There are many beautiful species of sheep in the world but only a small number of breeds are used commercially. The heritage breeds offer traits of not only long, lustrous or bouncy, crimpy fibre, but also commercially important traits like propensity to twin lambs, resistance to foot rot, ability to defend themselves/offspring, and other traits that are being lost in more commercially available sheep.
Some of these important sheep breeds are at risk of being lost due to their small breeding flock size, their localisation, and susceptibility to decimation of the breed to disease. Because of its remote nature and strong sheep heritage, Australia plays an important role ensuring these sheep are available for future generations.
This project is designed to increase the viability (financially) of these breeds by educating fibre artists about the wonderful traits of rare breed sheep, how to use their beautiful fibres, and where to source these fibres. The project will seek to improve a connection between breeders to distribute meat, hydes, semen, and rams/ewes.
The goal of this project is to stimulate financial streams for the shepherds who passionately preserve these important flocks.