Episode 11 – The double-edged sword of shearing in New Zealand

In Podcasts3 Minutes

There’s never been a greater interest in shearing given all the world records in New Zealand in the last 6 months, but at the same time we have a significant decrease in farmer appetite for the costs of shearing due to the price they are receiving for strong wool.

With Golden Shears 2024 being packed with crowds and the sheer number of women coming into both shearing and wool-handling, how do we keep stoking the fire of talent whilst we wait for a return to better wool prices? 

Guests include:

  1. Leon Samuels, 2024 Golden Shears Winner
  2. Phil Holden, chief executive, NZ Shearing Contractors Association
  3. Sacha Bond, female world-record holder


  1. Rebecca Greaves, Editor, Country-Wide
  2. Sarah Perriam-Lampp, Managing Director, CountryWide Media

The episode kicks off with a shearer described as the ‘silent assassin’ and the first South Island shearer to take out the Open Finals title at the 2024 Golden Shears, Leon Samuels. He shares his journey from being a baby in a backpack in the sheds to what’s involved to be the country’s best shearer.

But being the best  isn’t stopping the decline in sheep being shorn due to many factors including land-use change. Sarah speak’s to NZ Shearing Contractors Association chief executive, Phil Holden who believe its’ a balancing act to achieve quality at wool harvest to that would help improve strong wool prices when farmers aren’t prepared to pay for it.

To wrap the episode, Rebecca learns how one of our very best female shearers who is a double world record holder, Sacha Bond, has gone from allergic to wool and hating the smell of sheep to rise through challenges as a young mother to achieve the halo effect of shearing we are in awe of.


THE BIG BALL – in support of Rural Change: WIN a double pass to the Charity Ball of the winter!Looking for an excuse to get out and have some fun while raising funds for a good cause? Why not dust off your ball gown or tuxedo and head along to The Big Ball in support of rural mental health on the 29th June 2024 at Lincoln University.

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