The Ile de France Breeding Society of South Africa is pleased to announce the appointment of Stefan Conradie as its new chairman.
“The roots of the Ile de France breed in South Africa can be traced back to as early as 1903 but the first commercial ewes were imported in 1972 by private breeders. The Ile de France breeders Society was established in 1980,” says Stefan Conradie, chairman of the Ile de France Breeding Society in South Africa. He started his stud (Walcon Ile de France) in 2017.
He grew up on a fruit farm in Ceres in the Western Cape. Studied Agricultural Economics at the University of Stellenbosch and did an MBA at the Stellenbosch University Business School. Stefan worked in fruit exports for most of his working career and he is now a full-time sheep farmer in Wellington and married with three kids.
His father had an Ile de France stud in the 1980’s so he grew up with the breed. “My interest, passion, and love for the breed developed during these forming years. Apart from being a beautiful sheep it also boasts a lot of qualities that make farming with it, economically viable.”
Key features of the breeders society according to Stefan:
- Smooth bodied sheep
- Has unique carcass and meat qualities
- Offers outstanding growth rates
- High fertility
- Good mothering abilities
- Can lamb out of season as well as lamb three times in a two-year cycle, in other words, every 8 months
- A yearly wean percentage of up to 220% can be achieved by using this system
- It is also well adapted to diverse farming conditions and can fit into intensive and extensive farming systems
Stefan and the breeders society vision for the future:
- To create a family environment where all Ile de France breeders feel welcome and valued.
- To steadily grow the breed in terms of breeders as well as stud and commercial numbers on the ground with a focus on the continuous improvement of the quality of animals presented to buyers on Ile de France auctions.
- To grow the awareness and knowledge of commercial sheep farmers about the unique qualities of the breed and how especially the cross-breeding abilities of Ile de France can benefit them economically.
The Ile de France breeders society appointed a dedicated marketing agency to market, support, and cover all of our events in the form of auctions, exhibitions, and shows, and to help build awareness and knowledge about the breed that will support the development and growth.
The Ile de France breeders’ society has a strong strategic drive to target commercial farmers through:
- Growing and improving the quality, numbers, and information of our commercial offering on auctions
- Using social media platforms and events to introduce commercial farmers to the unique qualities of the Ile de France breed
- Live broadcasting of our events on various Facebook pages
- Availability of online buying platforms at all auctions under the protection of the Ile de France breeders Society
- Placing adverts in popular agri-magazines that reach large numbers of commercial breeders
Potential new members can visit their website (www.iledefrance.co.za) for more information on the breed and how to become part of the breeders’ society.
New breeders can also get in contact with the council members or current breeders for more information. Aspiring new breeders can get in contact with their secretary, June Wiid at firstname.lastname@example.org or 051–410-0953, who will guide them through all the necessary steps to become a member.