As our experience with the program grows a few practical factors evolve as being important:
- Primary goal is producing Commercial Terminal rams specialized for the western range environment.
- The linebred breeding program helps to promote prepotent rams that all tie back into the Sport Pepper, Hiemke 12034 ram genetics. Many 2018 lambs are F-3’s.
- Heritage Hiemke/Groverman Shropshire genetics provide a identifiable and stable base and we strive to maintain around 50 percent of those genetics in the progeny of the convergence program.
- Partnering with a major lamb producer, Jock Sheehan of Roaring Fork Sheep LLC, assists in collecting production data and discerning production traits.
- The NSIP data system (tied into extensive data history of the Hiemke/Groverman flocks) along with the Wyoming Black Face Ram test allows replacement selection to be primarily performance driven (obviously always visually checking soundness traits).
- Produce an end product terminal Ram of Moderate size. a) Yearling weight of 225 to 250; b) mature 270 to 290; c) top line 37 to 39 inches, d) height 33 to 35 inches, e) heart girth to length ratio of 1.5 minimum.
- And last, but maybe most important is the people, western sheep people that we have had the opportunity to meet and add to our Midwest roots.
Here is a little look at 3 of the 4 Stud rams used in 2018.
“Sport Pepper 5th” and “Sport Pepper 4th”
Here are our two top F-1 stud rams in the Wyoming Flock used for 2018 lamb crop, rams sired by Hiemke Sport Pepper 12034.
On the left, Knepp 1505 Sport Pepper 5th, (Grand Sire on the dam side is Knepp 911, Champion ram at Indiana in 2010, and a son of Slutz’s “Tommy”).
On the right, Knepp 1406 Sport Pepper 4th, (Grand sire on the Dam side is Cabaniss 357-10, Reserve Champion Shropshire Ram in Sedalia in 2010).
” Buckskin 2nd”, Knepp 1611
This is one of our F-2 Rams, sired by “Boomer”, Cabaniss 117-12 and dammed by an F-1 Sport Pepper Hiemke 12034 daughter (and also on the dam side the Great Grand Sire is Knepp 911 son of Slutz’s “Tommy”).
We call him Buckskin 2nd, Knepp 1611 (in tribute to the famous Buckskin English Shrop Ram in 1850’s England) He is part of the Kansas Flock and for 2018 we bred him to a number of ewes. At this point based on weaning weights he has sired the top 2018 ram lamb in the total flock.