In memory of a livestock champion

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Birchip Cropping Group board, staff, members and industry representatives across the region were devastated to hear of the sudden and tragic death of Warrick McClelland.

Warrick was a foundation member of BCG. His willing support and enthusiasm were essential to its formation and early development.

Among many things, BCG remembers Warrick for his passion for sheep as well as his enthusiastic and reliable support for sheep-related activities. He embraced every opportunity to expand his wealth of knowledge and was a familiar figure at every livestock and feed-based BCG presentation, including the Sheep Management Showcase, Main Field Day and Expo.

Warrick was an eager participant in BCG trials and workshops and thrived on lively discussion and debate. He relished the opportunity to flesh out his ideas, qualify facts and dispel myths along the way.  

Warrick and his brother Ian were the ‘Hungry Sheep’ champions of the long-term and successful BCG Farming Systems trial which commenced in 2000. The ‘Hungry Sheep’ trial was the only system treatment which had a continuous sheep presence. BCG Research Manager, Claire Browne, fondly remembers her early days at BCG, spending hours with Warrick, endlessly moving the four sheep donated by the McClelland family around the trial to various plots and even helping with the shearing!  

Warrick was one of four local sheep producers involved with the CSIRO Early Finishing Lambs project in 2012 and the GRDC Grain & Graze 2 and 3 programs.

A regular attendee at the local Best Wool Best Lamb group meetings, Warrick shared his broad knowledge and experience with others. He attended the annual conference in Bendigo where he enjoyed networking with colleagues, friends and industry representatives.

BCG Extension Officer, Alison Frischke worked closely with Warrick on a range of livestock-based projects. She appreciated his willing participation and commented that, without fail, Warrick sat at the front of the room and was ready with a question – or two, or three – at the end of every presentation. He was always available for a chat about the season and what was happening on-farm, and to offer research suggestions pertinent to sheep and pasture issues.

Warrick generously contributed his valuable time and expertise to the grains and livestock industries by serving on numerous boards and committees over many years. He executed these duties whilst being actively involved in the operation of the family farm with his wife Ros, brother Ian, sister-in-law Anne and more recently, nephew Tim and his wife Julie McClelland.

BCG acknowledges the considerable contribution that Warrick made to the community, to BCG and to the agricultural industry. The group respectfully offers heartfelt condolences to his immediate and extended family, including wife Ros and daughters Caitlin and Stephanie.

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