Les Morrison founded the Rosedale Romney stud in 1928 with the sole aim of breeding high production commercial sheep.
For 60 years Les managed the Rosedale Romney stud with the breeding objectives of an easy care lambing from a high fertility base, a solid deep carcass to typify the type of Romney he regarded as necessary for lamb growth and ewe flushing, and with a huge emphasis placed on wool style and type Les saw Rosedale Romneys twice win the coveted Golden Fleece of New Zealand.
Over those 60 years Les and son George saw the dual purpose role of the Romney swing between wool and meat as returns and breeding emphasis changed with economic conditions. Wool was bred onto the head, wool was bred off the head, and frozen meat exports to the ‘mother country’ from the Romney dominated New Zealand’s export trade.
Over that period Rosedale Romneys enjoyed a prominent exposure with hundreds of rams sold every year throughout New Zealand and regular exports of Stud Sires to Australia.
Through the 1980s the pre-eminence of the Romney in NZ was beginning to fade challenged by the performance of the new Perendale and Coopworth crosses. Don took over the Romney stud in 1990 and embarked on a breeding programme using the latest technologies of Sire Referencing and Objective Measurement to most accurately gauge the real genetic worth of an animal. Membership in the Southland Otago Romney Group was a huge step forward which allowed 14 member flocks to fast track the genetic gain they were achieving in their Studs. The Southland Otago Romney Group (which later became Alpha Sheep Genetics) became recognised as one of the leading group breeding schemes in New Zealand and was involved in many leading research initiatives.