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News

Newsletter, 10-30-2015

Click here for 2015 ASBA AGENDA INFORMAL MEETING

LOUISVILLE SCHEDULE

It is hard to believe that November is upon us. That means the North American Livestock Exposition in Louisville, Kentucky, is closely following. All the events scheduled should prove to be exciting. What a great way to end the show year!

We hope the following schedule of events will help you arrange your schedules to attend as many of the activities as possible. It is always great to be able to gather, renew our friendships and catch up with all the news from the past year. We look forward to seeing you all there.

The Southdown Booth and the Ambassador team will be “front and center” over the big junior weekend.  A full schedule along with any other major announcements for Southdown Exhibitors will be posted in the booth.  Please stop by and say “Hello”.  We will have promotional materials for you to take home and would love to visit with you!

 

SOUTHDOWN EVENTS

Wednesday, November 11th

8:00 a.m. – Begin Receiving Sheep – South Wing

Thursday, November 12th

5:00 p.m. – Junior Breeding Sheep Showmanship

5:00 p.m. – Junior Market Lamb Showmanship

Friday, November 13th

8:00 a.m. – Junior Wether Show (purebred breeds)

4:00 p.m. – Informal Board of Director’s Meeting (site not yet assigned)

4:00 p.m. – Lead Line

Saturday, November 14th

8:00 a.m. – Junior Wether Show (crossbreds)

9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. – Southdown Skillathon – Free for all Youth

12:30 p.m. – Stars of Louisville Southdown Sale – South Wing

6:00 p.m. – Southdown Social and 133rd Annual Meeting – South Wing

Following the Southdown Social there will be a Junior Mixer for all youth to attend while adults are at the annual meeting.

Sunday, November 15th

8:00 a.m. – Junior Southdown Breeding Sheep Show – Ring 3 & 4

Tuesday, November 17th

8:00 a.m. – National Southdown Show

Friday, November 20th

11:00 a.m. – Supreme Champion Selection

__________________________________

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Florene Wedel passed away, 10-19-2015

Moundridge, Kansas – Florene M. Wedel, 79, died October 19, 2015 in Newton, KS. She was born July 17, 1936, in McPherson County, KS, the daughter of Jacob B. and Frieda (Stucky) Flickner. She was a member of Eden Mennonite Church. Florene and her husband worked together on the farm and she was a 4-H leader for many years. She married Ronald D. Wedel, August 28,1956, at Moundridge. He died September 13, 2004. She was also preceded in death by; a brother, Kenneth J. Flickner; a sister, Neva J. Gehring; a brother-in-law, Homer Gehring; and a grandson, Mason Wedel. Survivors include; 3 sons, Duane and LaDonna Wedel of Moundridge, Dwight and Dixie Wedel of Buhler, and Dennis Wedel of Moundridge; a sister, Doris Jean and Duane Claassen of Beatrice, NE; 5 grandchildren; and 2 great-grandchildren. Burial will be 10:00 am, Friday, October 23, 2015, in Eden Mennonite Church Cemetery. Memorial Service will follow at 11:00 a.m., in the Eden Mennonite Church, rural Moundridge. Visitation will be Thursday from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m., with family greeting friends from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the Moundridge Funeral Home, Moundridge. Memorial donations are suggested to either Pine Village or Eden Mennonite Church in care of Moundridge Funeral Home, Moundridge.

Link:

http://www.moundridgefuneralhome.com/mobile/obituaries-details.cfm?o_id=3356484&fh_id=14291&forcelayout=mobile#obituaries

 

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Cliff Thayer passed away, 10-18-2015

Clifford S. Thayer, 76, of Splendorview Farm, Cummington MA passed away on October 18 at Bay State Medical Center after a short illness. Cliff was born July 20, 1939 to Stanlee and Eva (Black) Thayer. A graduate of Northampton High School and the Stockbridge School of Agriculture, Cliff married Lorena Fowles of Southampton in 1964 and spent a lifetime dedicated to building a championship flock of purebred sheep at Splendorview Farm and promoting a variety of other agricultural activities. In 2010, the farm was recognized as a Massachusetts Century Farm, having been owned and operated by the Thayer family for over 100 years. First working at J.W. Parsons and Hatfield Farm Equipment, Cliff then worked in the livestock department at UMass and then for most of his life, for the Massachusetts Department of Agriculture as a dairy inspector, ensuring quality milk from dairy herds in a four-county region of Western Mass. He served as a 4-H Leader of the Pioneer Valley Young Shepherds Club for 50 years and during that time influenced many youth and inspired them to be involved in agriculture. He was a long-time sheep show superintendent of both the Cummington Fair and the 3-County Fair, as well as a trustee and animal inspector for livestock being exhibited at the Big E. In earlier years, Cliff coached little league baseball, was a volunteer firefighter and was a member of the Cummington Agricultural Commission. He was also an active member of the Hillside Agricultural Society where he served on the board of directors since 1969, the Massachusetts Farm Bureau, the Pioneer Valley Sheep Breeders Association, the New England Sheep and Wool Growers Association, the Massachusetts Fairs Association, the Hampshire County Harvest Club and the local Rod and Gun Club. He served on several Boards including for the FSA Hampshire and Hampden County Committee and the 3-County Fair, and is a trustee emeritus of the Eastern States Exposition and a past President of the Continental Dorset Club. Having won multiple local, regional and national awards for his quality sheep flocks of Dorsets and Southdowns over the years, including Premier Breeder and Premier Exhibitor of Southdowns from Harrisburg to Louisville, Cliff was also recently elected into the Northeast Suffolk Sheep Breeder’s Association Hall of Fame at the Big E. Among Cliff’s favorite things were his love for country music, square dancing, the Boston Red Sox and the Patriots, deer and coon hunting, playing cards, and cheering for his children and grandchildren’s athletic endeavors. He was a regular customer of the Old Creamery coffee circle keeping tabs on events in the hilltowns. He loved touring the countryside and meeting with farmer friends, attending various harvest suppers, and often had a winning raffle ticket. Cliff is survived by his loving wife Lorie, daughters; Shawn of Cummington, Alison (and husband Fran Mason) of Worthington, Kimberley of Westfield and son Kyle (and wife Cara of Cummington.) He leaves four grandchildren who were a constant source of joy and entertainment; Samantha, Olivia, Taylor and Logan. Additionally Cliff leaves two sisters, Barbara Bergeron and Linda Belcher and their families. Calling hours will be Saturday, October 24, from 2:00-5:00 PM at the Ahearn Funeral Home, 783 Bridge Rd., Northampton, MA. Funeral services will be Sunday, October 25, at the West Cummington Congregational Church, 27 W. Main St. in West Cummington at 2:00 PM. This will be followed by a reception at the Blackburn Inn in Worthington, 144 Huntington Rd., Rte. 112. A private burial will be held later at the Dawes Cemetery in Cummington. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the Clifford Thayer Agricultural Scholarship Fund being established by the family. Checks in his memory should be made payable to the Hillside Agricultural Society, Inc., c/o Sandra Lily, Treasurer, P.O. Box 3004, Ashfield, MA 01330-3004.

Ahearn Funeral Home
783 Bridge Road
Northampton, MA 01060
(413) 587-0044

Here is an interesting article about Cliff and his history in the sheep industry.  It was published by www.thetrustees.org (no date listed) and written by Mary McClintock.

My Place is the Highlands

Cliff Thayer of Cummington’s Splendorview Farm jokes that he started out with two sheep in 1955, and now he has “too many.” It probably feels like too many on cold February nights when he’s helping some of his 100 brood ewes deliver the year’s batch of lambs. Cold nights aside, Cliff must enjoy his work as he has devoted much of his life to raising sheep on his 160-acre farm, and to promoting sheep husbandry throughout the state. Cliff’s children are now the fourth generation farming the family’s land, following in the footsteps of their greatgrandfather. Before him, Cliff’s father, Stanlee Thayer, had dairy cattle until bulk tanks and pasteurizing became the norm. Stanlee used to bottle his raw milk and peddle it throughout the area. Cliff thinks his father was ahead of his time and would fit in well with the recent upsurge in popularity of raw milk. Cliff and his family – wife Lorie, son Kyle, and daughters Alison, Shawn, and Kim – raise championship sheep and primarily sell them as purebred breeding stock. Raising three different breeds – Southdowns, Suffolks, and Dorsets – helped keep peace in the family when three of Cliff’s children all were showing sheep competitively. Along with raising a family and sheep, Cliff is active in the Hillside Agricultural Society and the state sheep and wool community. He was one of the originators of the Massachusetts Sheep and Woolcraft Fair which started 30-some years ago with a potluck supper in Worcester. Since then, the springtime, first-of-the-season fair is held at the Cummington Fairgrounds and has grown to include over 50 vendors, sheep dog trials, and many non-sheep fiber animals such as alpacas and angora rabbits. Even though it has expanded, the fair always includes a Saturday night potluck supper. Just as different breeds of sheep helped keep the peace in his family, Cliff thinks it is important to have a time for everyone to “break bread together” at the beginning of the fair season before rivalries build. Splendorview Farm currently includes about 50 acres in hayfields and pasture with the rest in forest. They cut firewood and timber from the woods and rent out some of the land for maple sugaring. Because Cliff wants his children and grandchildren to be able to continue farming on the land he received from his father, he has placed all but 2.5 acres of the land in an Agricultural Preservation Restriction (APR). He kept that parcel out of APR in case one of his children wants to build a house. The rest of the 160 acres will continue to be open for farming, permanently protected from development. Cliff’s glad there won’t be a development on his land and is especially pleased that his land is part of a large protected area that stretches from Plainfield to Worthington. The splendor of the view from Cliff’s farm will continue for generations to come.

 

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Newsletter 9-17-2015

The calendar year of many Southdown breeders does not seem to slow down until after the final shows and sales of the fall.  We are well into breeding season for many flocks, and just around the corner North American entries are due.  Here are a few thoughts for your consideration.

 

Board of Directors

Each year 5 to 6 directors from different districts complete their term and may run for reelection or chose not to do so.  This year those directors and districts are the following:

Region 2, District 2 (Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Dakota, and Iowa) Jeff Repasky

Region 2, District 3 (Oklahoma, Kansas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Dakota, Nebraska, and Missouri) J.J. Maddox

Region 2, At Large (All the about states, plus Texas) Barbara Bishop

Region 2, At Large (All the about states, plus Texas) Jeff Oldenburg

Region 3, District 1 (Illinois) Jim Davis

Region 3, At Large (Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, Florida) Mike McElvain

If you have a membership in one of the above districts and wish to run for a directorship on the Board of Directors, please contact Jim Davis at 815-228-5967 or jbdavis@maxwire.net

Proxies

If you cannot attend the 133rd annual meeting of the Association and wish to participate with your membership vote, you may request a proxy to give the privilege to another person to vote in your absence.  Please contact the Association office for a proxy form. A proxy must be filed 15 days prior to the annual meeting in the Association office.  This year the date of the annual meeting will be November, 14th, 2015.

North American Matching Funds

There always seems to be some confusion on payment of matching funds for the open show at the North American.  In addition to the regular entry fee for the North American, you need to submit $15.00 per entry, including pairs and flocks, to the Association office by October 1st.    After October 1st the fee will increase from $15 to $20.

This matching funds payment allows the Association to “match funds” with the North American to give the greatest possible premium payout to all exhibitors.  The Southdown show has the largest premium of all breeds.

Futurity Points

The Pot O’ Gold Futurity points that have been received up to September 15, 2015, will soon be posted on the American Southdown Breeders’ Association website at www.southdownsheep.org.  Please check the points to ensure the information posted is accurate. It is possible that some point forms have not been received in the office.  Additionally, please check to be sure the information on your animal is complete. All identification numbers including Scrapie tag numbers must be included for your eligibility. If you find a discrepancy, please contact the Association office.

 

Callipyge Gene

The executive committee has confirmed that the Callipyge mutation is present in some Southdown Sheep.  Those wishing to protect themselves from this mutation can have a simple DNA test run for ewes and rams that they wish to bring into their flock.  Remember, rams or ewes that are carrying the gene can look perfectly normal if they received the gene from the dam or if they have two copies of the gene (one each from the sire and dam).  If the animal is showing signs of unnatural muscling of the leg and rack, sloped rump, and short loin then there is a high likelihood that he or she is carrying a copy of the mutation from the ram.

A DNA test is now commercially available. Gene Check will charge $13 per head and the test is a SNP (single nucleotide polymorphisms). This is the only reliable test to determine if the mutation exists. Tissue samples and blood work may be sent to Gene Check in the same manner as spider, hairy lamb or scrapie tests. You may contact Gene Check at 1175 58th Ave #100, Greeley, CO 80634, or phone them at (970) 472-9951.

The Board of Directors of the American Southdown Breeders’ Association will be taking an official action on the presence of this genetic defect in the Southdown breed and all individuals with opinions or interest are encouraged to contact any or all of the Board of Directors.

Here is previous information regarding this topic (originally posted 4-27-2015):

Callipyge Gene:  Solid Gold or Fool’s Gold

In recent years a trend has been identified by a number of concerned Southdown producers regarding the sale of Southdown breeding animals and wethers that carry a genetic mutation that is characterized by muscle hypertrophy (double muscling). Breeding of this particular mutation, which was discovered over 30 years ago in Oklahoma, has far reaching implications for not only the Southdown breed but the whole sheep industry as well.

In 1983 a Dorset ram lamb was born that when bred produced excessive muscle development. The ram, who was later named “Solid Gold” was bred extensively and his offspring were scattered throughout the country. In subsequent years extensive research involving his descendants determined that the excess muscling was due to a mutated gene that was named the “Callipyge Gene”. Callipyge comes from the Greek word meaning “Beautiful Buttocks”.

In addition, the gene was found to exhibit a unique inheritance pattern termed “Polar Over-dominance”. The gene is only expressed when the offspring acquire a copy of the mutation from the sire. If the offspring acquires 2 copies of the gene (one from the dam and one from the sire), the gene will not express itself. If the offspring receives a copy of the mutation from the dam, the gene will not express itself. A ewe purchased with the double muscling trait will not produce a double muscled offspring.

When the mutation was first studied it was thought to be a great breakthrough for sheep producers because it caused a great increase in the production of lean red meat. However, subsequent research revealed that the proteins and muscle fibers in affected animals were dramatically different from normal sheep muscle. The muscle (particularly the loin muscle) in affected animals was found to be significantly less tender than normal. As a result, packers discriminate against the meat from animals that have the mutation due to concerns that the consumer will be less likely to buy lamb if this mutation is widely distributed.

In addition, while lambs born with the gene do not initially exhibit excessive muscling, reports from some breeders who have had experience with these animals feel that they are more difficult to lamb out due to the excessive muscle of the dam decreasing the diameter of the birth canal.

The ASBA Board of Directors is currently in the process of establishing a comprehensive policy regarding the Callipyge gene because the implications of allowing this gene to be distributed widely in the Southdown population are enormous. In addition, from the standpoint of registration, carrying the gene is evidence that the affected animal is not a purebred Southdown because the gene first arose in Dorsets. Currently there is no commercial test that is available to the producer to identify the gene. Identification of the mutation at this time must be done through the appearance of the animal which is very characteristic.

Below you will find a list of the implications of breeding for the mutation as well as al list of characteristics that will help you identify animals that are affected by the Callipyge mutation.

Implications of allowing the gene to proliferate within the Southdown breed:

1. Discrimination against Southdowns as a breed regarding marketability to the consumer.

2. Discrimination against Southdowns for those who do not want the gene in their flocks.

3. Disqualification of Southdowns at stock shows that exhibit the gene (Currently many stock shows across the nation disqualify individuals that exhibit the mutation).

4. Fraudulent representation of these animals by some breeders as normal, well-muscled sheep… duping uneducated buyers into purchasing a Callipyge carrier.

5. Registration issues for affected animals that are not pure Southdowns

6. Increased disputes between buyer and seller from sale of animals carrying the gene.

7. Promotion of a gene that could have negative industry wide implications

8. Potential for more difficulty during lambing.

9. Increased costs to all producers if we have to begin genetic testing for the gene in order to protect producers that do not want the gene in their flock.

10. Extreme difficulty in eliminating the gene from your herd once it has been introduced due to the irregular inheritance pattern and lack of a commercial test.

 

Red flags that may indicate that the gene may be present in an individual:

1. Extreme, well-defined muscling of the leg muscles, forearm, loin and rack.

2. Tendency to have a steep hip (although this cannot always be appreciated in Southdowns)

3. Be wary of flocks that tend to have some lambs that are extreme in their muscle design with the other sheep in the same flock having average to below average amounts of muscle mass.

4. These sheep tend to be marketed in the wool and when they are less than 90 days old in order to mask some of the more extreme aspects of their muscle mass. Let the buyer beware!

5. If you view a lamb and the muscle mass appears almost too much to be true, then be very suspicious that the lamb may be carrying the gene.

 

 

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North American International Livestock Exposition Sheep Show Schedule Expanded to Nov. 12-20; New Junior Supreme Champion Ram Class Added

July 7, 2015 …. Louisville, KY. North American International Livestock Exposition (NAILE) officials have announced that the Sheep Division shows and sales schedule is expanded by one day to better accommodate the show’s huge junior events. There were more than 1,600 junior wethers and more than 1,700 junior breeding sheep entered in 2014. Both numbers represent new show records.
This year, the Junior Wether Lamb Show, sponsored by Farm Credit Mid-America, starts at 8 am on Friday, Nov. 13 and resumes at 8 am on Saturday, Nov. 14. The Junior Breeding Sheep Show begins on Saturday, Nov. 14 in the afternoon and continues on Sunday. These earlier start dates mean that all sheep arrival will begin at 8 am on Wednesday, Nov. 11 instead of noon as in prior years. The new arrival deadline for Junior Wether Lambs is Noon on Thursday, Nov. 12. The arrival deadline for Junior Breeding Show sheep remains at noon on Friday, Nov. 13.
The Junior Show Showmanship contests move to Thursday, Nov. 12 at 5 pm.
The popular Lead Line classes start at 4 pm on Friday, Nov. 13. This show also offers special classes for young people. The Photography competition is expanded to two divisions- Black & White and Color. The Fine Arts class will return, however the Knitting contest is discontinued.
Another major addition to the junior contests is the premier of a Junior Supreme Champion Ram award. The Robert Hall Junior Supreme Champion Ewe class continues, and a $1,000 premium is offered for each class and they are part of the Junior Breeding Sheep Show.
Open Shows
In 2015 there are 21 breeds offering open shows. Thirteen of those are National Shows. The show ends on Friday, Nov. 20 with the naming of the Open Supreme Champion. Shows will again be video streamed live on the NAILE website. Video archives of the 2014 are still available on the NAILE’s You Tube channel.
Wool Show
The NAILE Wool Show returns with $2,500 in premiums. Some classes have been revised. Entries must arrive by Monday, Nov. 16 at 6:00 pm. Fleeces are displayed throughout the show week in the South Wing Lobby.
Entry Information
Catalogs containing show information and rules are available for download on the NAILE website at www.livestockexpo.org. Printed catalogs and entry forms are automatically mailed to those who have participated in the NAILE the past two years. Catalogs are free, and anyone wishing to receive one should contact the NAILE offices at P.O. Box 36367, Louisville, KY 40233-6367, by fax at 502-367-5299, or by e-mail at KFECNAILE@ksfb.ky.gov.
Entry deadline for Sheep Division shows is October 1. Exhibitors may submit entries by mail at any time and on the website beginning September 1.
The 42nd Annual NAILE is produced by the Commonwealth of Kentucky at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville, Kentucky under the direction of the Kentucky State Fair Board. During the Expo’s run November 3 through 20, the facility’s entire 1,200,000 square feet of climate-controlled exhibit space is used. More than 220,000 visitors and exhibitors attend the event annually.

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Sale Results – National & MWSRS

OFFICIAL results of the 2015 National Southdown Sale held in Eaton, Ohio on May 9, 2015.  Sales totaled $112,025 on 111 head for an average of $1,009.23.  See results here: 2015 National Southdown Sale

OFFICIAL results of the 2015 Midwest Stud Ram Sale – Southdown sale held in Sedalia, MO on June 26, 2015.  Sales totaled $81,350 on 97 head for an average of $838.68.  See results here: 2015 MWSRS Southdowns

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Cheap Home Insurance

It is very important that you also take into consideration the amount of the home insurance whenever you are building your home for the first time. It is very much necessary to do the home insurance for your home to protect the property as you are spending plenty of money in building it. It is very important that you understand and assess the common risks that your house has after the building is completed.

Maintain your house properly

If your house is build on low land area then it might have the risk of getting flood, there are plenty of risks and factors that you need to consider when you are looking for the coverage areas in your cheap home insurance

You can sure of the renovation work and the construction of your house if you have a home insurance do. It will enable you to live a relaxed life without worrying much about the condition of your house.

The amount you will be spending on the maintenance of your house per year will be reverted back by the insurance company thus it will ensure that your house always look new and beautiful

- See more at: http://cheaphomeinsurance.esy.es/

 

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Futurity Kickoff, Heartland Southdown Classic, NEYSS, All American, MJPS

Junior National Southdown Futurity Kickoff: The Junior Southdown National Futurity Kick-off Show is just around the corner.  This Memorial Day event will be an excellent opportunity to rack up a substantial number of points in the race for the 2015 Futurity.  Bring out your recently purchased and futurity-nominated ewe lambs, yearling ewes, and wethers for a two-day show, judged by two different judges.  Points from both shows will count.  In addition to futurity-nominated Southdowns, bring along your fall and spring-born ram lambs and any other sheep you may have in your show flock for this year.  To assist you in enhancing your knowledge and success with Southdowns, there will be an educational event.  Download information and entry for this event to be held in Joliet, Illinois:  2015 Futurity Kickoff And you may also follow the Facebook page here:   Jr National Southdown Futurity Kickoff

Heartland Southdown Classic: The Indiana Southdown Association is hosting the Heartland Southdown Classic, a regional junior show on Saturday, June 13th at the Willoughby Livestock Facility in Sheridan, Indiana.  Classes include Fall and Spring rams; Yearling, Fall, and Spring ewes; Wethers; and showmanship classes for Juniors, Intermidiates, and Seniors.  There will be a special Indiana bred and shown division that is open to any Indiana junior showing a sheep that was born in Indiana.  ”The Perfect Fit”, a special educational clinic to review proper Southdown fitting technique, will take place after check-in and before the show.  The committee is seeking sponsorship of the event – use this form if interested in supporting this event: 2015 Heartland Classic Sponsor Form .  The entry form: 2015 Heartland Southdown Classic entry form You may follow the Facebook page here:  Heartland Southdown Classic

Northeast Youth Sheep Show: Here is a great opportunity for Youth Sheep Showman – two great shows at the same fairgrounds, one week apart in July.  This year, the North East Youth Sheep Show will be held a week earlier than usual   making it closer in time to the All American Junior Show. The North East Youth Show dates are July 10 thru 12, 2015.  Both youth events will be held in the Mallary Livestock Complex at the Eastern States Exposition Fairgrounds in West Springfield, Massachusetts.  Both shows are open to Youths Exhibitors 21 years old and younger as of January 1st (unless otherwise stated by  breed requirements). But, the North East Youth Sheep Show is open to all kids 21 years and under as of January 1st.  Read more about NEYSS here:  NEYSS Press Release 2015 Follow this event on Facebook at:  NEYSS

All American Junior Show: Plans for the 2015 All American Jr Show are underway.  The event will be held July 2nd-6th in W. Springfield, MA.  Once again this year, it is the host to the National Junior Southdown Show.  All show details can be found here:  AAJS Website And also follow on Facebook at:  All American Jr Show

Midwest Junior Preview Show: The Midwest Junior Preview Show, June 6th, is an annual breeding sheep show open to all registered breeds of sheep as well as commercial breeding sheep.  Southdowns have a significant presence at this event.  Each year the show has successfully handed-out large cash awards to young sheep breeders from all over the county.  Last year’s event hosted over 400 sheep from 12 different states with almost 150 exhibitors and award money topped $11,000.00!  The show has been designed to be a laid back, fun and educational day for everyone involved from the newest showman to the experienced shepherd.  Families are invited to Sedalia, MO for the 5th annual show from Thursday – Sunday.  However, sheep and exhibitors do not have to be in place any longer than Saturday during their shows.  You and your family are free to come and go as necessary.  For more info, visit:  MJPS website And also follow on Facebook at:  MJPS Facebook

Stay connected with the American Junior Southdown Association:  AJSA Facebook page

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Callipyge Gene

Callipyge Gene:  Solid Gold or Fool’s Gold

In recent years a trend has been identified by a number of concerned Southdown producers regarding the sale of Southdown breeding animals and wethers that carry a genetic mutation that is characterized by muscle hypertrophy (double muscling). Breeding of this particular mutation, which was discovered over 30 years ago in Oklahoma, has far reaching implications for not only the Southdown breed but the whole sheep industry as well.

In 1983 a Dorset ram lamb was born that when bred produced excessive muscle development. The ram, who was later named “Solid Gold” was bred extensively and his offspring were scattered throughout the country. In subsequent years extensive research involving his descendants determined that the excess muscling was due to a mutated gene that was named the “Callipyge Gene”. Callipyge comes from the Greek word meaning “Beautiful Buttocks”.

In addition, the gene was found to exhibit a unique inheritance pattern termed “Polar Over-dominance”. The gene is only expressed when the offspring acquire a copy of the mutation from the sire. If the offspring acquires 2 copies of the gene (one from the dam and one from the sire), the gene will not express itself. If the offspring receives a copy of the mutation from the dam, the gene will not express itself. A ewe purchased with the double muscling trait will not produce a double muscled offspring.

When the mutation was first studied it was thought to be a great breakthrough for sheep producers because it caused a great increase in the production of lean red meat. However, subsequent research revealed that the proteins and muscle fibers in affected animals were dramatically different from normal sheep muscle. The muscle (particularly the loin muscle) in affected animals was found to be significantly less tender than normal. As a result, packers discriminate against the meat from animals that have the mutation due to concerns that the consumer will be less likely to buy lamb if this mutation is widely distributed.

In addition, while lambs born with the gene do not initially exhibit excessive muscling, reports from some breeders who have had experience with these animals feel that they are more difficult to lamb out due to the excessive muscle of the dam decreasing the diameter of the birth canal.

The ASBA Board of Directors is currently in the process of establishing a comprehensive policy regarding the Callipyge gene because the implications of allowing this gene to be distributed widely in the Southdown population are enormous. In addition, from the standpoint of registration, carrying the gene is evidence that the affected animal is not a purebred Southdown because the gene first arose in Dorsets. Currently there is no commercial test that is available to the producer to identify the gene. Identification of the mutation at this time must be done through the appearance of the animal which is very characteristic.

Below you will find a list of the implications of breeding for the mutation as well as al list of characteristics that will help you identify animals that are affected by the Callipyge mutation.

Implications of allowing the gene to proliferate within the Southdown breed:

1. Discrimination against Southdowns as a breed regarding marketability to the consumer.

2. Discrimination against Southdowns for those who do not want the gene in their flocks.

3. Disqualification of Southdowns at stock shows that exhibit the gene (Currently many stock shows across the nation disqualify individuals that exhibit the mutation).

4. Fraudulent representation of these animals by some breeders as normal, well-muscled sheep… duping uneducated buyers into purchasing a Callipyge carrier.

5. Registration issues for affected animals that are not pure Southdowns

6. Increased disputes between buyer and seller from sale of animals carrying the gene.

7. Promotion of a gene that could have negative industry wide implications

8. Potential for more difficulty during lambing.

9. Increased costs to all producers if we have to begin genetic testing for the gene in order to protect producers that do not want the gene in their flock.

10. Extreme difficulty in eliminating the gene from your herd once it has been introduced due to the irregular inheritance pattern and lack of a commercial test.

 

Red flags that may indicate that the gene may be present in an individual:

1. Extreme, well-defined muscling of the leg muscles, forearm, loin and rack.

2. Tendency to have a steep hip (although this cannot always be appreciated in Southdowns)

3. Be wary of flocks that tend to have some lambs that are extreme in their muscle design with the other sheep in the same flock having average to below average amounts of muscle mass.

4. These sheep tend to be marketed in the wool and when they are less than 90 days old in order to mask some of the more extreme aspects of their muscle mass. Let the buyer beware!

5. If you view a lamb and the muscle mass appears almost too much to be true, then be very suspicious that the lamb may be carrying the gene.

 

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Former Director, Jack Judy Dies

Dr. John ( Jack) Judy age 87, of Germantown passed away Saturday April 11, 2015 at Hospice of Dayton. Dr. Judy was born on August 27, 1927, the son of the late Harold and Dorothy (Smith) Judy. Jack was a graduate of Germantown High School class of 1945, he was a member of the Ohio State University Department of Animal Science, for 33 years, specializing in sheep production and management, until his retirement as Professor Emeritus in 1984. Jack was introduced to the care and handling of sheep at the tender age of 3, when he was sent out to the barn to feed the bottle lambs. Here at the family historic Glen Avon Farm, he learned how to do regular chores, show sheep and later to trim and block the show sheep. Jack’s dad Harold, started him in 4H when he was 91/2 at a meeting in the one room Browns Run Country school west of Germantown. At age 10 he went to the Montgomery County Fair with a couple of lambs. This was his start on a road which would lead him all over the Midwest showing the Glen Avon Southdowns and creating a long list of Champions. This road led to the position of Shepherd at O.S.U. and eventually professor, where he had a legendary career as a leader in the sheep industry. As a teacher Jack was known for his ability to communicate a broad range of information in meaningful and practical ways to students. The single best memory he had of his years at OSU was having the champion wether at The Chicago International Livestock Exposition, “It was the only champion wether OSU ever had at Chicago: Jack said And the only one they’ll ever have since there isn’t a Chicago International anymore.” In addition to his parents he was preceded in death by his brother Robert. He is survived by a brother Dr. Mark Judy and his wife April, nephew Alan Judy, nieces Janet Mullins, Susanne Phelps all of Germantown and Jennifer Walker of Hillsboro, OH. 7 great nieces and nephews and 1 great great niece. Funeral services will be held 1:00 p.m. Wednesday at the Arpp & Root Funeral Home, Germantown,

Pastor Gary Wheeler officiating. Burial to follow at Germantown Union Cemetery. The family will receive friends 11:00 A.M. until time of service Wednesday at the funeral home.

Visitation:  11:00 AM to 1:00 PM, Wed., Apr. 15, 2015 Location: Arpp & Root Funeral Home, Germantown OH

Funeral Service:  1:00 PM Wed., Apr. 15, 2015 Location: Arpp & Root Funeral Home, Germantown OH

 

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