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Southwest Agricultural Research and Extension Center Ram Test

Southwest Agricultural Research and Extension Center with sheep grazing on green grass beneath a blue sky dotted with fluffy white clouds.

Virginia Tech's Southwest Ag Research and Extension Center Ram Test was initiated in 2012, and is the only program in the U.S. evaluating rams through a forage-based performance test designed specifically to evaluate post-weaning growth and parasite resistance. The test provides a mechanism for which ram lambs can be evaluated among rams from other flocks in a common environment, with the top end of the rams offered for sale at the conclusion of the program. Since inception, the program has had strong participation from breeders across the country, as well as sent rams to multiple states through the sale. This program is unique and created much interest across the industry.

The program purpose is:

  1. To provide a standardized post-weaning performance evaluation of growth and parasite resistance that will furnish records which will be useful to the consignor's breeding program.
  2. To serve as an educational tool for the sheep industry.

The 2023 Virginia Tech Southwest AREC Ram Test Annual Field Day and Ram Sale will be held Friday, September 22, 2023.  

  • Nominations Due: May 1, 2023
  • Delivery: May 30, 2023

Click on flyer for PDF version.

Screenshot image of the 2023 SW AREC Ram Sale - Details on attached PDF.

2023 SWAREC Consignment Packet contains:

2023 SWAREC Ram Test Dates

 Nomination Deadline  May 1
 Ram Delivery  Tuesday, May 30
 Acclimation Period (3 weeks)       May 31 - June 20
 Start Test  June 20
 14- day Interim Date  July 4
 28- day Interim Date  July 18
 42- day Interim Date  August 1
 56- day Interim Date  August 15
 Off-test (70 days)  August 29
 Sale & Field Day   Friday, September 22

Go to PDF - 2023 Sale Catalog or click image below.

Video Field Day Topics:

  • Selection for Parasite Resistance in Katahdin Sheep- Dr. Andrew Weaver, Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist, Small Ruminants, North Carolina State University
  • Southwest AREC Ram Test Program 2012-2019: What We’ve Learned- Dr. Scott Greiner, Professor and Extension Specialist, Virginia Tech
  • Utilizing NSIP and EBV’s in Your Production System-  Lee Wright, Senior Research Associate/Superintendent, VA Tech Southwest AREC
  • Update on Available Assistance from VSU Small Farm Outreach Programs for Southwest VA- Mandy Fletcher, Small Farm Outreach Program/Agriculture Agent, Virginia State Univ.


SWAREC Ram Test Contacts



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