Virginia Tech Sheep Center Production Sale
Held in early September, the VT Sheep Center Production Sale features the registered Suffolk and Dorset flocks that are utilized heavily in the teaching, research, and outreach missions of the School of Animal Sciences. These flocks have been selected for sheep that excel in the traits that have made the breeds popular, while working in forage-based production systems.
For the Suffolk flock this includes growth and carcass merit, along with moderate mature size, maternal performance, longevity, structural correctness and eye appeal, genetic resistance to scrapie, and spider-free genotype are also important criteria.
The Dorsets are maintained as primarily a fall-lambing flock, with emphasis on early growth and carcass, maternal ability, and moderate mature size. Extensive performance records, as well as selection technologies such as EPDs and DNA genotypes, are used in the selection decisions for both flocks. In recent years, an effort has been made to document genetic differences in FEC through the use of NSIP. A complete flock health program is provided in cooperation with the VA-MD Regional College of Veterinary Medicine.