"Tarrangower" property owners and fine merino wool producers Dave and Angie Waters have won, three times a highly competitive wool growers competition.
The international recognition given to this Armidale region via the award, make us all proud.
Dave and Angie are excited about following in their families footsteps. Dave commented that, "Many farmers swop and change their farming direction based on the movement of the market."
"We made a decision to stick with a plan and follow on with superfine wool even though the conditions and market have been very tough". They were chosen to attend the International Wool Textile Organisation conference in 2017, all expenses paid, to talk about how we do produce our wool.
Angie said "I think we were chosen because we are younger farmers and the New England tablelands has a reputation for beautiful merino wool."
Again in 2019 "Tarrangower" Angie and Dave Waters have won three first prizes in Ermenegilda Zegna prestigious Italian wool competition.
In 2019 prizes included $12,500, a beautiful bolt of their own superfine wool, and three custommade bespoke garments.
The EZWT has been held since 1963 to encourage wool growers to produce higher quality of wool this celebrates the importance of wool and in this case our wool. Zegna website says "that it holds competitions to encourage Australian wool growers".
"To celebrate the importance of wool and to incentivise wool producers to evolve the fineness and excellence of this fibre,"
Angie and Dave greatgrandfathers Robert Waters and RossTully who established merino programs (on their separate farms that were connected), through friendships and this has resulted in 100 years of superfine merino breeding.
The current drought conditions Angie said "We can't sell sheep because of the drought we have to try and keep them" as "we can't replace our Merino genetics".
Dave Waters mentions that in 2019 there has been a less than average fall having received 850 mil per annum in 2018. But worst still "they received a total of 700 mil and for this year a meager 90 mil of rain."
The merinos are shorn in early September and get great results by "three wool classes in the shed." Dave Waters, Angie's father, and Angie are all wool classers looking for that 'special fleece'.
Dave commented that "It is a fallacy that commercial sheep cannot do their job in the paddock"; in other words, they don't need to be placed in sheds.
"We only employ one shearer. Aaron Hatcher is in his mid-thirties, and has been the only shearer in the shed for the last nine years. We can control the speed and practices in the shed, providing a quality job."