WormBoss creator, and one of the sheep industry's more colourful characters, Arthur Le Feuvre is calling it a day after 51 years serving the sheep industry. From a long career as a Qld DPI sheep extension officer, Arthur took on the development of WormBoss for the Sheep CRC. In his semi-retirement, Arthur has been the editor of the WormBoss News, which recently changed to ParaBoss News.
Arthur completed a Diploma in Animal Husbandry at Queensland Agricultural College at Gatton in the early 1960s and started work as a Junior Research Officer with Qld DPI at Toorak Research Station, near Julia Creek.
In a few years, Arthur was promoted to a Sheep Extension Officer with Qld DPI, and over the next 40 or so years, he worked the country from Charleville, Cunnamulla and Warwick.
Realising the importance of being able to communicate the benefits of new technology to sheep producers, he completed a Graduate Diploma in Rural Extension at Hawkesbury Agricultural College. Arthur became renowned for being an effective, and at times unconventional, communicator using his special combination of throaty growl and angelic smile.
He broke new ground back in the day, using newsletters, ABC/Commercial TV, CB Radio, and ABC/Commercial Radio to communicate with sheep producers.
While at Warwick, Arthur developed and managed the Qld DPI Wormbuster program to help Queensland sheep producers sustainably manage internal parasites. During this time, Arthur organised schools to teach producers how to do Worm Egg Counts.
For this and other work he received a number of awards and citations from the Department and was widely recognised within the sheep industry in Queensland and other states.
When the Sheep CRC started it was a logical step to enlist Arthur, with his dynamic personality, to drive the creation of the national worm control program, WormBoss.
In the early years of WormBoss, Arthur used his experience getting the best from Australia’s leading parasitologists who provided content, guiding web developers to present the information in a way—as Arthur would say—that would make sense to a cocky, and working with a marketing company to develop strategies to take the information to sheep producers. He was also successful in recruiting all of the veterinary pharmaceutical companies and retailers to support WormBoss, which is one of the key factors in its success today.
If that’s not enough, Arthur also composed and, with that distinctive throaty growl, recorded the infamous WormBoss song, which can be opened or downloaded here.
While Arthur retired from the Qld DPI in 2005, he continued to work in the WormBoss (later ParaBoss) project until now, in June 2015.
Over 10 years, Arthur and the WormBoss team have created a remarkable resource that is the envy of many other sheep-producing countries across the world—indeed 25% of the website traffic is international. It has also led to the development of its sister web sites: FlyBoss and LiceBoss, which today are all managed under the ParaBoss umbrella.
There is no doubt that the sheep industry is better off for Arthur's contributions, and on behalf of industry, we thank you!