It's the back-breaking work that helped shape our nation and now there are calls to make it a registered trade.
NSW Farmers passed an urgency motion at its annual conference in Sydney last week that it supports the shearing industry (shearers, shedhands and wool classers) being a registered trade.
With a shortage of shearers, Callan Schaefer from Guyra, who put forward the motion, said there needed to be an attraction strategy for the industry.
"If we can get those kids that are leaving school in year 10 and bring them into an industry where they can earn decent money, that would be great," Mr Schaefer said.
"We have trained professionals shearing our sheep and they should be recognised with the same degree as traditional trades like an electrician or plumber."
By becoming a registered trade, he said it would give shearers highly subsided government training instead of having to pay for it out of their own pocket.
"We are a lobby group and if we can get support for shearers, we can get answers and support from the government," he said.
"If it's an official trade then shearers can go to the bank and say they are trade qualified to get a loan instead of going to the bank with seasonal work."
Australian Wool Innovation shearing industry development coordinator Jim Murray said shearing was not recognised as a trade, but people could get a trade level qualification in shearing (certificate three) at any registered trade organisation.
"The current qualifications are not recognised by industry," Mr Murray said.
While Mr Murray supported the motion, he said there would be questions on how it would be policed in shearing sheds, as well as wages shearers were paid by piece rate of $3.18 per sheep, unlike traditional apprenticeship wages.
Shearing contractor Ben Gorham, from Cowra (also on our cover), said by shearing becoming a registered trade it would open up many more avenues for shearers.
"At the moment it's so hard for shearers to get a loan as they are not classified as having permanent jobs," Mr Gorham said.
Jason Letchford from Shearing Contractors Association said there would be tax incentives for the employers and it would benefit employees in gaining future employment and extra qualifications to transfer to another trade.
NSW Farmers' vice president Chris Groves said the urgency motion came out of a meeting with Agriculture Minister Adam Marshall, where it was raised to address the immediate industry crisis.
Mr Adam Marshall said he was broadly supportive of any initiative that would help to address the current skills shortage, including listing shearing as a trade.