Our Mission

The Sheep’s Back is managed by a team of very experienced livestock consultants, assisted by a Producer Advisory Panel (PAP) consisting of leading woolgrowers and representatives of associated businesses.

The Sheep’s Back will champion the Western Australian Merino sheep industry and improve grower confidence and their capacity to make better and timelier decisions.


The network's objectives are:


To understand current issues facing producers, arm members with timely solutions and to communicate these to stakeholders.

Deliver appropriate new technologies with regard to reducing cost of production and improving farm profitability which are consistent with the outcomes required by AWI.

To be recognized as a network of leading sheep producers who receive timely, independent, practical information and appreciate the peer contact and support that the project provides.

Illustrate with benchmarking figures the importance of sheep and wool to the sustainability of farming enterprises.

Our Team / PAP Committee Members

Mark Allington

Mark Allington joined Icon Agriculture in 2013. He developed an interest in agriculture, particularly Merino sheep, while being raised on a mixed farm in Three Springs. Mark completed a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture at the University of WA. Apart from the networks developed during this time, Mark also completed an honours project which was titled ‘Merino Ewes with Higher Breeding Values for Clean Fleece Weight Are More Efficient at Producing Wool’. Since joining Icon Agriculture, Mark has shown a keen interest in farm business benchmarking and enterprise analysis, in particular, the profitability of the mixed farming enterprise. He is passionate and dedicated towards finding ways to maintain the sustainability and profitability of farm businesses.

Andrew Ritchie

Andrew is one the leading sheep and wool consultant’s in Western Australia. He began his career as research officer and has 9 years experience in sheep industry research and development with the Department of Agriculture and Food (WA). In 1996 he completed a Masters Degree in Textile Science at the University of Leeds (UK). Andrew joined JRL Hall and Co in 1998 as a farm management consultant and has 12 years experience in farm management consulting, where he has developed an interest in farm business benchmarking and enterprise analysis. He is now in a unique position to draw all aspects of the sheep and wool industry together. He was one of the original creators of “The Sheep’s Back” in WA, a hugely successful program devoted to sheep management skills development and business risk management. Andrew is the former president of AAACWA (Australian Association of Agricultural Consultants WA) and a long term committee member.

PAP COMMITTEE

  • Alex Coole (Chairperson), Woolgrower
  • Roger House, Woolgrower
  • Andrew Ritchie, Farm Management Consultant
  • Ben Webb, Woolgrower
  • Mandy Curnow, Department of Primary Industries
  • Mark Allington, Farm Management Consultant
  • Geoff Sandilands, Woolgrower
  • Greg Tilbrook, Primaries Woolbroker
  • Kristin Lefroy, Woolgrower
  • Tim Watts, Consultant, Veterinarian and Woolgrower
  • Jessica Horstman, Woolgrower
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