Innovative Tasmanian farmer Ivan Heazlewood has spent a lifetime breeding and showing rare sheep, including introducing a lost breed back to the United States.

Story By Andrew Bain

Age has never been a barrier to Ivan Heazlewood. At the age of 15, he ditched school for life on the farm. At 65, he played a prominent role in reintroducing a rare sheep breed into the United States. Nearing 70, he began to author books. Now approaching 90, the farmer from Whitemore, in northern Tasmania, is still not quite ready to retire.
“Well, I maintain that I haven’t retired,” Ivan says. “Age is starting to catch up with me, but I need every day to get out there. I’ve got a four-wheel motorbike, and I take my dogs and I shift sheep. I can ride around and I can criticise – that’s appreciated very much – and they give me the job of preparing the show sheep.”
The sheep couldn’t be in better hands. In January, Ivan was made a member of the Order of Australia for significant service to primary industry, particularly sheep breeding, showing and judging. It was recognition of a lifetime as a champion of rare-breed sheep.

This story excerpt is from Issue #94

Outback Magazine: Apr/May 2014