Researchers motivated to identify genes that control differences between individuals rely on a genomics toolbox. Really useful tools include i) a reference genome assembly ii) information about where the genes and other features reside inside that genome assembly and iii) a way to collect large scale data describing the differences between genomes from different individuals. A team inside CSIRO has been developing each of these tools for the sheep genome, and putting them to work to understand what contributes to variation in production traits (eg wool growth and meat quality). The talk will focus on the approach taken over the last 5 years to build the various components of the toolkit. This has consequences for the development of genomic resources in other species which may currently have fewer available tools.