SAN ANGELO – The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service in cooperation with North Dakota State University and the National Sheep Improvement Program will conduct a Sheep Scanning Certification School April 10-11 at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center at San Angelo, 7887 U.S. Highway 87.
The school will be from 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. each day.
Dr. Reid Redden, AgriLife Extension state sheep and goat specialist at San Angelo, said measuring loin eye and fat depth of live animals using ultrasonic technologies is an accurate tool to predict carcass merit in animals selected for breeding stock.
“The technology is not particularly new, but it has not been widely used in the sheep industry. Consequently, there aren’t many trained technicians around who are certified to collect this information for seed stock sheep producers,” Redden said.
Training and certifying new technicians to do this work for producers is the primary goal of the program, thus encouraging more seed stock producers to collect the information on their sheep, he said.
“This is a unique opportunity as North Dakota State University, through sponsorship by the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Sheep Industry Improvement Center, is hosting four of these scanning schools, but this is the only one in Texas,” he said. “The others are in North Dakota, Idaho and Wisconsin.”
Redden said this is a hands-on program. Participants will receive educational material on sheep scanning and be shown how to collect loin-eye area, loin-eye depth, back fat and body wall thickness measurements. Participants will also have the opportunity to test their skills to become certified to collect ultrasound carcass data, which can be submitted to the National Sheep Improvement Program to produce carcass-estimated breeding values or EBVs.
More information, and registration forms are available from Redden at 325-653-4576, firstname.lastname@example.org, the National Sheep Improvement Program at http://nsip.org/ and the North Dakota State University Hettinger Research Extension Center, https://www.ag.ndsu.edu/HettingerREC.