The NAWSA is very excited to announce that we are sanctioning work on a very specific and special project. ‘The Moorit Project’ established by Dr.Nancy Irlbeck and with the support of the NAWSA, will be working with the cutting-edge minds in genetic research to support the work she has done with her flock of upgraded Wensleydales and seeking Moorit genetics. This pilot project will be using new breakthroughs in testing for Moorit genetics in sheep developed by Dr. Chris Posbergh.
Dr.Nancy Irlbeck who is a Clinical Associate Professor Department of Animal Sciences at Washington State University has been involved with the NAWSA over the last several decades. Dr. Irlbeck has provided the NAWSA with specific and detailed information on the NAWSA animals that she has been working with, and has satisfied the Board that her well-kept records, integrity, expertise, and dedication to this project is worthy of our support and encouragement. This is a unique and experimental project that has defined parameters and protocols. Nancy will be proceeding in her work and reporting to the BOD periodically and will be in complete control of this project. She is familiar with the NAWSA upgrading guidelines and breed standards and will be setting the short- and long-term goals and procedures along with regular reports to the Board.
The ‘Moorit Project’ will have its own separate registry and papers under the NAWSA umbrella. Each animal will have data indicating if they express Moorit coloration, if they are known carriers of Moorit genetics, or if it is unknown if they have the recessive Moorit genetics. For the time being, animals in this registry will NOT be registered in the regular NAWSA registry and will not be able to be bred outside the confines of the Moorit project to produce registered NAWSA animals.
Note: if it is determined that the Moorit coloration is found in UK registered animals, and has been introduced here in the states by the utilization of purebred UK Wensleydale semen, there is a good possibility that they will eventually be moved into the regular NAWSA registry.Dr. Irlbeck will be overseeing the breeding within the Moorit Project, and she alone will approve any and all breedings. Other breeders are encouraged to contact Dr. Irlbeck to discuss the possibility of purchasing animals and working with her to have their own flock. Transfer of registration within the Moorit Project animals will be handled like any other NAWSA transfer with the additional condition that Dr. Irlbeck approve of each transfer. As with all NAWSA animals, they may be sold without papers, and serve productive lives as grade animals and will NOT be allowed back into the registry.
Only Dr. Irlbeck (or if she is unavailable, the NAWSA Board of Directors will temporarily step in) will set the specific guidelines for breeding and registration of these Moorit Wensleydales. This is NOT an open program, although it is available to NAWSA member shepherds who would like to work under Dr. Irelbecks complete supervision.
The breeding protocols, testing of animals, and criteria that lambs must meet will be set by Dr. Irlbeck with the approval and backing of the BOD and must be completely adhered to for any offspring to be included in the Morrit Project.