Sophie Huf Woolhandler

Posted on 15th August 2016

For 25 year old Sophie Huf working in the sheep industry was always going to be on the cards. Growing up around the shearing shed in a farming family, she first competed in 2007 and is now set to continue her professional competitive career in woolhandling at the 2016 Jackie Howe Festival.


Sophie said she ultimately started competing because she enjoyed participating in some kind of sport.


“I’m passionate about publicising the wool industry in a positive way,” she said. “I want to show the professionalism we have within the industry and the pride we take in our work.”


Whilst she is currently on maternity leave, Sophie can be found in between competitions working on the farm and training a new generation of wool handlers.


“It’s definitely getting more difficult to find that new generation. There’s so many options for careers out there and I guess people generally like an easier lifestyle. Working in the sheds is really hard work, but we do see that a lot of farmer kids still enjoy the opportunity to broaden their skill set.”


“The fact is agriculture is the backbone of our country and I’m quite excited to be coming up to Queensland for the festival. I love that it brings people to a historic venue and let’s the appreciate and gain knowledge of agriculture in a really positive way.


“Plus, the shearing and woolhandling is one big family. We might only see each other once a year but it is always like it was only yesterday.”


Sophie, who has won the Jackie Howe Invitational woolhandling category multiple times, said she’ll be looking to spend time working back in the sheds in the lead up to the competition.


“There’s a lot of physical and mental prep that goes into the lead up to competition and a lot of the muscles used in woolhandling or shearing can’t be trained in a gym. The only way those muscles get a workout is when you’re in the shed doing the job.”


Gather up your family and friends and start planning your visit to the 2016 Jackie Howe Festival of the Golden Shears. Keep an eye on the website for regular updates and holiday packages to be released in the near future.