Apparel Wool, Meat for a Feast

Dohne pioneer honoured by ADBA for service

July 25, 2016 – by Kim Woods Outcross Media

 

Dohne breed pioneer Cameron McMaster was honoured with a life membership of the Australian Dohne Breeders Association during the inaugural Global Dohne Conference.
Mr McMaster and his wife Rhoda received a standing ovation after being presented with a commemorative plaque by Australian Dohne Breeders Association past president David Kain at a celebratory function in Dubbo on Friday.
Affectionately known as the “father of the breed’’, Mr McMaster, 79, is one of only three surviving foundation members of the South African Dohne Merino Society formed in 1966.
He recently released a book on the history of the breed, titled Birth of a Breed – The Dohne Merino Story, and is conducting a two-day ram breeding workshop on July 28-29 as a finale to the inaugural Global Dohne Conference.
The conference drew 44 international delegates from South Africa, Uruguay, United States, Chile and New Zealand, and 139 from five Australian states.
Delegates were treated to the first Australian Dohne show classes at the Australian Sheep and Wool show, and visits to commercial flocks, feedlots, saleyards and woolbrokers, a fashion parade, National Ram Sale and formal evening function.
Australian Dohne Breeders Association past president Richard Beggs made a presentation of a plaque to commemorate the 50 years of the South African Dohne Merino Society to president Koos Vosloo and manager Dr Kobus Delport.
Mr Vosloo paid tribute to the ADBA for hosting such an “historical event’’.
‘We are humbled by your hospitality, friendship and passion for the Dohne,’’ he said.
“Thank you for putting together an unforgettable life experience and doing the Dohne proud.’’
Mr Vosloo said it was amazing to see how the Australian sheep industry had embraced the Dohne and its characteristics.

He said the breed’s uptake in Australia since 1998 had exceeded all expectations.
“It is encouraging to see Chile and South American making the Dohne their own so they can benefit from the great attributes it has,’’ he said.
“It is a compliment to the Dohne to see people the world over with the same vision and goals.’’
The Dohne traces its origins back to the Dohne Research Station in 1937 when a better-adapted sheep was developed for the East Cape sourveld.
Cameron McMaster paid tribute to the vision of research station manager Mr JJJ Kotze, the founder of the breed.
Kotze selected genetics from the German Mutton Merino and Merino, using pedigree and performance recording from 1940.
“He defined the selection procedures that are followed to this day – they were advanced principles for the time,’’ Mr McMaster said.
He said the Dohne breed experienced exceptional growth during the first three decades after the formation of the breed society in May, 1966.
He was appointed as administrator of the society in 1970 and went on to dedicate his life to pioneering work in performance testing and the promotion of the breed internationally.
By 1990, over 300 breeders with nearly 48,000 recorded ewes were spread across South Africa.
“In 1998 the first embryos were exported to Australia and in the better environment the results were even more impressive than in South Africa,’’ Mr McMaster said.
“By using sophisticated reproductive technologies, the numbers of purebred Dohnes increased rapidly.
“The Australian Dohne has gone far beyond anything I could ever have imagined when we started off this breed all those years ago.’’

Cameron & Rhoda McMaster web

Rhoda and Cameron McMaster, a founder of the Dohne breed, were presented with honorary life membership of the Australian Dohne Breeders Association.

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