by Cheryl Schuldt, MT Ewe Sale Manager
The Eastern Montana Fairgrounds in Miles City will be the venue for “Sheep Week” September 14 and 15. All sheep producers are invited to take part in a multitude of events including the 91st annual Montana Ram Sale, the 3rd Annual Montana Ewe Sale and the nationally recognized Montana State University Extension Sheep Symposium. Miles City has a reputation and history for bringing together buyers with sheep representing the best genetics in the nation.
Dr. Whit Stewart, MSU Extension Sheep Specialist, indicates that according to the National Ag Statistics, Montana produces the most valuable wool in the country. He also points out that MSU and Montana sheep producers pioneered the use of quantitative selection tools which has led to the highest averaging production-ram sale in the country.
The activities kick off with the Montana State University Sheep Symposium on Wednesday, September 14th from 9am to 4pm at the Home Show building at the Eastern Montana Fairgrounds. Modeled after a very successful program in 2015, we have comprehensive speaker line-up including some of the most recognized names in the industry. With both the symposium and hands-on activities covering relevant topics related to sheep selection and management strategies, this promises to be another premier program you won’t want to miss. You can look forward to a lamb BBQ lunch at noon sponsored by MSU, the Montana Wool Growers Association, the Montana Columbia Sheep Breeders Association, the Montana Targhee Sheep Association, and the Montana Suffolk Sheep Breeders Association.
The Montana Ram Sale, sponsored by the Montana Wool Growers Association, has emerged as a national leader in providing scrapie codon, NSIP data, production records, rib eye scans, and micron results so buyers know exactly what they're bidding on. On Thursday, September 15th, lunch will be served in the sale barn starting at 11 a.m. with the Ram Sale beginning promptly at noon. Breeds offered include the finest Targhee, Suffolk, Rambouillet, Columbia, Merino, South African Meat Merino, Suffolk/Hampshire cross, and Rambouillet cross.
This year is the 3rd year for the offering of high quality young ewes during “sheep week”. The evening festivities will begin at 5p.m. with a Buyer’s Social in the Agri-Sports Building with the Ewe Sale beginning promptly at 6:00p.m. 400 females make up the offering this year. The pens of 5 Suffolk ewe lambs and pens of 10 and 20 head of yearling Rambouillet, Merino, Targhee and Ramb. X Targhee whiteface pens will be on the grounds Tuesday and Wednesday so come early to preview the lots. The Rambouillet lot of 100 head will be sold with country delivery with a showcase pen on-site. The majority of the yearlings will be sold as commercial ewes, but some of the lots may be eligible for registration—check with the consignors.
If you can’t be there in person you can still participate utilizing our internet auction format provided by Miles City’s own Frontier Stockyards. You can view both the ewe and ram sale catalogs, watch the sales in real time and place your bid on-line. Registration is now open! View the online sale catalogs and register to bid at www.Frontierstockyards.com. Sale organizers recommend using a computer connection for optimum streaming performance and urges buyers to register at least one day in advance of the sale to ensure best results. Sale day phone numbers: Frontier Stockyards 406-951-2593; 406-853-0539; 406-951-3005, Cheryl Schuldt, Ewe Sale Manager 406-945-0404; Cord Bieber, Ewe Sale Chairman 406-939-3200; Mike Schuldt, County Agent 406-852-3462; Jesse Wallewein, Ram Sale Manager 406-450-3429; and Dana Penrod, Ram Sale Chairman 406-853-5239.
Come see why Montana is the “wine country” of sheep and wool production in the U.S.!