Generous farmers donate sheep to save Manjimup school’s flock

Zach RelphCountryman
Bailey Pollard with Manjimup Senior High School's sheep flock.
Camera IconBailey Pollard with Manjimup Senior High School's sheep flock. Credit: Tristan Wheeler/Manjimup-Bridgetown Times

Two generous farmers have donated 20 sheep to a South West high school, after half of its flock was wiped out in domestic dog attacks.

Manjimup Senior High School’s flock of 48 sheep, used in its agricultural learning program, was attacked twice in late February, resulting in the death of 26 ewes.

In a cruel blow to the flock’s future breeding, all of the ewes were carrying lambs.

After hearing about the dog attacks, Narrikup sheep producer Phil Dorrell and Manjimup farmer Glenn Simcock decided to donate sheep in a bid to rebuild the flock.

Mr Dorrell, who oversees a flock of about 3000 Dohnes at Narrikup about 35km north of Albany, donated 10 Dohne ewes from his family’s breeding enterprise.

“I know what it is like to lose sheep to dog attacks,” Mr Dorrell, a former student at Manjimup Senior High School, said.

“It takes a long time to breed sheep, so I wanted to help them get numbers back up so the kids remained interested in sheep breeding.

“Dohnes are interesting, so I hope that they enjoy learning about them and get a better understanding about breeding.”

Mr Simcock runs up to 13,000 head of sheep across his family’s two farms — one east of Manjimup and the other west of Kojonup.

He donated 10 Merinos.

While busy pregnancy testing ewes at his Kojonup property this week, Mr Simcock said he hoped the donation would promote agriculture as a career pathway.

“It was tragic what happened and we wanted to help,” he said.

“Agriculture is an exciting field to be in and is a great career option for students who might be interested in farming.”

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