Ejanding stud was established by J.S. Jones in 1934 to meet the gap in suitable breeding stock within the region. The flock started with 227 ewes and 2 rams purchased from Meerogoolia and Illareen studs. This soon grew through the dedication of J.S. and his family members.
Norm Jones took over the management of the stud in 1951, building the stud numbers and expanding the stud’s reputation through taking Ejanding sheep to shows around the state. Norm, with the help of his wife Jean, developed a strong foundation to continue improving the genetics of the flock.
Norm embraced positive change and the Poll Merino stud was established in 1967 by the transfer of ewes from the Ejanding Merino stud as well as the purchase of a number of ewes and one ram from Collinsville Poll Merino stud located in South Australia. As a daughter stud of Collinsville, Norm purchased a number of leading sires from the flock over the coming years.
The stud started identifying variation within the flock to aid selection decisions in the mid 1970’s. Focusing on the major traits that drove profitability for them and their clients; including micron, fleece weight and body weights.
Norm was joined in the partnership in 1982 by his son Brett, when they re-evaluated their approach to breeding, identifying the range of people they were trying to breed for as a limiting factor to their rate of progress. Norm and Brett defined a new breeding objective that was designed for Ejanding and shifted to a more commercial focus. This decision allowed the Jones family to make more accurate selection decisions and improve their rate of genetic gain, benefiting both the Ejanding flock and their clients.
By 1990 the stud was making more accurate comparisons between animals within Ejanding through the use of estimated breeding values calculated with the help of Johan Greef at the Department of Agriculture, Western Australia. The stud began running an annual artificial breeding program with the aim to drive progress, mainly by accessing rams that they couldn’t otherwise purchase.
Ejanding’s breeding program included on farm progeny tests at this time. The progeny tests compared sires recommended by their classer at the time, purchased sires, semen from selected AMSEA sire evaluation rams and Ejanding bred sires over three years. Assessing progeny that had been run together confirmed the approach of selecting using both visual appraisal and performance.
Brett and his family continue to progress the genetic merit of the flock through a balanced method of using both visual and data based decisions. Including the use of different technologies to identify pedigree, make mating decisions and enhance the ASBVs utilised.