Texas A&M AgriLife will present sheep and goat programs Aug. 17-18

The Texas A&M AgriLife agencies are putting the finishing touches on two major sheep and goat programs in San Angelo, both tailored to all segments of the production side of the industry, organizers said.

The 45th annual Sheep and Goat Field Day will be from 8 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Aug. 17 at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center on U.S. Highway 87 north of San Angelo.

The Texas Sheep and Goat Expo will headquarter in the 1st Community Federal Credit Union Spur Arena, 4722 Grape Creek Road, located on the San Angelo Fairgrounds. The expo starts immediately following the field day and will run from noon to 8:30 p.m. Aug. 17 and from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Aug. 18.

The field day will showcase work being conducted at the center, said John Walker, Texas A&M AgriLife Research center director. Presentations will include animal evaluation using records, livestock guardian dog technologies and measuring wool yield and fiber diameter with near-infrared spectroscopy.

“We will also offer a hands-on fleece judging contest for those who want to show their skill at selecting outstanding fleeces. It’s meant to be a fun, though thought-provoking and informative, activity,” Walker said.

Following the field day, activities will move to the 1st Community Federal Credit Union Spur Arena for a noon meal and the start of the Texas Sheep and Goat Expo.

Robert Pritz, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service regional program director at San Angelo, said the expo is his agency’s premier sheep and goat educational event for the entire state, and credits the active planning committee comprised of agency personnel and producers for its continued success.

“A main goal for the expo is to always present new material, and even after four years of conducting this major event, the committee never fails to deliver on that promise,” Pritz said.

“New this year, among other things, will be some twists on the topics of predator control and internal parasite management, two of the top limiting factors that have long faced the industry nationwide.

“We’ll also introduce AgriLife’s Path to the Plate initiative, which seeks to connect agriculture with good health,” he said. “It’s a research-based educational program meant to help consumers understand how their food choices impact their health. The program cuts through all the labeling malarkey we are faced with these days and instead strives to provide the best, most reliable science-based information available to help Texans make healthier choices.”

Pritz said there will also be equipment demonstrations, an extensive trade show, a youth program that targets sheep and goat skill-a-thons and concurrent sessions for all major segments of the industry. These include sessions on Angora goats, hair sheep production, wool sheep and meat goats.

Pritz emphasized the expo is tailored for all levels of knowledge, from neophytes just considering entering the industry to those with generations of production knowledge behind them.

“One session that’s of major interest to all, no matter their knowledge level, is the mock auction,” Pritz said. “It will be manned by professional order buyers and livestock auction operators who will share their thoughts on the market for a variety of animals we’ll have on hand to pass before them in the ring. This has been a very well-received session in the past as it brings together a group responsible for the bulk of the bottom line within the whole industry.”

Reid Redden, AgriLife Extension state sheep and goat specialist at San Angelo, said the final activity capping the two days of programming will be the sale at auction of performance-tested animals.

“This year for the first time, we will also be offering ewe lambs,” Redden said.

“The sale is designed to showcase performance-based genetic selection techniques,” he said. “The sale will give expo participants the opportunity to buy some of the top genetics available within the breeds represented.”

Those animals will include fine-wool and Katahdin and Dorper hair sheep and kiko goats from breeders who have used intensive genetic selection technology to make positive genetic improvement within their flocks, Redden said.

Adult registration is $40 and youth registration is $15. The fees include all meals, snacks and educational materials associated with the expo. Online registration for the expo ends Aug. 14, though registration will still be available at the field day and again at the door at the expo.

Sign up for HPJ Insights

Our weekly newsletter delivers the latest news straight to your inbox including breaking news, our exclusive columns and much more.

The center field day is free and open to the public.

For more information on the field day, contact Walker at 325-653-4576 or [email protected].

For more information and to register for the expo, go to https://agrilife.org/westresults/event/.

For more specific questions concerning the expo, contact Pritz at 325-653-4576 or [email protected].

For more information on the ram sale, contact Redden at 325-653-4576 or [email protected].