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Sheep Update

Livestock Update, May 2005

Dr. Scott Greiner Extension Animal Scientist, Sheep, VA Tech

Eastern Stud Ram Show and Sale Scheduled for June 10-11
The 2005 Eastern Stud Ram Show and Sale will be held at the Augusta Expoland near Staunton on June 10 and 11. This annual event draws breeders from Virginia and across the United States. The show will be held on Friday, June 10 beginning at 8:00 a.m. The show order is as follows: Hampshires, Southdowns, Dorsets, Suffolks, Wether Sires and Dams, and club lambs. The sale begins at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, June 11. Sale order will be the same as show order. Yearling rams and ewes (born 9/1/03 to 8/31/04) of each breed will sell, as well as fall-born ram and ewe lambs (born 9/1/04 to 12/31/04) and spring-born ram and ewe lambs (born 1/1/05 and after). For more information, contact the Virginia Sheep Producers Association, phone 540-231-9163.

Results of Lamb Checkoff Program Referendum Announced
The United States Department of Agriculture announced in early April that the referendum conducted regarding the continuation of the Lamb Promotion, Research, and Information Order had passed. Lamb producers, feeders, seedstock producers and first handlers of lamb and lamb products participated in the national referendum in early 2005.

Of the 3490 valid ballots cast nationally, 2807 (80%) voted for continuation of the program, while 683 (20%) opposed. Additionally, of those persons who cast valid ballots in the referendum, those who favored the continuing of the program accounted for 84 percent of the total production voted, and those opposed accounted for 16 percent of the total production voted. Virginia individuals voted in favor of continuation of the lamb checkoff by a 48 to 9 margin. The Virginia production vote was 5389 to 1039 in support of the program.

For the lamb checkoff program to continue, it must have been approved by at least a majority of those persons voting for approval who were engaged in the production, feeding or slaughter of lambs during calendar year 2004 and who also represent a majority of the volume of lambs produced, fed or slaughtered.

The goal of the program is to strengthen the position of, and to develop and expand the markets for sheep and sheep products. Under the program, producers, feeders and exporters are required to pay an assessment of one-half cent ($.005) per pound when live sheep are sold. The first handler, primarily packers, will pay an additional 30 cents per head on sheep purchased for slaughter. Source: ASI

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