The 5th annual Badger Production Sale, held on Sunday, September 23, 2012 at the Arlington Agricultural Research Station, once again saw high demand for sheep produced by the University of Wisconsin-Madison sheep program. The sale offering of 52 ewe lambs and 6 rams averaged $432 per head, up almost $30 per head above the sale average from 2011. The sale is organized, run, and staffed by students from the University of Wisconsin-Madison as an opportunity to learn merchandising skills by marketing sheep from the purebred flocks of the Department of Animal Sciences. This year’s student organizers, Jennifer Babcock, Kelly Schroeder, and Lija Siltumens, were supervised by Todd Taylor, Manager of the Arlington Sheep Research and Teaching Unit (firstname.lastname@example.org); Bernie O’Rourke, Extension Livestock Youth Specialist (email@example.com); and Dr. Dave Thomas, Professor of Sheep Management and Genetics (firstname.lastname@example.org).
This year’s high seller was a Hampshire ram lamb bringing a winning bid of $900, purchased by Sky Hi Ranch, Allen Fehrman, Tilleda, WI. A pair of Hampshire ewes each sold for $725 to Metro Hamps, Allen and Heidi Thorson of Columbus, WI and JP Farms of Winthrop, IL. JP Farms also bid $675 on another popular ewe. Five additional Hampshire ewes brought between $525 and $575. In all, 20 Hampshire ewe lambs commanded an average of $459, and 3 Hampshire ram lambs averaged $658 per head. Return buyer, Ed Accola from Fall Creek, WI purchased a total of 7 Hampshire ewes as the volume buyer for the breed.
Two Polypay ram lambs ranking within the top end of the flock for Maternal Estimated Breeding Values brought a final price of $725 each; both purchased by Fred Howard of Albany, IL. A total of 27 Polypay ewe lambs averaged $363 per head. An offer of $475 from Russ Smith of Houston, MN captured the high selling Polypay ewe lamb. A pair of ewes purchased by Big Prairie Polypays, Mark Meier and Family, Ashton, IL and a ewe bought by Mark and Brenda Van Roekel of Orange City, IA each garnered $450. Van Roekel’s were also the volume buyers of this year’s sale, purchasing a total of 13 Polypay ewe lambs.
The sale offering also included 5 Rambouillet ewe lambs and one Rambouillet yearling ram. Tim Miller, Tailwind Farms of Beloit, WI purchased 2 of the ewe lambs for $475 each, and a third at that price was purchased by Larry Becker of Montello, WI. Becker also purchased the yearling ram for $450. A total of 35 buyers registered to bid, and sheep sold to Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, Michigan, Missouri, and Wisconsin.
The number of animals sold and sale averages are as follows:
20 Hampshire Ewe Lambs - $459
3 Hampshire Ram Lambs - $658
27 Polypay Ewe Lambs - $363
2 Polypay Ram Lambs - $725
5 Rambouillet Ewe Lambs - $440
1 Rambouillet Yearling Ram - $450
58 Head averaged - $432, $25,050 gross sales