The Irwin family have been farming for over 40 years and the rewards and enjoyment that come from it have definitely not waned over the years.
Spreading their woolgrowing operation between their property Bonshaw in the Limestone Coast region and Balah in the pastoral region of South Australia, the Irwin’s learnt how to grow high quality white wool from the best teacher – the environment.
The two properties are located 330kms apart and with that comes some significant climatic and management differences. However modifying their operation to breed sheep in the higher rainfall (460mm) Limestone Coast property and grow wool in the more marginal (200mm rainfall) pastoral country has put the Irwin’s clip in prime position to meet the rigorous quality specifications for the manufacture of Australian Made MerinoSnug luxury knitwear garments.
We’ve learnt what the land is capable of producing. Bonshaw grows excellent lucerne which is ideal for growing out young rams and the Balah property, with it’s wide open plains of Blue Bush is ideal for growing bold crimping, fine, white, sound merino wool.
For the Irwin’s ensuring their sheep have the best possible nutrition and environment to grow wool is extremely important and has a direct affect on the quality of the wool at the end.
James said, “Animal husbandry and welfare is very important to us and comes before anything else.”
“The whole process of being a woolgrower is enjoyable. From growing the sheep out, breeding and shearing right through to the final wool sale.”
“Seeing how the genetics come through and knowing beyond the farm gate where the wool has gone and is being used for, it’s all very satisfying,” said James.
Q. What does it mean to you to know who is wearing your wool?
A. “It’s good to know past the farm gate, what the wool has been used for and where it is being used.”
Q. What would you like to say to the person wearing your wool?
A. “Thank you! Enjoy the product and feel free to tell all your friends.”