AgriLife Extension’s new state sheep and goat specialist on program
Writer: Steve Byrns 325-653-4576, email@example.com
Contact: Dr. Dan Waldron, 325-653-4576, firstname.lastname@example.org
SAN ANGELO – The annual Ram Performance Test Field Day and Sale, conducted by Texas A&M AgriLife Research and the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service has been set for March 18 at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center at San Angelo.
The center is located on U.S. Highway 87, just north of San Angelo.
Dr. Dan Waldron, AgriLife Research geneticist at San Angelo and the test’s coordinator, said the purpose of the test remains the same, with the Rambouillet rams offered during the afternoon auction tested and ready to make a positive genetic influence on ewes managed by breeders working to improve their flocks.
“Another highlight will be the first official presentation by Dr. Reid Redden in his new role as the new AgriLife Extension state sheep and goat specialist headquartered at San Angelo,” Waldron said.
Redden will present ‘Genetic Improvement for the 21st Century Sheep Industry’ during the event’s educational sessions.
“Though Dr. Redden will not be in place until June, he is already becoming active in this key industry role that was formerly held by Dr. Frank Craddock, who retired last August,” Waldron said.
Waldron said the rams on the performance test are the product of many generations of animals selected for growth rate and fleece value.
“The breeders involved with this program continue to concentrate on genetic improvement for the long term and consequently, have built uniform flocks with predictable performance,” he said. “This program and subsequent sale offers sheep producers an increasingly rare opportunity to purchase the progress of generations of carefully selected genetics as evidenced in the rams being offered at the March 18 sale.”
The day’s events start with an informal morning inspection of the Rambouillet rams and their performance test data from 10-10:30 a.m., the educational program from 10:30 a.m.-noon, then lunch at noon and the auction of eligible rams at 1:30 p.m.
Program topics and presenters joining Redden will include:
— Wool Industry Issues for 2015, Dr. Ronald Pope, manager, Producers’ Marketing Cooperative Inc., Mertzon and AgriLife Research scientist and head of the Bill Sims Wool and Mohair Research Laboratory at San Angelo.
– FiberLux-New Instrument for Fiber Diameter Measurement, Dr. John Walker, AgriLife Research resident director of research at San Angelo and Pope.
–Update from the American Rambouillet Sheep Breeders Association, Robbie Eckhoff, executive secretary, Hawley.
— Comments on the 2014/2015 Ram Test by Waldron and Faron Pfeiffer, AgriLife Research associate, San Angelo.
The educational portion will close with Eckhoff awarding certified ram certificates to the owners of the qualifying rams. All rams offered in the sale will have met the test’s performance standards and passed inspection by a committee of breeders, Waldron said.
The floor price for animals consigned to this year’s sale is $500 per head. To learn more about the test and the status of this year’s test animals go to http://sanangelo.tamu.edu/performance-tests/ram-performance-test .
For further information, contact Waldron at 325-653-4576.