The parent stud of a relatively new sheep breed has been on a promotional mission across northern Victoria. GEOFF ADAMS reports.

The owners of the SheepMaster stud at Merton, between Euroa and Mansfield, introduced the breed at Shepparton Regional Saleyards before visiting other saleyards in central and northern Victoria.

The SheepMaster founders put a big emphasis on fertility, bone structure/conformation, constitution, feet and productivity traits.

The shedding breed started with a Damara ram and over the years developed with Dorper, Finn, UIltrawhite and White Suffolk bloodlines.

Joint owner of the parent stud at Merton, Charlie Sullivan, said the foundation genetics were based around the Damara breed, and after years of breeding the SheepMaster stud was established in Western Australia in 2017.

Daughter studs have since been established across Australia and New Zealand.

Charlie was from central western NSW but spent about 10 years in Melbourne.

He escaped from the suburbs, found an attractive property in Merton and now he and fellow director Mark Berry operate the parent stud on about 400 hectares of owned and leased land.

Charlie said one advantage of the breed was its origin from a large genetic pool so producers could take the characteristics in any direction they desired.

“If you want larger lambs for the export market, for example, you could go that way.”

He said farmers at the Shepparton display asked questions about the history of the breed and the positive traits, and had the opportunity to check out 10 ewes and four rams.