Lay of the land

Hannah Busby (7), of Myross Bush, admires her family’s rams at a Southern Texel Breeders’ Club...
Hannah Busby (7), of Myross Bush, admires her family’s rams at a Southern Texel Breeders’ Club open day in Gore last week. PHOTOS: SHAWN MCAVINUE
Peter Black, of Blackdale Stud, of Ermedale near Riverton ... You get hooked on sheep breeding because you’re always trying to improve and hope the next generation is going to be better than the last one by correcting faults as you find them. It’s a challenging pastime and sometimes it’s hard work but it’s good rewards to breed stock you’re proud of. It’s always been my pleasure to see your genetics doing well for other farmers and earning them good money — that’s what keeps me going.

Heather Busby, of Cromarty Texel Stud, near Invercargill ... As a sheep breeder, there’s always improvements you can make. There is always something we can add to the industry, which is always changing, so we have to look ahead and plan to meet the market. Rather than just producing a piece of lamb, we want diners to remember the juicy and tender lamb they’ve eaten so they want more of it. Seeing the progress you are making with the breed gets you out of bed in the morning — it’s in the blood.

Sharon Paterson, of Waikaka Station in Greenvale ... I just love my Texels — they’ve got amazing personalities, spunk, meat and muscle — I wouldn’t change from breeding Texels for the world.

George Smith, of Tamlet Texels in Wyndham ... The potential of Texels — there is a lot of Texel been put through New Zealand’s maternal flock to get more meat on their ewes, therefore more meat on their lambs and that Texel meat has had a huge influence on the New Zealand sheep industry.

Hugh Gardyne, of Esselmont Texels in Waikaka ... We breed sheep for ourselves and we are happy with what we are doing. Texels are hugely suited to what the market currently wants — high yielding lambs. It’s the sheep for the future. You do it for love.

Peter Morris, of Koi Downs Texels in Waikoikoi, near Gore ... I’m 80, so my days in the industry are numbered but I’m still reasonably passionate about the Texels — it gives me something to do and keeps me fit. We went on to Texels because other breeds were producing overfat lambs. You can put a Texel roast in a pan and you get bugger-all fat out of it and they taste good.

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