Writer: Steve Byrns, 325-653-4576, email@example.com
Contacts: Dr. Dan Waldron, 325-653-4576, firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Reid Redden, 325-653-4576, email@example.com
SAN ANGELO – The 2016-2017 annual Ram Performance Test conducted by Texas A&M will begin Sept. 12 with delivery of the Rambouillet rams to the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center, north of San Angelo on U.S. Highway 87.
Dr. Dan Waldron, Texas A&M AgriLife Research geneticist and the test’s coordinator, and Dr. Reid Redden, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service state sheep and goat specialist, both at San Angelo, will host a meeting for ram test consignors and other seedstock breeders at 1:30 p.m. the same day and location.
Redden said the group will discuss the future of genetic improvement in the Texas ewe flock.
“This discussion will address the value of the ram test and other tools that seedstock breeders can use to improve the genetic potential of their sheep,” Redden said.
“This test, conducted since 1948, has been instrumental in helping breeders identify and select for large-framed, fast growing, heavy-fleeced rams with excellent fleece quality,” he said. “But now, to keep abreast of the changing industry, other strategies are available to track traits that can’t be measured in the current ram test environment. These traits include ewe production, parasite resistance and lamb survival.”
Waldron said the field day and sale of the top performance tested rams is scheduled for March 17 at the center.
Other important dates associated with the ram test are:
– Sept. 27, initial shearing.
– Sept. 28, initial weigh-in.
– Nov. 16 and Jan. 4, weight-check days.
– Feb. 15, final weighing.
– Feb. 16, final shearing.
Waldron said an initial fee of $375 per ram will be required and is expected to cover the costs associated with the test. Payment must be received on or before Sept. 12.
Complete information as it becomes available on the test animals will be posted at http://sanangelo.tamu.edu.