2016 NAILE

Louisville – North American

We are only a month away from being in Louisville at the North American International Livestock Show.  It is our hope that you will be able to make the events of the big junior weekend and the National Southdown Show.


Junior Weekend With All the Trimmings

Saturday morning at 9:00 a.m. will be the Southdown Skillathon in room 109C.  This popular event has really grown into a great activity for our youth.  With different age divisions and awards for each division, juniors can sign up at the door and test their skills on Southdown and sheep knowledge.


The Stars of Louisville Southdown Sale will be Saturday, November 12th at 12:30 in the room adjacent to the sheep show offices.  We have an outstanding offering of 35 Southdown ewes consigned to the sale.  You will be able to find a list of consignors and their entries online later this month or in the Louisville Preview publication that will be hitting the mail boxes soon.


Finally, on Saturday evening at 6: 00 p.m. will be the Southdown social and mixer followed by the 134th Annual Meeting of the Association.  We are set for room 107 at the North American.  Come enjoy a time of snacks and drinks, visiting with friends, and hearing the news of the Association.


Sunday morning, bright and early at 8:00 a.m. will be the Southdown junior show.  We have the ring reserved for a great Southdown event that will take all morning and part of the afternoon.  It will be a great junior show and one you will want to see.


National Show

The National Southdown Show will be Monday, November 14th, at 8:00 a.m. Entries are still being tabulated, but a great show is anticipated, if past history is any indication.  Billy Wade of Indiana will be the judge, and history is waiting to be made.

Don’t forget, if you have entered the National Show, to send in your matching funds.  At $15 per head and group class the matching funds payment to the Association allows us to boost the premium payout back to the exhibitors as the highest of any breed.


Spirit of the Breed

If you have that special person you would like to nominate for the Spirit of the Breed award, do not hesitate to take some time to fill out the application and send it to the Association office.  There will be more information on this wonderful way we say thank you to those that help in so many ways with Southdown activities, in the issue of the Preview that is in the mail, or you can call the office and I will be glad to get an application to you.


Futurity Update

We have made several updates on the Pot of Gold Futurity for this year and the latest is up on the website.  We are having record number of point forms turned in and a record number of youth participating.  It is going to be a great finish in Louisville!



Gary Jennings

Executive Secretary

American Southdown Breeders Association


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2016 Fall E-Letter

Fall Greetings!

With cooler temperatures, we realize the fall of 2016 is upon us.  After a very busy summer for so many, with vacations, county fairs, state fairs, it is time to turn our attention to the fall of 2016.  In the Association office, it means we begin preparing for Louisville or the North American International Livestock Exposition.  National shows, national meetings, and the culmination of the show season are only two months away.

Futurity Points

Futurity points that have been tabulated as of September 1st will be posted this week for the spring ewe lambs, fall ewe lambs, yearling ewes, and market lambs.  This is a “snapshot” of the current point totals and standings as of this date. There are many more point forms to come into the office later this fall, so updates will be posted throughout the fall.  Remember to promptly send those point forms to the office.

Stars Sale

Historically, the last major Southdown sale of the year ends, appropriately, in Louisville.  The Stars Sale, which will be Saturday, November 12th, showcases many of the best ewes of the breed.   It has been a wonderful year for our breed with strong interest in Southdowns from the early sales in April to the present.  If you are interested in consigning to the sale, time is of the essence for your entries to be included in the sale catalog.  Contact the Association office with your questions or consignments as soon as possible.

National Show and Louisville Junior Events

Did I mention that Louisville is on the horizon?  First, do not forget to submit your entries for the junior show and/or the open show, due October 8th.  Those entry deadlines have a way of slipping up on us.  Secondly, please submit your open show matching funds to the Association office, due October 1st.

Louisville Preview

Our editor Lisa Reiff has done a great job of putting together a fall publication for all to enjoy. It leads up to all the festivities at the North American Livestock Exposition.  We call it the Louisville Preview. A number of breeders choose to advertise in the publication, and we mail it to all our membership and hand it out at our booth in Louisville.  If you wish to put an ad in the Preview, contact Lisa at .  She will be happy to help you design an ad. Please note that the deadline is September 16th.

Annual Meeting Proxy

With the official notice of the 134th annual meeting of the American Southdown Breeders’ Association in the Louisville Preview, members who have paid their annual dues of $20 since October 1, 2015, are eligible to vote at the meeting or request a proxy to be represented by another member.  Proxies need to be requested in writing and returned to the Association office at least 15 days prior to the annual meeting on November 12th, 2016. Your vote can then be counted and represented through the person at the meeting that you have designated.

Spirit of the Breed

One of the highlights of the annual meeting is the announcement of the “Spirit of the Breed” recipient for the year.  This award honors those that have that special “Southdown Spirit” of helping others in the breed.  Past winners include, Gary Kwisnek, Kim and June Weedy, Mike McElvain, Gale Cole, Trace Repasky, C.J.Robinson, Claudette Choma, Barbara Bishop, and the L.C. Scramlin Family.  If you know of someone who would be such a recipient, give the Association office a call or watch for information in the Preview about how to nominate that individual.

Junior Mentoring Program

Our Junior Ambassadors have initiated a mentoring program that will be introduced at this year’s annual meeting and mixer.  Junior members with limited experience will be paired with older junior members and supervised by an adult member.  If you know of a youth who could benefit from such a mentoring program, let us know.

Junior Production Contest

Southdown juniors who cannot always make all the shows being offered can now participate in a new production contest.  All the rules and specifics are listed on the ASBA website under Southdown juniors. Check it out at:

The participation form and necessary records are on the website under forms.

These are exciting time for our breed, we look forward to your participation in one or more of our many programs for youth.


NAILE schedule:

Friday, November 11, 2016

10:00 am – Breeding Sheep Showmanship

4:00 pm – Board of Directors Informal Meeting

4:00 pm – Market Lamb Showmanship

Saturday, November 12, 2016

8:00 am – Market Lamb Show

9:00 am – Southdown Skill-a-thon

12:30 pm – Stars of Louisville Southdown Sale

6: 00 pm – Southdown Social

134th Annual Meeting of the American Southdown Breeders’ Association

Sunday, November 13, 2016

8:00 am – Southdown Junior Show

Monday, November 14, 2016

8: 00 am – Southdown Open Show


Louisville 2016, put it on your schedule!


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James Crotcher passed away

In Memory of James Crotcher

9/1/1947 – 5/23/2016

VERSAILLES, OHIO – James Clyde Crotcher, 68, of Versailles, Ohio, went home to be with the Lord on Monday, May 23, 2016, after a 3-year battle with cancer. Jim is the son of Clyde and Isabelle (Fultz) Crotcher. He grew up on a farm in Bellevue, Ohio, and then attended the Ohio State University graduating with a degree in Animal Science. It was at Ohio State where he met his wife, Shirley Beard. They have been married 47 years. In 1970, they moved to Darke County where Jim was a feed specialist for 29 years for Landmark/Countrymark in Greenville and New Weston before becoming a realtor.
In addition to his wife, Jim is survived by his three daughters, Kim and Milan Pozderac of Mt. Vernon, Ohio, Kelly and Travis Fliehman of Greenville, Ohio, and Kristi and John Kaiser of Versailles, Ohio, and eight grandchildren: Abby, Milan, and Maribeth Pozderac; Lexi Fliehman; and Alex, Caleb, Luke, and Ben Kaiser. Also surviving is Jim’s sister Judy and Rick Lauer of Nineveh, Indiana.

The funeral service will be held at 10:30 am Thursday May 26, 2016 at St. John Lutheran Church 7814 St. Rt. 121 North Greenville, Ohio with Pastor Patti Morlock officiating. Burial will follow in the St. John Church Cemetery. The family will receive friends on Wednesday May 25, 2016 from 3:00 pm until 8:00 pm in the Zechar Bailey Funeral Home Greenville, Ohio and on Thursday 1 hour prior to the services in the church.

It is the wishes of the family that Memorial Contributions be given to the Versailles Emergency Medical Services or the Darke County Cancer Association.

A link to the funeral home:

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2016 Sales & Shows

2016 Hoosier Heartland Online Southdown Sale

April 4th, 2016 at  Contact Lynn Kuhn at 317-512-0564  for more details or visit HHSS Facebook page.

2016 Wisconsin Southdown Stars Sale & Starter Ewe Program

The Wisconsin Southdown Stars Sale and Symposium will be held on April 16th, 2016 at the UW Agriculture Research Center Public Events Building, Arlington, WI. This year there is a new sale format where you choose how you want to consign (in person and online, or online only).  Entries are due April 5th.  Entries for Southdown Starter Ewe Program due March 11. For more info on the ewe program and sale, visit the Wisconsin Southdown Association website and WSA Facebook page.

If you are unable to visit the association’s website and need more details on the event, please contact Troy Lobdell at (608) 482-1502, or email:

2016 Ambassador’s Online Futurity  Ewe Lamb Sale

The Southdown Ambassadors are hosting the 2nd annual online futurity nominated ewe lamb sale on April 18th at  Ambassadors are personally contacting breeders and asking for sale consignments.  If you have not been contacted and would like to consign to the sale, please contact Secretary, Gary Jennings, at the ASBA office.  Stay tuned to the ASBA website and facebook pages for further details.

2016 National Sale & Jr National Futurity Kickoff

Plan to attend the 2016 National Southdown Sale on April 30th at the Wayne County Fairgrounds in Richmond, Indiana!  Its a new location, new sale management team, and we’re more excited than ever.  A show of the consignments will be at 4:30pm EST on Friday, April 29th and judge is set to be Evan Snyder.  The sale will be at 9:30am EST on Saturday, April 30th.  Yearling rams and ewes, Fall rams and ewes, as well as January and February born ewe and ram lambs are eligible. Entries due April 1st;  However if you make your entries BEFORE March 15th , we will list your name in the sale promotional advertising. Sale details can be found here:

Also new for this year, the 2016 Junior National Futurity Kickoff will also be on April 30th at the Wayne County Fairgrounds in Richmond, IN. Sheep purchased that morning in the National Sale are eligible for the show!  This show is not limited to only futurity nominated sheep – all sheep that you wish to show are welcome!  The show will have all classes (including wethers). Juniors can begin check-in of registration papers at 10am EST.  The Ambassadors will do a fitting demonstration at 12pm EST.  The show is scheduled to begin at 1:00pm EST with showmanship for all ages, and then classes for ram, ewes, and market lambs.  All ages of sheep will be shown from oldest to youngest.  The judge is Stan Poe of Indiana.  Click here for 2016 Futurity Kickoff entry form & rules

2016 Midwest Junior Preview Show

The Midwest Junior Preview Show is an annual breeding sheep show opened to all registered breeds of sheep as well as commercial breeding sheep!  Held in Sedalia, Missouri on June 4, 2016.  Online entries will be open April 1st.  For more info, visit Midwest Junior Preview Show website or MJPS Facebook page.

2016 Annual Texas Southdown Breeders Online Southdown Sale

Save the date for June 7, 2016. Sale to be featured on  For more info, visit the Texas Southdown Breeders Association website or the TSBA Facebook page.

2016 Midwest Stud Ram Sale

Show at 8am CST on Wednesday, June 22nd with judge Brad Ellerbrock.  Sale begins at 8am on Friday, June 26th with Southdowns selling 4th in sale order behind Hampshire, Suffolks, and Polled & Horned Dorsets.   Entries due May 1st to be in catalog. For more information, visit the Midwest Stud Ram Sale website or the MWSRS Facebook page.

All American Junior Show & National Junior Southdown Show

June 30 – July 3 at the Michigan State University Pavilion for Ag and Livestock Education located at 4301 Farm Lane, East Lansing, Michigan 48910.  Entries are due May 25, 2016. For more info, visit the AAJS website and the AAJS Facebook page.


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Newsletter 1-15-2016

The beginning of a new year brings wishes from the American Southdown Breeders’ Association for a happy and healthy 2016 for each of you.  With the coming of a new lambing season, it is appropriate to let each of you know important decisions made by the Board of Directors at the annual meetings this past year in Louisville.

The “Pot of Gold” futurity continues to show strong support by breeders and excitement from youth members across the country.  If you are interested in participating in the futurity several important changes were made to add to the value of the market lamb futurity.

1.       The buyer of a ewe lamb will determine which category of the futurity in which that lamb will participate.  (This determination will be made by the purchaser at the time the first point record form is submitted.  You can show your ewe lamb in either the market lamb futurity or the breeding sheep futurity but not both.)

2.       The payout between the breeding and market futurity will be determined by the percentage of point record forms turned in.

3.       Market ewe lambs cannot collect breeding show points.  They must show in only market classes.

It is noted that nominated wether lambs will, of course, continue to be part of the market lamb futurity.

To further support our youth, two individuals will be working closely on our youth programs and Ambassador Program.  Amy Powell Peterson, will be the coordinator between the Board of Directors and the Ambassador program.  Amy will continue to guide the Ambassador program as she has done so well over the past year.  Megan Nielson, will be working on the many ways of communicating electronically within the junior program.  You will see the work of these talented individuals throughout the year as we continue to highlight and support our many junior members.

The Southdown Standard of Excellence was changed by adding the following:

1.       Under the back and loin section, the following sentence was added:  Animals that exhibit unnatural muscling of the rack and shortened loin associated with the callipyge mutation should be discriminated against.

2.       Under the hindquarters section, the following sentence was added:  Animals that exhibit a tendency toward a steep hip and unnatural muscling of the leg associated with the callipyge mutation should be discriminated against.

3.       Under the general section, the following sentence was added:  Southdowns that exhibit evidence of the callipyge mutation should be discriminated against due to the long-standing and well-documented problems related to carcass qualities that carry a negative industry bias.

In the desire to service our membership with the merchandising of their flock, there will no longer be a charge for web links on the Association website.  If you wish to add your website, please send all information to the Association address.

The 2016 National Junior Show will be held with the All-American show at Michigan State University, in East Lansing, Michigan.  This will be held, in customary fashion, over the 4th of July weekend.

Three regional shows will be held with the Wisconsin Sheep and Wool Festival, the San Diego County Fair, and the Eastern States Exposition.

2016 promises to be another great year for our breed and our membership.  Again, best wishes for the New Year and a successful lambing season.


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2015 NAILE Activities Results and Meeting Notes

With December and the Holiday Season beginning, we find it only appropriate to recognize those junior Southdown members that have worked hard though-out the year.  For some, their successes were recognized at the recently held North American International Livestock Show.  One has to put into context the junior show and all the activities of our Southdown junior members.  This year’s NAILE junior show was the largest breeding junior show held at the North American.  It was the largest show of any breed or any species.  The one comment that we continue to hear is that there are new exhibitors or junior members each year at the North American that will be competitive for many years to come.  One could easily see that the interest in Southdowns is only going to grow and grow.

Southdown Skillathon

Megan Nielson organized this year’s event.  44 youth competed from 12 different states.  Top 5 in each age group:


1st Madisyn Harris – TN

2nd Jordyn Leininger – IN

3rd Landon – AR

4th Justin Howell – OH

5th Jason Hackbarth – IL


1st William Lohr – VA

2nd Emily Brite – TX

3rd Mackenzie Padgett – IN

4th Kailen Smerchek – WI

5th Lauren Swan – MT


1st Nick Fowler – OH

2nd Casey Lobdell – WI

3rd Autum Gregg – AR

4th Lauren Dixon – KY

5th Courtney Lobdell – WI


The American Southdown Breeders’ Association awarded four scholarships on November 14, 2015 at the Southdown Social in Louisville, Kentucky. Recipients of the $600 scholarships are:

Alyssa Flanagan, daughter of Scott and Mylea Flanagan of Ballinger, Texas, is a freshman at Angelo State University. Her major course of study is in Food Animal Science and Marketing. Alyssa was a member of a 4-H team that won the national parliamentary procedure contest, had the first place sheep record book at state 4-H round-up, showed multiple champions at the State Fair of Texas, and did a state winning sheep educational presentation. She held many offices in the Texas Junior Southdown Association and served as an ASBA Ambassador last year.

Courtney Lobdell, daughter of Troy and Barb Lobdell of Darlington, Wisconsin, has an associate’s degree in Early Childhood Education and is now at University of Wisconsin-Platteville to work on a bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood with an Elementary Education emphasis. Courtney was an American FFA Degree recipient, finished 4th in the Wisconsin FFA Star Farmer contest, has traveled to five All-American Junior Shows, showing the Reserve Grand Champion Ewe in 2015, has been president of the Wisconsin Junior Southdown Association, and is currently serving as an ASBA Ambassador.

Cassie McConkey, daughter of Travis and Chrystal McConkey of Loudon, Tennessee, is a freshman at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College. She plans to continue on to a university to pursue a degree in Animal Science. Cassie was on the 4-H livestock judging team that won the state contest and represented Tennessee at the National Livestock Judging Contest in 2014, where she was seventh high individual. She has put on showmanship clinics at the TN State Expo and TN Valley Fair as well as competing in skillathons. This is the second year Cassie has been an ASBA Ambassador.

Hannah Taylor, daughter of Todd and Lynnette Taylor of Arlington, Wisconsin, is a freshman at Kansas State University where she is majoring in Agricultural Communications and Journalism with a minor in Spanish. Hannah has extensive experience in both FFA and 4-H, winning the state FFA Meats judging contest 4 years and the state 4-H Meats contest multiple times, which allowed her to compete at the American Royal and Western National Round-up Meats contests. She had many successes in livestock judging, skillathon, and quiz bowl, including winning Wisconsin State Fair sheep premier exhibitor twice.


ASBA Pot O’ Gold Futurity

The ASBA futurity program pays cash awards to youth showing ewes and wethers that were purchased as breeder nominated lambs at ASBA sanctioned sales and cooperating individual breeder online sales.  In 2015, breeder nominations were recorded at 257 spring ewe lambs, 32 fall ewe lambs, and 56 wether market lambs in the first year of the market lamb futurity.  Yearling ewes were nominated the previous year as a lamb.  The total payout for 2015 futurity is $9,400 in total.  A complete listing of all final futurity results can be found here:  Southdown Juniors – Futurity page.

Spring Ewe Lamb: Ewe lambs continue to receive record nominations by breeders and display very competitive show ring exposure. This is the 24th year of the spring ewe lamb futurity.

1st – Lexy Grace (NH) – Scramlin 1534

2nd – Lydia Wilson (NC) – Forsee E15-033

3rd – Carson Lobdell (WI) – Bowman 15233

4th – Garrett Schreiner (IL) – Bowman 1520

5th – Andi Belt (MO) – Bechman RVF 1521

Fall Ewe Lamb:

1st – Robert Casey (OH) – MB Genetics 14F-2XEM

2nd – Lydia Wilson (NC) – Forsee E14-363

3rd – Holden Lovelace (TN) – Rincker 1503

4th – Baylee Wade (MO) – Reid 14-49

5th – Dylan Klug (IA) – Pleasant Springs 7076

Yearling Ewe:

1st – Trent George (MI) – Forsee E14-268

2nd – Caroline Kuhn (IN) – Forsee E14-044

3rd – Ephraim Fowler (OH) – Willwerth 14-691

4th – Lydia Wilson (NC) – Forsee E14-171ET

5th – Mackenzie Padgett (IN) – Oldenburg 4116

Market Lamb: This is the 1st year of the market lamb futurity (wethers only in 2015).  With the addition of market-type ewe lambs to this division, look for a very competitive year in 2016.

1st – Drew George (MI)

2nd – Morgan Hardebeck (IN)


2015 NAILE  Junior Breeding Show

358 head entered.  Judge:  Matt Scramlin of Michigan

Grand Champion Ewe:  Megan & Preston Forsee (KY) – Forsee E15-193

Reserve Grand Champion Ewe:  Megan & Preston Forsee (KY) – Forsee E14-242

Grand Champion Ram:  Megan & Preston Forsee (KY) – Forsee “Stoneworks”

Reserve Grand Champion Ram:  Jaleigh Oldenburg (OK) – Oldenburg 5112


2015 NAILE Junior Market Lamb Show

For the first year, a $1000 scholarship was given to the winner of the Southdown market lamb show at the North American.  This year the show was won by Travis Wallen of Indiana.  Travis will receive the scholarship upon his admittance to college.  The reserve champion Southdown lamb was shown by Ainsley Balfanz of Wisconsin.  Ainsley will receive a $500 scholarship upon admittance to a college or university of his choice.


2015 Stars of Louisville Sale

30 entries sold for an average of $1,390.  A full disclosure of sale results can be found here:  Show & Sale Results


2015 NAILE – National Open Show

265 head entered.  Judge:  Kelly Bruns of Nebraska

Grand Champion Ewe:  Adrianna Wendland (MN) – NSLS 15124

Reserve Grand Champion Ewe:  Claire Spilde (WI) – Pleasant Springs 7070

Best Breed Character Ewe:  Mark & Amy Johnson (IL) – A&M Ranch 57156

Grand Champion Ram:  Carson Knittel (IL) – “Bo” Bowman 1447

Reserve Grand Champion Ram:  Carson Knittel (IL) – McCalla 1505

Best Breed Character Ram:  Adrianna Wendland (MN) – NSLA 15123

Flock:  Adrianna Wendland (MN), Forsee (KY), Alisun Watson (AR)

Premier Exhibitor:  Morgan & Preston Forsee (KY)

2016 ASBA National Open Show will be held at 2016 NAILE.


ASBA Informal Board Meeting and ASBA 133rd Annual Meeting

For a full review of minutes on the Informal Board Meeting as well as the ASBA Annual Social and Meeting, please visit the website: Policy & Minutes page.

Board Elections: Previous members holding seats were all nominated and re-elected to new terms for their respective region/district.  Those individuals include:  Jeff Repasky, JJ Maddox, Barb Bishop, Jeff Oldenburg, Jim Davis, and Mike McElvain.

Spirit of the Breed Award: Each year we recognize an individual who has gone above and beyond the call of duty for the betterment of the Southdown breed.  in 2015, we honor LC Scramlin and family of Holly, MI.

Youth Development: A committee was established to research and propose how a ASBA Youth Endowment Fund could be formed.  Also, two Junior Coordinator Positions were assigned.  Ambassador Coordinator is Amy Powell Pederson (IA) and Youth Public Relations is Megan Nielson (SD).

Breed Type & Standard: The board moved forward with leg fitting enforcement during NAILE with the committee monitoring/coaching for proper Southdown fitting.  Also, the ASBA board was in agreement for discrimination within the breed for Callipyge characteristics of leg muscle shape, short loin, and a sloped hip.

Electronic and Print: Website now has a page dedicated to the AJSA.  Social Media is an effective tool for the breed with strong following. 1,610 ABA Facebook followers,  749 AJSA Facebook followers, 240 Twitter followers.  ASBA will continue with two annual print publications.

National Sale: The 2015 National Sale was hosted by The Big Ohio Sale in Eaton, Ohio.  111 lots sold for an average of $1,009.  In 2016, the National Sale will be hosted by Willoughby Livestock on April 30th and held in Richmond, Indiana.  The Junior National Futurity Kickoff will be held following the National Sale.

National Junior Show:

The 2015 National Junior Southdown Show was held in conjunction with the 2015 All American Junior Show in West Springfield, MA.  Kyle Thayer judged the 205 head shown.  Complete results can be found on the ASBA website’s Show & Sale Results webpage.  Plan to attend the 2016 National Junior Show held again in conjunction with the All American Junior Show in East Lansing, Michigan.

Grand Champion Ram:  Lexy Grace (NH) – Rincker Southdowns 800 “Full Throttle”

Grand Champion Ewe:  Jessica Leary (MA) – Fox Field 1401

Reserve Grand Champion Ewe: Courtney Lobdell (WI) – Darlington Downs 1429

Grand Champion Market Lamb:  Mackenzie Padgett (IN)

Reserve Grand Champion Market Lamb:  Drew George (MI)

2016 ASBA Reginal Shows:

Wisconsin Sheep & Wool Festival:  Midwest Junior Regional Show
San Diego County Fair; CA:  Western Junior Regional
Northeastern Youth Sheep Show:  Northeastern Junior Regional
The Big E “100 Anniversary”:  Open Regional Show

Ambassador Committee Report: Ambassador Online sale held in April was a success with 16 sheep consigned by various breeders.  $5,421 as given directly to the AJSA.  Plan for the 2016 Ambassador Online Sale on April 18, 2016.  T-shirt sales for $15 each are another fundraiser.  Ambassadors offered a scavenger hunt and root beer floats at the National Jr Show.  Ambassadors attended a retreat at the University of Tennessee over the summer.

Association Facts presented at the Annual Meeting (10/1/14 – 9/30/15):

2015 Christened Sheep: A complete list can be found on the ASBA website’s Archives page here:  Association Info – Archives.

Top Five Recorders:  Forsee (160), NSLS (81), Oldenburg (80), Fastert (76), University of Findlay (76)

Top Five Transfers by State:  Texas 356, Indiana 351, Illinois 268, Ohio 210, Oklahoma 140

Top Five Registrations by State:  Illinois 583, Indiana 575, Texas 435, Oklahoma 376, Ohio 376

2016 National Open Show judge recommendations: Nominations are result of the ASBA membership voting at the 2015 Annual Meeting.  In order of recommendation:  Billy Wade & Matt Scramlin.




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Newsletter, 10-30-2015



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!



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.



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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 (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


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  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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