Approximately 15 to 20 rams consisting of Dorper, Katahdin and Rambouillet will be offered. The rams available all have National Sheep Improvement Program estimated breeding values, EBVs, for a variety of economically important traits such as growth, parasite resistance, prolificacy and wool quality.
“Estimated breeding values are the most useful tool available to sheep producers for making genetic selection decisions,” said Jake Thorne, AgriLife Extension sheep and goat program specialist, San Angelo. “We strongly encourage buyers with interest in this information to study the rams being offered in this sale because there are some bucks with really impressive information. Not every ram is right for everybody, but the EBVs allow us to better realize that, instead of being left in the dark about the true genetic value of these sheep if they didn’t have the data.”
This annual sale is an opportunity for producers to purchase sheep that fit their production scheme, based on the genetic information available. The data is front and center for potential buyers to view and use to make purchasing decisions.
“The scientific literature has clearly shown that this technology can be of great benefit to improving the genetic potential of sheep and goats,” said Reid Redden, Ph.D., AgriLife Extension sheep and goat specialist and Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center director, San Angelo. “To aid in the adoption of this technology, Texas A&M AgriLife personnel in San Angelo are actively conducting research and providing educational guidance to best utilize EBVs. Details of this work will be addressed during the Texas A&M Sheep and Goat Field Day.”
The Sheep and Goat Field Day will be held ahead of the Expo from 7:30-11:30 a.m. on Aug. 20 at the Texas A&M AgriLife center at 7887 U.S. Highway 87 N. in San Angelo.
This sale is strictly online this year and the format of the sale is “racehorse” style. Thorne said those unfamiliar with this format or wanting more information should visit the auction website in advance of the sale.
“We also strongly encourage potential buyers to register for a bidder’s number ahead of time, especially if they are new to online livestock auctions,” he said.
“The online format worked really well for us last year as it allowed for buyers to bid on sheep even if they weren’t able to join us in person in San Angelo. We sold rams all over the U.S., but importantly many of the top bucks went to producers right here in Texas.”