One stop shop for tups

5th November 2015

Make Monday 21st September a date in your diary!

One Stop Shop for Tups

Europe’s biggest ram sale, held at the Royal Welsh Showground, is a one stop shop offering farmers choice, quality and veterinary health checked rams.

The NSA Wales & Border Ram Sales organisers stress that bringing together nearly 6,000 rams from across the UK delivers diversity, knowledge and a wealth of experience. Buyers can select from more than twenty breeds and often have the chance to consider performance records, EBVs and breeding, while comparing rams against their peers and discussing their management with breeders.

National Sheep Association Chief Executive, Phil Stocker, says that figures are important, but the farmer’s eye also matters when it comes to selecting stock. It’s vital to be able to assess a ram in the flesh, among other sheep, when deciding what is right for an individual flock.

He adds:  “The diversity at the sale with rams coming in from across the UK is reflective of the industry and also reflective of the image most of the public have got of sheep farming.  It’s about the diversity of upland and lowland farms, large and small farms and the diversity of genetics and breed types that is so important to the future of our industry and so valued by the public.

“Sheep farmers can come to one point and buy across a range of breeds efficiently and in one hit. It can be a good use of time for very busy people.

“These rams are also quality checked to a level that doesn’t happen in a normal sale. They’re checked for being correct to type and breed and also checked by vets to ensure that their basic health conditions are good, giving a level of assurance to buyers.

“The sales also provide a financial floor, so that the buyer gets a good indication of the value of the rams and the confidence that he or she is paying a fair price.  Farmers coming to buy can see the rams alongside other stock, can do a basic comparison and make sure the ram is visually appealing and also often get the back up of some of the EBVs and recording information if they are available.

“It’s a complete picture and also brings the opportunity to talk to the vendor about the way the sheep have been reared and about health programmes, vaccination, worming. You’re not just buying anonymously and sellers want repeat business so are always keen to talk.”

Mr Stocker added that it was educational for younger farmers to talk to older flockmasters. The thousands of people gathered together involved in practical sheep farming also mean it is an important social occasion, with a good buzz about it, offering great networking opportunities.”

West Wales Charollais breeder, Arwyn Thomas, whose Championship ram made 3,000 guineas at last year’s NSA Wales & Border main sale says that price is as good as he’d get anywhere. He says the sale at the Royal Welsh Showground is one of the most important dates on the calendar.

He added: “I try to keep two or three of my first division rams for the NSA Wales & Border Ram Sale at Builth in September. It’s a fantastic sale with the sheer variety of choice for the commercial farmer, with sufficient quality to also excite the pedigree breeder.”

The NSA Wales & Border Ram Sales main sale takes place at the Royal Welsh Showground, Builth Wells LD2 3SY on Monday 21st September.