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New Zealand Sheep Council

The Sheep Council brings together farmers, researchers and marketers, with a dual aim: to promote effective research in the sheep industry, and to help transfer the fruits of the research into practical use on-farm.

The Meat and Wool Boards set up the Sheep Council in 1990, to establish a forum that could link the work and objectives of farmers, research organisations, producer boards and the marketplace.


  • facilitate farmer input into the establishment of regional and national sheep research priorities
  • promote and facilitate greater efficiency in technology uptake
  • encourage and facilitate on farm research and development
  • reinforce links with industry and the marketplace when considering research priorities.

The main focus is to make sure there is effective use of public good science funding, and that this is supplemented by research funding from other sources. The Sheep Council works to this end by promoting effective communication at ground level.

There are four regional councils, each centred on an established research centre:

  • Northern North Island (Ruakura)
  • Southern North Island (Palmerston North)
  • Northern South Island (Christchurch)
  • Southern South Island (Invermay)

The main champions and funders of the Sheep Council are Meat & Wool Innovation and Meat New Zealand. Nominated research providers also participate, including AgResearch, Massey University, Lincoln University.

The farmers who make up the councils are nominated by the above organisations, and supported by relevant staff, along with invited consultants. Merino New Zealand and the Wool Research Organisation of New Zealand (WRONZ) also participate at times.

For more information about the activities and publications of the Sheep Council, contact Alan Marshall (alan.marshall@mwi.co.nz), Meat & Wool Innovation Christchurch office, on 0800 4 Meat & Wool Innovation (0800 496 657).


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