THE WA Merino industry lost a favourite son and friend of many, with the recent passing of James (Jim) Herbert Toll on March 7, 2022, aged 72 years.
Jim Toll, along with wife Di, were handed the reins as studmaster and manager of the famous Jaloran Merino stud from Jim's parents Mr and Mrs Herbert Toll in 1976.
From that point on, the Jim and Di partnership guided the Jaloran stud on a similar path as Herbert Toll had managed the breeding of the Jaloran Merino, first set-up by his father PJ Toll, who founded the flock in 1917.
The difference from most Merino genetics in WA, was Jaloran had a very strong Peppin background with the introduction of Wanganella and Haddon Rig ewes and rams, and in later years, Collinsville became the preferred bloodline.
In 1978 Jaloran won the supreme Merino exhibit at Wagin Woolorama with a ram from the second drop of progeny by Brockham Bucket, a sire bought in 1976 for a WA record price.
Jaloran repeated its supreme success at Woolorama in 1980, 1989 and 1990, with that ram selling at the Katanning Stud 4-tooth ram sale for $10,000 to Yardup stud, Borden.
Another sale success occurred years earlier in 1978, when Jaloran sold a ram to the acclaimed Collinsville stud, Burra, South Australia, for $28,000.
Two years later, in 1980, Jaloran purchased a ram from Collinsville for a world record price at the time of $50,000.
Jaloran was one of very few studs in WA to sell 300 rams on-property under auction annually, the average price achieved became regarded as a benchmark for the value of flock rams in the State and buyers came from all points of WA to secure both flock rams and stud sires.
A highlight of the stud Merino season was the Jaloran field day which attracted sheep breeders from far and wide, and the hospitality of the Tolls was legendary.
Jim Toll was highly recognised for his achievements commercially and as a skilled breeder of Merino sheep across Australia, judging Merinos at major shows in New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia, often keeping a very astute eye out for potential new sires.
Over his life he established recognition for his achievement in the stud Merino industry as an astute breeder of rams, which consistently produced high quality wool on a good, average body size.
The Merino industry lost a very special contributor to sheep breeding when in 2004, 100 years after the property was taken-up in 1904, Jim and Di sold the Jaloran stud, retiring to Perth with sons Peter and John.
A private funeral will be held in accordance with the family's wishes, with a memorial service to be held after COVID-19 restrictions are lifted.
Acknowledgement to friend and colleague Robert (Bert) Hamersley for his significant contribution to this article.
Want weekly news highlights delivered to your inbox? Sign up to the Farm Weekly newsletter.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.