Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Duo's Suffolk Flock Is Tops; Farming

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Duo's Suffolk Flock Is Tops; Farming

Article excerpt

Byline: By Jennifer MacKenzie

A PASSION for Suffolk sheep has paid off for mother and daughter Glynis and Jane Soulsby after their flock was judged the top in the north of England.

The Williamsgill Suffolk prefix has existed since 1 990 when the flock was first established at Williamsgill, Temple Sowerby, near Penrith.

The original flock was beginning to see the fruits of a decade of selective breeding when it was taken during 2001's foot-and-mouth epidemic.

Jane, 24, has a passion for sheep which are involved in her work as a technical sales consultant specialising in animal breeding and genetics with national company Inovis.

And it was Jane, an honours graduate in animal science from Newcastle University, who persuaded her mum to re-start the flock in 2002.

Having it selected as top flock in the northern counties branch of the Suffolk Flock Book Society - against opposition from as far afield as Lincolnshire and the Scottish Borders - is the icing on the cake for the pair.

Jane said: "I gave mum an ultimatum. We have to get some more sheep or you have to find something else to do. She was getting boring!"

Glynis admits: "Through breeding and showing the sheep we had met such a lot of people up and down the country and it had become part of our social calendar."

Originally the flock was set up through interest from the Soulsby son, Thomas, who took on the job of milking the cows after leaving school.

He and Jane's elder brother, Peter, also works on the family farm.

The flock was re-established with 24 gimmer shearlings with top bloodlines from Robbie Wilson's Strathisla flock in Aberdeenshire.

That year the Strathisla flock went on to win the national Suffolk flock competition and achieved high averages at the Carlisle sale.

Last year when they were chosen as reserve top flock and their tup Williamsgill Wkd was judged the best stock ram. He made the flock's top price to date of 1,000gns. This year judge Helen Goldie placed Williamsgill top of the flocks from around a dozen entries. …

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