The Iowa State University Sheep Teaching Farm recently sold several Hampshire rams through two different National Sheep Improvement Program sales events. The National Sheep Improvement Program (NSIP), launched at Iowa State University in the 1980’s, provides important genetic information to producers in the form of estimated breeding values (EBVs) for a multitude of traits. Sheep producers use EBVs to make educated breeding decisions that help create a more consistent product and more profitable industry.
The ISU Hampshire flock, believed to be the oldest continuously-operated Hampshire flock west of the Mississippi River, has been enrolled in NSIP for many years. The ISU Sheep Teaching Farm prides itself in having some of the highest indexing rams in the program and raising sheep that positively impact the commercial sheep industry. The rams consigned by the farm were classified as terminal sires that are valued most for their growth and carcass characteristics.
This year the ISU Sheep Teaching Farm sold one ram in the NSIP online sale and four others at the in-person Center of the Nation NSIP sale in Spencer, Iowa, with each ram averaging over $1,000.
The online consignment for ISU was the top selling Hampshire ram who sold for $1,400 and is going to a flock in Kansas. Several of the rams were in the top 15% for the breed for growth traits and top 20% for the carcass plus trait. We are grateful for the support of the buyers, as well as the NSIP program, for supplying a database and platform, through which we can sell sheep and make a positive genetic contribution to the industry.