At the 2nd Dohne World Conference, last year in South America, the statement was made that the sun never sets over the Dohne breed, i.e. a world-class sheep with which farmers make a living despite many obstacles and extreme environmental conditions. A sheep that produces quality wool and meat that is recognized, sought after and highly regarded worldwide.
Lately, despite many challenges facing Dohne farmers worldwide, new challenges have emerged, in keeping the Dohne relevant regarding production and reproduction to generate income. Production levels of Dohne sheep are no longer a challenge at only farm level, but international factors influencing production/ reproduction levels must be looked at seriously.
The lack of biosecurity nationally, and statements from world leaders, have now also become a major factor that the Dohne farmer must consider when marketing meat and wool. How much will it be affecting sheep production systems? As a stud breeder we have a responsibility to the industry and commercial farmers to provide breeding material even better adapted to the rapidly changing environment. Extreme climate change and consumers who are more aware of production methods and its impact on the environment when making their purchases, must be included in breeding objectives.
Biosecurity and traceability are playing an increasingly important role in the marketing of our products. It is crucial that we as Dohne farmers approach the future with a wider vision and greater transparency to stay at the forefront of sheep production worldwide. This is despite many challenges that we do not always have control over.
Our Dohne breed has already proven itself under extreme conditions, Therefore the time has come for us as a society and breeders to ensure that what the Dohne is known for, stays relevant and is preserved for the future.
Dohne sheep are extremely well positioned to produce both wool and mutton. The recent decrease in wool and mutton price, is not enough reason to fiddle around with our breeding policy that has proven itself under many similar crises. A more hostile environment on account of drastic changes in nature and climate, will pose increased challenges to producers/breeders to improve on the hardiness of the Dohne for the future
We are faced with a situation where the prices of products are determined by politicians with their own agendas. The demand for food and protein is increasing as a result of growing urbanization of the population and natural resources are increasingly coming under pressure as a result of global climate change. This is truly, a challenge to producers and breeders of the ‘WORLD BREED’ in a ‘WORLD ENVIRONMENT’.
I trust that when reading this, the whole DOHNE world has had good rain. May you and your loved ones experience a true Christmas feast, and may the wind fill the sails of the DOHNE ship in 2020.
Thank you to Kobus, Marion and Susan for your selfless service to us as breeders.
MAY THE DOHNE BE THE SHEEP BREED FOR THE FUTURE THAT STOOD THE TEST OF TIME… !!!