Lewisdale ram wins supreme exhibit prize

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Bob GarnantThe West Australian
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Lewisdale Stud, located at Wickepin, was back at the IGA Perth Royal Show – winning the supreme exhibit ribbon in the Merino/Poll Merino classes, just like many years before.

Stud co-principal Ray Lewis said 60 years of breeding was behind his show success, with a simple philosophy — “I never changed the type of my sheep, remaining with dual-purpose, big bodied and heavy cutting qualities that are profitable for commercial woolgrowers”.

“I certainly have never lost my passion and it was wonderful to have bred a ram worthy of the supreme title,” he said.

The example put forth at the Show, Lewisdale Monty, was all of that, weighing in at 161kg, with an estimated 18kg of 20.7 micron fleece.

The big boned Poll Merino impressed the judges over other outstanding entries exhibited by several other top studs that have had a long association with the Show.

Judge Syd Lawrie, of Collandra North stud, South Australia, said the Lewisdale ram was well made and had it overall against a stand-out Manunda Poll Merino ewe with size and scale.

Mr Lewis said he rated the virtually fault-free ram as good as Lewisdale Prince which he bred in 1979.

“From my long-time experience in the industry, breeding stock must have productive constitution which will enable a lift in sheep numbers in WA,” he said.

“The challenge of the industry is to populate or perish.

“So many farms have lost their flocks to all-out cropping and we must restore the balance in the farming community.

“Farming can be unforgiving, particularly with unseasonal conditions, so my advice is to spread the risks with a mixed farming enterprise, including running Merinos.”

Mr Lewis, 73, said he was looking forward to the future and had in place a succession plan for his stud to remain steadfast over many years to come with the best of them.

“We all have to encourage the younger generation to consider livestock production as a career,” he said.

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