History Pg 1 of 8

THE EARLY YEARS OF TEXELS IN CANADA


Authors Gordon and Reta Young- Thorndale, Ontario, Canada.

My earliest recollection of Texels was in the late 1960's when I stumbled onto an article in a British faun journal. It was a report on feeding grass silage and the Texels stood out from the other breeds that were involved. Over the next few years of doing literature searches I became convinced that Texels deserved a place in the Canadian sheep industry. In the early 1970's I approached Agriculture Canada about the possibilities of importing live Texels From Europe. They didn't laugh but they made it very clear that it could never happen.

Sometime in the early 1970's I met Dr. David Armstrong who had recently returned to Canada from Harvard University. David grew up in Eastern Ontario on a dairy farm and had excelled in his academic education and joined Harvard University research organization at a very young age. Over a period of 13 years he went on to a very distinguished career on the world stage. His return to Canada was driven by an offer of a senior position at Western University (U.W.O.) to establish a world class medical research program U.W.O. did not have a large animal research facilities and I arranged for David to use our farm and sheep flock for experimentation. This project expanded during the 70's and David joined the faculty at the University of Adelaide in Australia on a half time basis. This allowed him to carry on research in natural breeding seasons in both the northern and southern hemispheres. We also had daily contact with developments in sheep breeding from Australia. David applied for and received a huge research grant from the Medical Research Council of Canada and this meant his staff would grow and he would need expanded research facilities.


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