This is branded content for Australian Wool Innovation.
Woolgrowers of all descriptions have their chance to shape the wool industry's future by casting their vote in WoolPoll 2021.
Held every three years, WoolPoll is a voluntary vote of all wool levy payers through which the industry decides on its levy rate for investment in the research, development and marketing activities conducted on behalf of woolgrowers by Australian Wool Innovation (AWI).
It is an independent poll conducted in line with regulations set out by the Federal Government.
WoolPoll is open to all woolgrowers who have paid at least $100 in levies over the last three years. This includes Merino producers, mixed farmers or those who only run sheep as seasons allow.
Voting for WoolPoll 2021 is now open, with the poll to close on Friday November 5, 2021.
Chair of the independent WoolPoll 2021 panel, Steven Bolt, a mixed farmer based at Corrigin, Western Australia, is encouraging every eligible levy payer to have their say on the direction of the wool industry by voting in WoolPoll 2021.
"WoolPoll is unique among Australia's agricultural sectors," Steven said.
"As a panel, we have compiled a detailed Voter Information Memorandum (VIM) for growers, providing information about AWI, because it is their company and an opportunity for them to have a say in the future level of investment.
"For me, there is a simple reason why I think all woolgrowers should have their say on the levy that funds research, development and marketing and vote in WoolPoll 2021.
"As woolgrowers, we are empowered with the ability to determine what our industry levy rate should be.
"It's our wool and our industry, and now we can have our say about how much we should pay for R&D and marketing as an investment in our future.
"Few industries have a process where producers can vote on the levy rate they believe they should pay," he said.
The VIM has been sent to all registered levy payers and can also be accessed on the WoolPoll website.
Steven encouraged woolgrowers to make an informed decision on their levy rate of choice.
Growers are being given up to five options of levy rate to support, and can vote for one or more levy rates in order of preference through the independent poll.
The options growers can vote on as their preferred levy rate are 0 per cent, 1 per cent, 1.5 per cent, 2 per cent and 2.5 per cent.
The poll operates under a preferential voting system, so growers can number their choices from one to five, with one being their first preference.
More information about what each levy rate means for investment in R&D and marketing by AWI is available in the VIM.
In addition to choosing their preferred levy rate, woolgrowers are also being asked to answer a supplementary question in this year's WoolPoll.
This question asks woolgrowers whether they want a five-year WoolPoll cycle, or if they want to remain with the current three-year voting cycle.
The inclusion of this question is in line with the WoolPoll Review conducted in 2020, which recommended to test the preference for a five-yearly poll with wool levy payers through an additional question on the WoolPoll 2021 ballot paper.
Steven encouraged woolgrowers to read through the information provided in the VIM and to have an open and honest discussion with the people they farm with about the levy rate and voting cycle their business chooses to support.
"Discuss the options with your families, farm managers, business partners and employees," he said.
"Make an informed decision and cast your vote. Take the unique opportunity to have your say on our industry."
Steven said there were numerous reasons why woolgrowers should cast their vote.
"The wool industry has emerged from a challenging period - including drought, a declining national flock and the supply-demand impact of the global COVID-19 pandemic - so it's important for woolgrowers to seriously consider the options in this year's WoolPoll," he said.
"We have certainly been confronted by testing times, but we are a proud industry and I expect the resilience of our woolgrowers and their determination to ensure their future prosperity and that of their neighbours and peers will be reflected in a strong voter turnout for WoolPoll 2021."
Voting for WoolPoll 2021 closes on Friday November 5. For more information, call the voter helpline on 1800 990 365.
Voting can be conducted online at www.woolpoll.com.au or via email, fax or post.
The story WoolPoll 2021 is your chance to shape the industry first appeared on The Land.