Make Plans for Texas Sheep & Goat ExpoSTEVE BYRNS
Texas A&M AgriLife
Even after 70 years the annual Texas A&M AgriLife Ram Performance Test is not averse to change, organizers said.
Instead of the traditional field day and sale of some of the top Rambouillet rams that successfully completed the test, breeders this year opted to join the 2017 Texas Sheep and Goat Expo, a statewide industry event now in its third year.
The expo, conducted by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, Texas A&M AgriLife Research and a number of industry partners, will be Aug. 18-19 in the Spur Arena on the San Angelo (Texas) Fairgrounds, 4722 Grape Creek Road.
Dr. Dan Waldron, AgriLife Research geneticist at San Angelo and the test coordinator, said the sale of the performance test rams will serve as the expo’s grand finale, beginning at 2 p.m. on Aug. 19.
“The Rambouillet ram breeders with animals in the ram test decided to offer some of their rams for sale at a new sale to be held at the popular Texas Sheep and Goat Expo,” Waldron said. “The animals being offered represent the high end of the rams completing the test, so numbers are limited.”
Because there aren’t enough rams available for two sales, he said the traditional field day and sale of performance-tested rams will not be held in 2017.
“The ram test cooperators have selected sheep based on performance records for years,” Waldron said.
The improvement in growth rate and wool production have been documented and the information is available online at: SanAngelo.tamu.edu/performance-tests/ram/.
“We are confident that this change in the sale will expose a different group of sheep producers to the progress these breeders have made in selecting sheep with predictable performance,” Waldron said.
He said all the rams offered in the sale will have met the test’s performance standards and passed inspection by a breeders committee. The sale floor price has been set at $500 per head.
Expo & Field DayThe statewide Texas Sheep and Goat Expo is one of the largest sheep and goat programs in the world according to organizer Marvin Ensor with Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service.
In its third year, the Expo is preceded by the 44th annual Sheep and Goat Field Day in the morning of Aug. 18. The Expo kicks off officially after lunch that day and runs through Aug. 19.
Registration for the Expo is $40 for adults and $15 for kids (per day) before Aug. 15. Late registration is $60 for adults. To register, visit AgriLife.org/westresults/registration. There is no charge to attend the Field Day activities.
Youth Component at Texas ExpoFor the first time in its three-year history, the Texas Sheep and Goat Expo has added a program specifically for kids of all ages.
Participants will receive hands-on training with sheep before competing in a Sheep Skillathon contest. The contest will include questions, skill stations and public speaking and divide contestants into three age groups.