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Montana Wool Growers Association

P.O. Box 1693 Helena, MT  59624       406-442-1330   mwga@mtsheep.org

MWGA

HISTORY OF THE MONTANA RAM SALE

In 1950 the Montana Wool Growers first sponsored the Montana State Ram Sale in Miles City. There are very complete records from that date forward. In talking to older members of the Wool Growers, they would tell about the ram sale in Miles City during the 1930’s and 40’s.

Then a picture showed up of the 1928 ram sale in Miles City. In researching that picture it was learned that 1928 was the third sale for the Eastern Montana Ram Sale. The picture of the rams was probably to show off the new barn as reported in the April 1928 Montana Wool Growers magazine.

“Due to the efforts and careful planning of J.H. Bohling Secretary of the Eastern Montana Fair and Ram Sale, the contract has been let to build new and permanent pens with roofs, and a covered sale ring for the Ram Sale held in connection with the Eastern Montana Fair. The building and ground will cost $3000.”

This sale was sponsored by the Eastern Montana Wool Growers in its early years and later by a group of Miles City businessmen and local sheepman. By 1950 they were ready to turn it over to someone else and the Montana Wool Growers has run it ever since.

Prior to 1950 the Montana Wool Growers had sponsored state ram sales around Montana and for a while there were several Wool Grower sponsored sales each year in different parts of the state. The earliest of the “modern” Montana Wool Grower magazines started in 1928 (we have issues from the 1880s and 90s) and it reported that the 1928 sale would be the eleventh Montana Ram Sale.

88th MONTANA RAM SALE - SEPTEMBER 12, 2013

EASTERN MONTANA FAIRGROUNDS

MILES CITY, MONTANA

PAST MONTANA RAM SALE CATALOGS

88th Annual Miles City Ram Sale Catalog 2013

87th Annual Montana Ram Sale Sept 13, 2012

86th Annual Montana Ram Sale Sept 15, 2011

85th Annual Montana Ram Sale Sept 16, 2010

84th Annual Montana Ram Sale Sept 17, 2009

Links to articles about selecting a ram.

Ram Selection - Why Use Genetic Records by MT Sheep Institute

Montana Farm Flock Sheep Production Handbook by Rodney Kott in .pdf

Flock Improvement through Ram Selection by OSU in a .pdf

Reproduction in the Ram by Sheep 101

Ram Sheep Selection by Auburn University

Ram Management by Merck Vet Manual

Breeding Soundness Examination of the Male in Sheep by Merck Vet Manual

Selecting Rams for Wool Production from MT Sheep Institute


88TH ANNUAL MILES CITY RAM SALE RESULTS FOR 2013

88th Annual Montana Ram Sale


Wool growers from across the Western U.S. and Canada made their way to the 88th Annual Montana Ram Sale on September 12, 2013 at the Eastern Montana Fairgrounds.  Sponsored by the Montana Wool Growers Association, the sale has become a natural gathering place for sheepmen looking for quality bucks with exceptional data and records. Montana State University sponsored a producer forum on Wednesday afternoon in the 4-H Building.  Growers learned about the ethnic market calendar from MSU Alum Kathy Soder of K Bar K Farm in Pennsylvania and received a market update from Ron Cole of Colorado.  The evening entertainment featured a Roast and Toast for a man who has helped guide and shape not only this sale, but the Montana sheep industry as well.  Dr. Rodney Kott will retire this October 31 after serving 33 years as the MSU State Sheep Extension Specialist.  Miss Haylie Shipp of the Northern Ag Network presided as Master of Ceremonies on Wednesday night as 225 growers celebrated Dr. Kott.  When asked by Haylie about the secret to his success, Dr. Kott stated “I always thought from the beginning that I was working for the producers of this state and not the University.”  Spectators were treated to a short skit based on a Dickens classic where Dr. Kott was visited by the Ghost of Roast and Toast Past (Dr. Verl Thomas played by Mike Schuldt), Present (Tex A. Anem-Texas Re-naturalization Officer played by Brent Roeder) and Future (Nurse Killenyouslow played by Kacie Killen).  There were many tales told through the night and the enjoyable evening was capped with the presentation of an engraved shotgun from the past presidents and current board of the Montana Wool Growers.  A big thank you to Mike and Cheryl Schuldt and all the local businesses who contributed to make the evening a special event for Dr. Kott.

On Thursday, about 200 ram sale buyers and townspeople were treated to an excellent lamb BBQ lunch prepared by Red Neck Grill and the Miles City Chamber.  The sale kicked off at noon sharp with local auctioneer Rob Fraser calling the bids and keeping the sale moving.  This year one would have seen buyers from Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota, Idaho, Colorado, Oregon, Washington, and Saskatchewan and even some on the internet link provided by John Morford of Frontier Stockyards.  Collin Gibbs took the chair later in the sale, while ring men Andy Wemmer and Zane Kettleman kept a sharp eye out for bids.  The fast paced sale moved 291 rams from 23 consignors in three and one half hours.  Three lots sold for over $3,000, but Sam Ortmann of Wolf Point topped the sale with a Targhee ram that went to Jon Beastrom of Pierre, SD, for $3,400.  The range ram average for the sale, which doesn’t include stud, test or no sale rams, was $793.84 on 284 head.  Although this is down from the previous two exceptionally high years, both buyers and consignors seemed happy with this year’s sale.  Buyers were especially willing to pay top dollar for fine wooled rams with larger rib eyes and good production numbers.  The Montana Wool Growers would like to thank Stockman Bank (Jim Hill, Kent Williams, and Geneal Bott), Farm Credit Services (Kristie Weischadle and Garryn Tvedt), Miles City FFA, Miles City Brand Inspectors, Eastern Montana Fairgrounds (Chet Holmes), Miles City Chamber and Red Neck Grill, MSU Extension (Dr. Rodney Kott, Dr. Lisa Surber, Mike Schuldt, Eric Miller, Elin Westover, Rose Malisani, and Chrissy Cook), and most of all Mick Wiest and Joe Brady. Hopefully next year’s sale will find us again slogging through the mud in Miles City.  


If you missed seeing an old friend in Miles City, be sure to look them up at the 130th Annual Montana Wool Growers Convention in Billings on December 6th and 7th.  



BREED

NUMBER OF HEAD

AVERAGE

SUFFOLK

28

$421.43

HAMP X SUFFOLK

14

$421.43 (Not a misprint)

COLUMBIA

6

$500.00

TARGHEE

201

$826.62

RAMBOUILLET

25

$1,284.00

RAMBOUILLET CROSS

10

$670.00

AVERAGE

294

$793.84

Sam Ortmann looks on as Andy Wemmer coaxes a $3,400 bid