“Good, better, best, you should never rest, until your good gets better and your better gets best,” writes Ronan Lally.
This statement is very true and rings loud in the sheep circles around Ireland as the Zwartbles Sheep Breeders of Ireland proudly emerge as a united and strong organisation to take its rightful place amongst pedigree and commercial domains on the island of Ireland.
The newly formed ‘ZSBI’ has by no means formed by either coincidence or divine intervention, there was rigorous motivation by the two previous Zwartbles groups to make this happen, and the maturity that prevailed in the many meetings paved the way forward for the all-inclusive society.
Similar to most societies, cultural norms had been set in place in the previous Zwartbles groups, and of course, there were differences of opinions and poker played on both sides in the immediate conversations, but it was not dissimilarity that stood out.
It was the commonality of both sets of societies that was obvious and couldn’t be ignored. It was indeed that itch that kept both groups coming back to the table often week on week, and the best in everyone came out, and people’s strengths came to the fore.
The writing was on the wall, and like in many new relationships finding their way, our status was changed, and of course, ‘the WhatsApp group’ brought us even closer.
Roll on some months later and colossal efforts in between, a new logo, a new name, a new committee, a new start.
It cannot be underestimated the dedication and time undertaken by the many individuals to bring ZSBI to such a professional level.
Great thought has gone into every detail with a strong emphasis on the breed and the breeders.
Strong procedures are in place to eradicate the mistakes of the past, and a clever committee structure enables subcommittees to work on particular areas of the organisation.
The breed standard is critical, and a new flock book which will be hosted by Sheep Ireland, will help ensure a quality breeding program for breeders with the option of joining the Lamb Plus programme too.
Correctness, quality and high standards are the new ZSBI mantra as this new voyage sets out to encompass all the outstanding characteristics of a dynamic and vibrant sheep that is quickly becoming the sheep of choice.
Business is closing to a halt for the old societies, shows and sales are being ticked off the calendar, and both entities, as we remember them, have been formally wound down.
As breeders turn their attention to the few shows left and, more importantly, seeking suitable rams for the start of their breeding season, the ZSBI committee are busy in the background preparing to launch their new society.
It is exciting times for the Zwartbles breeders in Ireland, the opportunities are vast, and this proven breed is taking its place as a serious contender that ticks all the boxes:
- Incredible maternal traits;
- Exceptionally hardy at birth;
- Very quick growth rate.
ZSBI are looking forward to the road ahead, and it is with the enthusiasm they embark with a significant membership base, forward-thinking committee and dedication to quality.
The National Ploughing Championship will see the official launch of the ‘ZSBI’ in the sheep tent, and all are invited to attend the stand to celebrate the first step in the journey.
To summarise this article, it is important to revisit the quote at the top. ZSBI has made a clear commitment to improving all things that encapsulate this breed until its good gets better, and it’s better gets best.
Other articles on That’s Farming: