Most of you who follow my blog know that I come from a farming backgroud of which I am very proud. My parents farmed wheat and sheep in the central wheatbelt district of Western Australia and the tradition continues today with my brother and nephew.
In recent years the weather has played havoc with wheat yields as the rainfall has either fallen at the wrong time (summer) with very little falling in winter, the planting and growing season for grain in that part of the world. Despite the difficulties and challenges my brother continues to face, he is constantly looking for better ways to farm.
One of the areas in which he has excelled is with the quality of the sheep he is breeding. There have been hard years of work to improve the the skin of the sheep from wrinkled (typical of the Merino breed) to smooth. This is helpful on a number of levels. They are much easier to shear and the chance of a sheep becoming fly blown is dramatically decreased. With pressure from animal warefare groups about the practice of mulsing sheep (which is done to help prevent sheep from being fly blown, a hideous condition), my brother has endeavoured with the breeding programme to eradicate the need for this with the smooth skinned sheep now only needing to be crutched. Another benefit of the breeding programme has been the increase in fertility with a ewe more likely giving birth to twins and sometimes triplets.
So where does the part about the fine Merino wool come into all this. A week or so ago my brother received a letter advising him that wool from his sheep sold was chosen by Qantas to contribute to the making of their new flight attendant uniforms. Isn't that the most AWESOME news?!! The wool they chose was of a very high quality and deemed perfect for the job. The quality of wool is measured in microns, the link has an explanation far better than I can give. For my brother who has worked so very hard to improve his sheep on so many levels including wool quality, this is HUGE and he deserves the recognition of people in the wool industry. GO BIG BROTHER!!
Here is a peek at the new Qantas uniform which I believe will make it's entrance early next year.
All photos Google images.
Here is a small sample of the type of wool that will be used for the Qantas uniforms.
CONGRATULATIONS big brother on your achievement. You ROCK cob!!