It was to improve the carcase quality and reduce the wool in their Awassi breeding flock that the Davidson family at Towri, near Beaudesert in the Scenic Rim region decided to purchase two Australian White rams.
Carolyn Davidson and her daughter Dallas manage the day to day farm duties at Towri, which include milking, sheep husbandry, cheese making, hosting tour groups, on-farm events and cheese making workshops. Carolyn's husband Lynn is a silent partner in the business.
Towri is comprised of 121ha of former iron bark forest country, which now includes dams and improved pastures. An exclusion boundary fence has just been finished, while the purpose built dairy, yards, cheese rooms and function areas, along with a large country garden have been open to the public since 2006.
"In our operation we breed and milk the Middle Eastern Awassi, selling embryo milking genetics domestically and to the U.S, Mexico and Qatar," Carolyn said.
"Chefs have been using our Awassi wethers, for slow cooking, due to the fact the Awassi is a long, muscled meat, making it very tasty when cooked in that way."
To try and improve the overall, carcase quality of the Awassi flock, and after researching various meat breeds the family found that the Australian White would be the best fit for their operation.
"This led to us purchasing our two rams from Kym Thomas at Kahmoo Pastoral Company, Cunnamulla."
Carolyn said they've joined the two rams to 80 Awassi ewes with the first lambs expected in November.
"Towri is a paddock to plate enterprise and we're excited to enter our next chapter with our meat carcase trials of the Aussie White.
"We're hoping the Aussie White genetics will also reduce the wool on the Awassi, which will provide us with a cleaner dairy sheep, but hopefully no reduction in milk quantity or quality."
She said the breeds higher protein content, and suitability for lactose intolerance, has also helped their sheep cheese range reach new heights.
The decision to make sheep cheese, at Towri was a progression from Carolyn's love of sheep, entertaining and cooking, which led her to becoming an accredited cheese maker through Melbourne University.
The family strive to always sell to a niche market of chefs and high-end restaurants, due to the fact that Towri is a boutique, artisan, agritourism farm operation.
Carolyn said over the past two year's a big shift has happened in the public's thirst for food credibility and wanting to know where their food comes from.
"This has led to on farm stays, weddings and other activities taking place on-property at Towri."