Kangaroo Island sheep farmer Talisa McArdle is featured on a double-page spread in this year's Adelaide Show magazine.
The article is about her own young family and her Taljade Polwarth Stud, as well as the historic connection of the McArdle family to the Island.
The McArdles just returned victorious from the Australian Sheep & Wool Show in Bendigo where the family Taljar Stud again took home the Champion Ewe ribbon.
They are now ready to pack up the sheep again and catch the ferry to the Adelaide Show.
The Polwarth Sheep Judging is 1pm on Friday, August 30 at the Sheep and Wool Pavilion.
Talisa and her family are happy with the coverage in the Adelaide Show magazine and looking forward to the show.
The Adelaide Show magazine is available at the supermarkets at Kingscote and Penneshaw on Kangaroo Island.
See the rest of the magazine at http://theshow.smedia.com.au/catalogue
Islanders who want tickets to the show can head to: www.theshow.com.au/tickets
Here is the article as it appears in this year's Show magazine:
SHOW DEBUT FOR POLWARTH BREEDER
The 2019 Royal Adelaide Show is shaping up to be a busy one for Kangaroo Island sheep farmer Talisa McArdle. Not only will she have her two young sons in tow, three-month-old Leo and two-year-old Toby, she'll be wrangling half a dozen of her prized Polwarth ewes and rams for the sheep competition.
"Though I have exhibited sheep at the Royal Adelaide Show before with my dad, David, who runs Taljar Polwarth Stud, this is the first time I have exhibited under my Taljade Polwarth Stud name, so it's very exciting," she said.
Talisa and her partner, Jock Kerr, run 150 stud ewes on their 120-acre property in the Haines district of Kangaroo Island, halfway between Kingscote and American River.
They also run a commercial flock of Polwarth ewes, half of them mated to first-cross White Suffolks, on a nearby 1,000-acre property which they lease, and also help Talisa's dad out on his farm.
The McArdle family has a long association with Polwarth sheep and
Kangaroo Island in general. Talisa's grandfather, Vincent McArdle, was one of the many 'soldier settlers' who arrived on Kangaroo Island after World War Two, and he went on to establish a Polwarth flock in the 1950s.
A dual-purpose breed, Talisa says Polwarth are an easy-care sheep and a true all-rounder.
"They are a high-yielding sheep that produce lots of bright, white wool - around five kilograms per animal," she said.
"They are also very fertile and make great mothers and produce quality prime lamb with excellent growth rates."
In the show-ring, Talisa says judges consider both the handling and quality of the wool, along with the structure and carcase of the animal.
"Basically, they're looking for a correct, large wide-style animal."
Talisa has been attending the Royal Adelaide Show regularly since 2001, helping her father tend and exhibit his sheep and enjoying the delights of the Show.
"Dad has won Reserve Longwool in Interbreed numerous times at the Show with both ewes and rams, but the highlight would be when Taljar won the Champion Longwool Ram in the Interbreed section with the ram, RAY, in 2017."
Of course, living on Kangaroo Island means a visit to the Show takes a considerable amount of logistical effort.
"Living on an island, you get used to it," Talisa said. "We will probably head over a few days before the Show starts just in case there are any issues with the ferry, as the weather can be quite rough at that time of year."
Talisa says this year's Show will be extra special - not only because she's exhibiting her first Taljade Polwarths during a feature breed year, but because baby Leo will get to attend his first Show.
"We love visiting the Showbag Pavilion and having a look around the animal sections, particularly the dogs and cats. The Show has a good, fun atmosphere and we look forward to our annual catch-up with other sheep breeders. The sheep shed is like a big happy family."