Leading research organisation driven by grassroots Merino breeders and service providers, MerinoLink, has appointed Jason Letchford as chief executive officer.
Mr Letchford replaces sheep industry consultant Sally Martin who has taken on the role of project manager and technical advisor, supporting the current and future MerinoLink projects and trials.
MerinoLink Limited is a not-for-profit company and was instigated by a progressive group of ram and commercial breeders and service providers in 2012.
Mr Letchford, of Sydney, spent his formative years growing up in shearing sheds as the son of a shearing contractor and woolclasser.
A graduate of the University of Queensland, Jason worked for London based foreign exchange broker, MW Marshall, followed by a position on the Sydney Futures Exchange trading floor as a trader.
Mr Letchford then moved into the accounting industry, working for chartered accountants, Page Harrison and Co, as financial controller for an IT firm, as chief financial controller for a business consultancy and finance director of a sports brand licencing agency.
In 2004, he took on the part-time committee position of secretary-treasurer of the shearing industry’s peak body, the Shearing Contractors Association of Australia – position he continues to hold.
“MerinoLink is already a strong brand in agricultural research thanks to the efforts of Sally Martin, her team and the Board,’’ Mr Letchford said.
“I am looking forward to building on these solid foundations, with the aim of making MerinoLink the leader in its field and growing the business sustainably and appropriately.’’
Mr Letchford has a busy year a head with the annual autumn field day on March 15 at Temora and Annual Conference and Field day at Armidale on June 19 and 20.
“These events will be a great opportunity for me to meet the industry stakeholders and understand their needs and objectives, so MerinoLink is well positioned to deliver on them,’’ Mr Letchford said.
“I am really excited about the opportunity to work with people like Sally Martin and Richard Keniry.
“It is passionate people like these who drive industry forward and help make significant, positive impacts.’’