Clarence James 'Jim' Daley was born in Forbes on October 7, 1903. He attended Cowra and Auburn Public Schools, and Parramatta High School followed by two years studying at the Wagga Experiment Farm. In 1923, Jim was accepted into the Trangie Experiment Farm as a special Sheep & Wool student then qualified in Sheep & Wool at Sydney Technical College the following year. Over the next two years Jim worked in shearing sheds as a wool classer.
Jim's career with the NSW Department of Agriculture began in June 1926 when he was appointed Junior Assistant Sheep & Wool Officer, stationed at the Temora Experiment Farm. His duties included overseeing sheep trials and the Border Leicester stud flock. During the next two years, stationed at the Trangie and Yanco Experiment Farms, Jim trained as a lecturer in sheep and wool practices. In December 1928, Jim and the Yanco Dorset Horn stud flock and lamb trials were transferred to the Wagga Experiment Farm where he continued his work with prime lamb development and began competitively showing livestock.
During World War ll, Jim was seconded to Rural Manpower (NSW) to organise labour resources for the wool and meat industries, including shearing and slaughtering, under Wartime Emergency Regulations. After the War he was appointed to an inter-departmental committee which investigated the feasibility of decentralising the slaughtering industry in NSW. Recommendations that slaughter houses operated by local government authorities be located in Wagga Wagga, Goulburn, Dubbo and Gunnedah were made to the Federal and State Authorities. As Abattoir Officer, Jim was instrumental in the construction and establishment of abattoirs at Goulburn and Wagga Wagga and the commencement of construction at Dubbo and Gunnedah before his retirement from the Department on December 7, 1951, after the official opening of the Wagga Wagga abattoir.
Jim retired from the NSW Department of Agriculture after 25 years of service, to set himself up in private business as an auctioneer, and stock & station agent, specialising in sheep classing according to breed standards and stud stock sales. In this private capacity he expanded his repertoire of breed specialities to include Merino and provided services beyond the Riverina.
In conjunction with the Australian Society of Breeders of British Sheep, Jim introduced annual spring auction sales of classed, purebred flock rams and was instrumental in popularising 'ring selling' which became a prominent feature of his career. His services expanded to include travelling to New Zealand in the late 1950s and Tasmania in the early 1960s to purchase stud rams for his local clients.
Handling and close inspection of many hundreds of sheep each year prompted Jim to develop the Daley Sheep Classing Race which he patented in June 1956. Eventually, manufacturing costs became prohibitive and Jim allowed the patent to lapse in June 1971.
He regularly contributed to industry publications and local newspapers, including The Daily Advertiser, Country Life and Pastoral Review, voicing his opinions on the need for breed development, diversity, prime lamb production and pasture improvement. He was instrumental in the development of the dual purpose Bond/Commercial Corriedale, Poll Dorset and South Suffolk breeds.
Jim was actively involved in the Wagga Wagga Apex Club, the Riverina Branch of the Australian Society of Animal Production and the Wagga Wagga College of Technical and Further Education Committee along with numerous sheep breed societies and pastoral & agricultural associations.
Renowned in Australia and New Zealand as a sheep and wool instructor, judge, classer and buyer of Australasian and British sheep breeds, Jim judged many sheep classes at major shows including Sydney, Melbourne and Albury. He was instrumental in developing the sheep and wool industry of NSW, particularly the Riverina and Wagga Wagga district, to meet the changing market demands throughout his lifetime which ended on May 2, 2007, at the age of 103.
Compiled by Debra Leigo
Sources : Papers, Jim Daley, RW290, CSURA.