Ram Performance Test Field Day and Sale set for March 15
The annual Ram Performance Test Field Day and Sale conducted by Texas A&M AgriLife Research and the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service is set March 15 at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center at San Angelo.
The center is located on U.S. Highway 87 north of San Angelo.
This is the first year the test has been conducted at San Angelo. Since its inception in 1947, the test has been conducted at the AgriLife Research Station at Sonora, said Dan Waldron, AgriLife Research geneticist at San Angelo and test coordinator. He added that the rams appear to have taken the move in stride.
"The move to San Angelo from Sonora has worked out well for the Texas A&M ram test," Waldron said. "The rams have gained better than average this year. The average final weight of the rams completing the test was 262 pounds prior to shearing, with an average daily gain of almost a pound a day over the course of the 140-day test. Many of the breeders that have tested rams at Sonora are also participating now at San Angelo.
"The rams on test this year represent the accumulation of genetic improvement these breeders have made over several sheep generations."
The day's events start with an informal morning inspection of the Rambouillet rams and their performance test data from 10 a.m.-10:30 a.m. An educational program is set for 10:30 a.m., followed by lunch at 11:30 a.m. and the auction of eligible rams at 12:30 a.m.
Program topics will include wool industry issues for 2013, Ronald Pope, manager, Producers' Marketing Cooperative, Incorporated, Mertzon; Recent Changes and Future Prospects for the American Rambouillet Sheep Breeders Association, Robbie Eckhoff, executive secretary, Hawley, and comments on the 2012/2013 ram test by Waldron, and Faron Pfeiffer, AgriLife Research, San Angelo.
The afternoon program will be directed by Frank Craddock, AgriLife Extension state sheep and goat specialist at San Angelo.
Eckhoff will award the certified ram certificates to the owners of the qualifying rams.
All rams must have a test index of 100 or above to be eligible for the sale, Waldron said. The animals must also meet all minimum and maximum criteria and pass a breed standards committee's evaluation.
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 see http://sanangelo.tamu.edu/performance-tests/ram-performance-test.
For further information, contact Waldron or Craddock at 325-653-4576.