of the Murrumbateman Landcare Group, he hosted many field days for various organisations working toward greater understanding of soil regeneration and lifting the profile of empathetic agriculture.

Further participation in environmental and animal husbandry issues included membership of Environmental Farmers Network, since 2005: farmer delegate, External Reference Group, Bureau of Meteorology, since 2017: farmer member, Soil Carbon Stakeholder Reference Group, Department of the Environment, 2011-2014 and wool grower representative on Sheep Methodology Working Group, 2015-2016. and independent member, Animal Ethics Committee, 1992-1996 and Chairman, 1996-2006. 

Mr Ive’s passion for superfine wool production in sympathy with land regeneration led him to be nominated to the committee grower-member and final chairman, Australian Wool Innovation - Wool Carbon Alliance, 2009-2014. 

He joined the Australian Superfine Wool Growers’ Association (ASWGA) in 1987 and has served as committee member, for the Goulburn-Yass Region, since 1990. 

In those and other roles Mr Ive attracted sponsorship and co-hosted the annual National Reunion and fleece competition at Talaheni, in 2018 whilst he is a current finalist in the Regional Achievement and Community Agricultural Innovation Award NSW-ACT, 2018. 

As if those activities weren’t enough, he initiated commemorative superfine wool display, International Year of Natural Fibres, National Museum of Australia, 2009; promoted an Australia Post stamp series commemorating International Year of Natural Fibres, 2009, and instigated display of superfine wool, National Wool Museum, 2018. 

Other awards giving recognition to John’s wider contribution include: Protecting Biodiversity from Rapid Climate Change Award, United Nations Association of Australia, 2017; the inaugural National Carbon Cocky of the Year, Carbon Farmers, 2011; Conservation Farmer of the Year Award, Conservation Agriculture and No-till Farming Association, 2009 and recipient, Triple Bottom Line Award, United Nations Association of Australia, 2004. 

John and Robyn Ive won the Ultrafine Merino Fleece Award, National Merino Sheep Show, Dubbo, NSW, in 2017.