Lamb Value Discovery Workshop set at NDSU

NDSU Extension
Farm Forum

Sheep producers will have an opportunity to learn about live animal evaluation, sheep slaughter, carcass merit and lamb value during a workshop the North Dakota State University Extension Service is hosting April 25-26.

The interactive event will be held in Shepperd Arena on the NDSU campus. It will run from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on April 25 and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on April 26.

“It has always been exciting for me to learn about the conversion of animals to meat and understand the value difference of each animal,” says Travis Hoffman, NDSU/University of Minnesota Extension sheep specialist. “This educational seminar will provide insight on how we can work collectively to produce high-quality lamb and inevitably receive more for producing a premium product.

“The practical application of ultrasound and actual carcass measurements can be used to shape our ram selection and breeding programs,” he adds.

This program is modeled after the sheep industry’s Lamb 300 courses, with the addition of ultrasound measurements from the April 16-17 NDSU Sheep Ultrasound Certification School.

Attending producers will receive the chance to “bid” on a group of marketed lambs. The producers will be able to follow those lambs through harvest at the NDSU Meats Laboratory, fabrication and taste testing.

“This will allow determination of actual live, carcass, and wholesale and retail prices, along with consumer satisfaction, to be evaluated from a total of 20 lambs,” Hoffman says.

In future research, he will be working with sheep producers in North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota to collect carcass data from their 2018-marketed (July-September) lambs. This workshop and research are sponsored by the American Sheep Industry Association’s Let’s Grow program.

“We are recruiting interested individuals who want to learn more about the carcass merit of their lamb crop and strive for preferred lamb premiums,” Hoffman says. “We can expect a continued push for value-based marketing, and it will be rewarding to produce fast-gaining lambs that produce trim, muscular carcasses.”

The cost of the workshop is $50. The registration deadline is April 23. Register online at through the NDSU Marketplace link.

For more information about the workshop and/or future research involvement, contact Hoffman at 701-231-2222 or