UW’s Laramie Research and Extension Center to Host Ram Test Field Day April 13

three men in baseball caps and one woman, all dressed in outerwear, stand together beside a green metal fence enclosing a pen of sheep. One of the men holds a paper and points toward something in the pen that's not visible in the photo
Attendees of the 2023 field day view rams at the Laramie Research and Extension Center, where UW’s annual ram test takes place. Photo by David Keto.

The University of Wyoming’s annual ram test will conclude with a public field day Saturday, April 13, at the Laramie Research and Extension Center.

The event, which begins at 11 a.m., will present results from the 140-day performance test and discuss how test results can be used to make selection decisions. Lunch, provided by Wyoming Wool Initiative, will be served at noon. Starting at 1 p.m., attendees will have the opportunity to view the tested rams and participate in a silent auction.

“We’ve conducted this central performance test since 1961 and improvement in ram quality over this time has been remarkable,” says Whit Stewart, UW Extension sheep specialist. “There are only two of these central performance ram tests left in the nation and we’re proud it’s endured.”

Ram performance is evaluated based on growth performance, feed conversion efficiency, and muscling as well as wool traits, including weight, fineness, length, and clean yield. Rams that perform in the top 30 percent of the test are eligible for the Certified Rambouillet Index and Wyoming Certified Index.

This year, a total of 90 rams from 21 ranches in three U.S. states and Canada were entered in the test. “Aside from the decision-making tool it provides to producers, it’s an important partnership with the Wyoming Wool Growers Association and individual producers in our region,” says Stewart.

The test also provides key learning opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students in UW’s sheep program, Stewart notes. In addition to gaining hands-on experience in production agriculture, students help gather performance data throughout the test and conduct genomic research.

To RSVP for the upcoming field day, email whit.stewart@uwyo.edu or call (307) 766-5374 by Sunday, April 7.

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