History of Breezy Ridge Farm

Breezy Ridge Farm was established in 1983 by Phil and Liz Smith with a small flock of 40 mixed breed ewes. The flock was gradually increased in size over the next few years. Then in 1990 we acquired our Rideau foundation ewes shortly after the release of the breed from the, Agricultural Research Centre near Ottawa, Canada, where the Rideau breed had been in development since the early 1960's. Our sons David and Nicholas work with us on the farm which is located near Lake Simcoe in southern Ontario, north of Toronto.

We are the largest registered purebred foundation breeder for the Rideau breed, maintaining 7 genetic family lines to prevent inbreeding. With the help of RFID technology and an advanced sheep production and traceability program called Ewe Byte.

We are involved in an ongoing breeding project that started in 2011 aimed at developing parasite resistance in the Rideau breed. We have been assisted in this with help from the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture’s sheep geneticist Delma Kennedy and the University of Guelph Animal Health Laboratory. DNA samples from our whole flock have been taken for future testing for the genetic markers for parasite resistance.

A year in the life of Breezy Ridge Farm