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Barcoded Merinos?

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POSMarket.com.au  offers an insight into the diverse applications of barcode technology.

24-year-old Bobundara farmer Katie Brown spent a majority of a two-week trip to New Zealand last month to tour farms and wool businesses. The trip was part of the Cecil Brown Memorial Award, and for Katie it was an "awesome" experience.

Katie works as a roustabout and a casual animal technician at the Australian National University, located in Canberra. Unknown to her though, a friend had nominated her for the 2009 Cecil Brown Memorial Award feeling that she would make an excellent candidate.

The award focuses on enhancing the knowledge, experience and career prospects of younger people who work in agriculture, through the using of an educational grant or exchange program.

Katie Brown was interested in learning about the differences in farming between Australia and New Zealand.

She stated, "I was interested to learn about farming techniques in New Zealand and maybe come back to Australia and put them to use."

One of the many interesting things that she learned on her trip was about garments made from Merino wool with barcodes.

The barcodes allow for people to find out what farms the wool came from.

"Each garment has its own identification number. You can go online to their website and put in the barcode and it will come up with a list of properties where your garment has come from," Katie said.

"We don't have that in Australia. It's a way to get people interested about the locality and all about farming techniques used on a particular farm."

Ms. Brown was also recently awarded with the Emily Alcock Junior Judge trophy. It was presented to her at the Berridale Agricultural Bureau's recent Merino Ewe Competition.

Despite no previous junior judging experience, Katie was still able to win. She says that her passion for animals comes from helping her father on the family farm as a child.

"We don't do it for the money. It's a passion and a lifestyle."

Katie Brown hopes to one day take over the farm at Bobundara, but for now she is content to focus on her career in wool classing.

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