A local sheep breeder has continued to benefit from a partnership with a Flinders Ranges merino stud, which started nearly 80 years ago.
Tom Ashby from North Ashrose Merino and Poll Merino Stud visited Terry Baillie at his farm Lochfyne at Lipson two weeks ago to class the farm’s flock.
Mr Ashby said the Baillie family had been clients since about 1938.
“Our family has been involved in classing their sheep since then,” he said.
“My grandfather classed their flock, then my father classed their flock and I’ve been classing them for the past 20 years.”
North Ashrose has been based at Hallet in the Flinders Ranges since 1910.
Mr Ashby said he travelled to the farm each year to go through the flock’s hogget ewes and take out any that he felt were not up to standard for breeding which were then sold to other farmers at a premium price.
He also assists the farm with its rams to see which are ready for joining and which ones are getting old and need to be replaced.
The Baillies visit North Ashrose when it holds its on property ram sale to buy new sires and also gain information on what is needed for their flock.
Mr Baillie said the farm’s flock has benefited greatly from using the North Ashrose bloodline and are always getting information on what breeding traits are needed.
“I’m happy where I am, every stud has improved over a period of time,” he said.
“We’re relying on them and they’re keeping an eye on it too, you’ve got to be watchful of what’s coming through.”
Mr Ashby said his grandfather originally came to the West Coast about the time the Tumby Bay Ram Sale began, which was held at the sale yards near where the silos are now.
Today North Ashrose has clients across the West Coast in areas including Tumby Bay, Whites Flat and Green Patch.
Mr Ashby said it was not unusual for partnerships like the one with the Baillies to last as long as this but this was a still a good example of an ongoing one.
“This is probably one of the longer ones but there are partnerships like this all the time between stud breeders and commercial growers,” he said.
“It’s very long standing and hopefully will be in the future.”
Mr Baillie said his flock was looking good at the moment and was impressed with the quality of wool on the ewes.
He said he also hoped to see this partnership continue well into the future.