Newdegate clan has the White stuff

Kate PollardCountryman

For the first time in Newdegate Machinery Field Days history, White Suffolks will be on display.

This year's theme is innovation and helping lead the way are local stud breeders Rochelle, Peter, Judy and Syd Walker, from Jusak Suffolk and White Suffolks.

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They recently expanded their Suffolk stud to include White Suffolks to meet client demand.

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"Potential clients were saying they like our Suffolks but were chasing a white sheep rather than black," Rochelle said.

The Walker family have been showing sheep at the field days since the early 1990s and have been pitching in with organising efforts to make sure things run smoothly.

This year Syd is organising the fleece competition, Rochelle is in her third year as treasurer and Pete and Judy are on the main committee.

Like many farm businesses across the grain belt, running sheep has helped to add diversity to the Walker farm business.

"For us, sheep have helped carry us through, especially during the last few rough seasons," Mrs Walker said.

Their White Suffolk stud was established using genetics from Sasimwa, Ashbourne, Banksia Plains along with Brimfield, who are also showing at the field days, and their first lambs dropped last year.

With under a week until the gates open, there is a real buzz in the air surrounding this year's event.

Newdegate field days spokeswoman Stephanie Clarke-Lloyd said the committee had started to receive entries for the awards and there was still time to enter.

The new award this year is Best New Innovation - and it is designed to recognise technological changes to existing machinery, which has revolutionised its use.

"There has also been a number of fleeces entered in the fleece competition and we are also calling for entries into the State ewe hogget competition to be held on Wednesday," Mrs Clarke-Lloyd said.

Gates to the Newdegate Machinery Field Days open to the public from 8am next Wednesday and Thursday.

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