History of Romani Ltd.

1964Bought 145 hectares (360 acres) of easy hill country near Cambridge in partnership with members of the family. Farmed sheep and cattle and developed the farm further.
1975Eric Williams, a noted Coopworth breeder and founding member of the Coopworth Society, approached me to join the Mid North Coopworth Company (MNCC), a breeding group of eleven farmers and breeders.
1976Was appointed flockmaster of MNCC. This involved the management of 600 ewes, which were selected out of the screening of 33,000 ewes.
1980The breeding group flock was decimated by facial eczema.
1983Due to the downturn in returns from the sheep industry, the breeding group folded in. Continued ram breeding on my own account.
1984Started to breed for facial eczema tolerance with "Stock Safety" which was taken over two years later by Ramguard, of MAF, Ruakura. That first year 25 rams were dosed with 0.1 mg sporodesmin per kg bodyweight. Only two rams showed no increase in GGT levels.
1987On invitation, became a member of the Rangitikei Coopworth breeding group and also joined Sheepac and the NZ Ovine referencing scheme that year.
1991Sheepac released their sheep, I choose the Texel to replace the ewes I had given to Sheepac. In partnership with seven other farmers in the region, we bought 48 pure Finn ewes from Sheepac, to start a crossbreeding program, that involved the Coopworth, the Texel and the Finn, later also the East Friesian.
1997Lamb drop exceeds 200% for the first time. Lambing percentage (ewes mated/lambs docked) at 183%, the best ever.
1998Sold all Finns and Texel /Finn crosses and select ewes which are 3/4CPW, with remaining East Friesian, Finn and Texell as base for interbred flock. This is still continuing at the moment with approx.300 breeding ewes with the aim to produce a highly productive sheep, that will survive in the warmer regions of New Zealand.

Some data:

1972 to 1984 maximum ewe numbers 2500 plus dairy grazers.
1984 to 1997 declining sheep numbers, increasing dairy grazers to 300.
1998 onwards, 250 acres leased to dairy farmer neighbours.

Bad mistakes: Diversification into goats in early eighties and Angora rabbits in 1987.


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