We’re passionate and dedicated to producing high quality, adaptable, productive sheep that thrive in any environment
I founded Mernowie Poll Merinos in 1975 using Barton Hill bloodlines. I have always had a passion for breeding merino sheep, and a strong desire to breed an animal that could handle our environment. Also, I figured if I could breed my own rams, I could get first pick of them for our own commercial flock which would be a major bonus.
At that time, I was frustrated with the lack of relevant information and figures on individual animals – no microns, no wool cut, and no body weight.
Back in those days, South Australian flocks tested from 23 to 25 microns of ‘soft’ wool, and breeding was largely in-house and introduced genetics couldn’t handle our higher rainfall at Marrabel.
Rams that looked great and won multiple show ribbons in that era often didn’t perform to expectations. And, whilst the rams of the time were producing heavy wool cuts, again, that positive feature didn’t support our environment, negatively impacted our lambing percentages and also caused more fleece rot.
So, given the circumstances, I decided that if I could produce rams that could survive and thrive in our challenging conditions, then these same genetics would more than likely perform well in almost any environment.
Since starting full-time work on the farm in 2003, I’ve developed a passion for breeding high quality poll merino rams, and am motivated by our client’s feedback and results.
Over the past 10 years or so, my key focus has consistently been improving growth rates, so our clients get results quicker, and therefore, assists them to maintain profitable enterprises.
I’m an advocate of Australian Sheep Breeding Values (ASBV’s) as a way for our clients to better select their Rams, based on genetic data, in addition to the physical appearance of an animal. However, one the major challenges for us in doing this, is being able to match a Ram’s figures with it’s appearance – another goal to strive for!
At the end of the day, our client’s success is our success, and we’ll keep pushing the boundaries of animal management, genetic improvement and stability, as well as industry research to continue to meet the market, and deliver on our client’s expectations.