[AgriLife Today] Top selling ram from Texas A&M AgriLife performance test headed to Utah

Top selling Texas A&M AgriLife Research-bred ram heads to Utah. Pictured left to right are Dr. Charles “Butch” Taylor, superintendent of the AgriLife Research Station at Sonora, Tracy Stamatakis, buyer from Price, Utah, and Jake Thorne, AgriLife Research farms manager, San Angelo. (Texas A&M AgriLife Communications photo by Steve Byrns)

By: Steve Byrns

Writer: Steve Byrns, 325-653-4576, s-byrns@tamu.edu

Contact: Dr. Dan Waldron, 325-653-4576, d-waldron@tamu.edu

SAN ANGELO – The top selling ram of the 2015-2016 Texas A&M AgriLife Ram Performance Test and Sale is headed to Utah, a test official said.

“The high selling ram was TAES 9107, a Texas A&M AgriLife Research-bred ram. The Rambouillet ram sold for $1,350 to Tracy Stamatakis of Price, Utah,” said Dr. Dan Waldron, AgriLife Research geneticist and the test’s coordinator at San Angelo.

Top selling Texas A&M AgriLife Research-bred ram heads to Utah. Pictured left to right are Dr. Charles “Butch” Taylor, superintendent of the AgriLife Research Station at Sonora, Tracy Stamatakis, buyer from Price, Utah, and Jake Thorne, AgriLife Research farms manager, San Angelo. (Texas A&M AgriLife Communications photo by Steve Byrns)
Top selling Texas A&M AgriLife Research-bred ram heads to Utah. Pictured left to right are Dr. Charles “Butch” Taylor, superintendent of the AgriLife Research Station at Sonora, Tracy Stamatakis, buyer from Price, Utah, and Jake Thorne, AgriLife Research farms manager, San Angelo. (Texas A&M AgriLife Communications photo by Steve Byrns)

The test’s high indexing ram was a commercial Rambouillet x Merino crossbred animal bred by AgriLife Research. It completed the test weighing 271 pounds and produced 11.4 pounds of clean wool. That ram sold for $1,000 to H.B. Edmondson of Ballinger.

The March 18 sale saw 10 rams sold at auction at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center at San Angelo. Sales receipts totaled $7,450 or $745 per head.

“Several high performing rams were offered for sale, however there were not as many rams offered with very fine fleeces as there were in the 2015 sale,” Waldron said. “Buyers were willing to pay more for rams with the finer higher valued fleeces as evidenced by the top four prices paid being for rams with fleeces finer than 20 microns. Two of those rams went to Utah. The remainder of the rams in the sale had fleeces in the 20 to 21 micron range.”

Waldron said the test’s main purpose is to identify and document superior rams to be used for flock improvement. Consequently, some of the five breeders with animals in the test retained many of the 57 rams completing this year’s test to improve their own flocks.

Besides Stamatakis who bought the two rams going to Utah and Edmondson, other buyers were Mark White of San Angelo, and the partnership of Rabel-Forbes of Kaycee, Wyoming.

Robbie Eckhoff, executive secretary of the American Rambouillet Sheep Breeders Association from Hawley, presented a certificate of merit to James Schunke of the Schunke Ranch at Goldthwaite, the breeder of the test’s top indexing registered ram. The certificate recognized that the animal met all the association’s performance requirements during the test and had the superior index value among all the registered rams. White was the ram’s buyer.

The ram test has been conducted by AgriLife Research since 1948, Waldron said.

For more information on the annual Ram Performance Test, pictures of the top indexing and selling animals and a complete listing of test and sale results, go to: http://sanangelo.tamu.edu and click on the “performance tests” link.

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