Commercial focus with new Dorper Association
A major step forward for the Australian Prime Lamb and cleanskin sheep industries has taken place with the establishment of the new Australian Dorper and White Dorper Association (ADWDA).
This body has been set up to have national representation and a core focus on the commercial sheep industry.
Speaking on behalf of the inaugural board of the ADWDA, President Neil Gadsden (pictured right), Victoria said, "The growth in the Dorper and White Dorper breeds has been exceptional, but it is now time to take them forward, beyond individual stud breeder interests to a united group encompassing the total sheep industry chain.
"We see this association being a real paddock to plate organisation, representing all facets of the industry, whether they be producers, processors, marketers, retailers or consumers."
"This commercial focus and representation, plus continual interchange of information and ideas will keep breeders informed and focused on producing the type of Dorpers required by the commercial industry and consumers."
"Australia's history is littered with breeds of livestock that have fallen by the wayside because they did not have a wide commercial and national focus," Mr Gadsden said.
He stressed that stud breeder members must strive to continually improve the carcase attributes, performance levels and ease of management characteristics that have made the Dorper breeds so successful in a wide variety of environments in this country, but expecially in arid, low rainfall areas.
The breeds have succeeded where others have struggled due to attributes such as non selective grazing, doing ability in all conditions, low maintenance, non seasonal joining, high fertility, low birth weights, ability to rejoin during lactation, excellent carcase quality and yield. Mr Gadsden said these attributes make the Dorper breeds ideal for use as either self replacing flocks, or in a tradiational terminal composite role.
Mr Gadsden encouraged people interested in the Dorper and White Dorper breeds to view the new Association website for updated information (www.australiandorper.com.au), or to contact one of the inaugural board members.
He indicated the current board was primarily a steering committee for the first 12 months, but amongst its objectives would be the setting up of information field days, working on quality control guidelines and moving towards the establishment of continual supply channels of Dorper lamb to consumers.
Mr Gadsden explained that the registration procedures for stud members of the new Australian Association were being radically simplified. Stud rams would now be the only remaining group of animals requiring compulsory registration, with the decision to register stud ewes being optional for seedstock members. He said the ADWDA would also set up an Appendix grading-up register that will greatly assist some breeders to become involved in seedstock production.
"There is enough carcase data around nowadays to verify that Dorpers produce as good a quality lamb as you can get. We are in the business of getting a quality product off our properties as soon as possible and we passionately believe the Dorper breeds can do this in a terminal sire situation better than all other breeds. However for those wanting all the other benefits Dorpers offer in a self replacing flock, they can start to get Dorper production and management advantages at the F2 stage," Mr Gadsden said.