February Shropshire Voice available digitally here
Dwarf Gene Policy News
In 2023, after 2 years of discussion, the ASRA Board instituted a project to assess the presence of the Dwarf gene with in the Shropshire breed. The Dwarf Gene is a simple autosomal recessive defect that is characterized by the affected offspring being proportionally reduced in frame size and weight to approximately 80-85% of normal size. These individuals are often characterized by “increased muscle shape” in the show ring. It is unclear at this time if the difference in phenotype of the muscle is due to a change in the size of the muscle fibers or due to differences in the distribution of muscle related to the change in frame size. Carrier animals (and in some cases affected individuals) cannot be easily distinguished from dwarf-free animals due to normal differences in phenotype between different bloodlines and individuals. The Dwarf gene is present mostly in the black-faced wether-type sheep.
At any sale where Shropshire Futurity Ewes may be consigned, Shropshire consignors must be able to guarantee, by testing or parentage, the DNA of their sale entries. All sheep offered at these sales must be guaranteed to have the genotype FF, no Dwarf gene carriers (FD) or Dwarf animals (DD) will be offered for sale. These genotypes will be posted on the sale orders at such sales or in online catalogs. This will continue into 2024 and 2025. In addition, some animals at designated shows be sampled and DNA tested through a recognized testing facility. All test results will be confidential and only the exhibitor will be informed of the result. Shows at this time include the All American Junior Show as well as the NAILE Open and Junior Shows. Other shows may be designated in the future. All Champion and Reserve Champion Rams and Ewes as well as 5 previously random drawn placings will be tested as well as the Ewe Lamb and Yearling Ewe Futurity winners. There will be no penalty in 2024 for animals testing with 1 or more Dwarf alleles (D). In 2025, there will be penalties levied. The ASRA Dwarf/DNA committee will hear all appeals. The ASRA currently does not prohibit a breeder from registering animals with 1 or more D alleles but suggests that breeders use the technology available to make wise breeding decisions.
In 2023, 26 samples collected at the AAJS and NAILE were sent to GeneCheck. A total of 3 samples had a result of FD. No results were DD. The exhibitors of these animals were notified by the secretary but otherwise, results are not shared.
Further information about Ovine Dwarfism can be found at this link.
Shropshire Hall of Fame
Nominations are due in the office ASAP. If you've been thinking about nominating a breeder from the past or even a current one, now is the time. Presentations are expected to be made during the Ohio Showcase Sale weekend in May. The application can be found here.
This program will run again in 2024. Recognition is available for active Shropshire boys and girls in 3 age Divisions: BoPeep (5-10 years), Princess (11-16 years), and Queen (17-21 years). We've appreciated and enjoyed seeing past winners helping to promote our breed as various events. Applications are due in the Shropshire office by March 15th and are available on the Youth page. Winners will be introduced at the National Shropshire Show and Sale in Ohio in May.
Shropshire Starter Flock
A total of $1,500 is available in 2024 for 2 young people anxious to get started in Shrops. Applications will include an essay, a budget for keeping 2 or more Shropshire ewes for 1 year and 1 or more letters of recommendation. Winners will be recognized at the National Shropshire Show and Sale in May and will receive a stipend of either $1000 or $500 to use to help purchase 1 or more Shrophire ewes at any of the following sales : Indiana Premier in Greenfield, IN, Ohio Showcase in Greenville, OH, Midwest Stud Ram Sale in Sedalia MO or any of the Online Sales where Shropshire Futurity Ewes are offered. The application is available on the Youth page and the deadline is March 15th.
Two $400 college scholarships are available in 2024. Applications are on the Youth page and that deadline is June 1st.
None of these programs happen without your help and your Sponsorship is always needed. The 2024 All American Junior Show will be in East Lancing, Michigan, in July. Your support for class sponsorships is appreciated. $35 is needed for each class and your name will appear on ringside banners.
Funds are needed for Junior programs like the Starter Flock, Futurity and NAILE Jr Show awards and other activities, Plans are underway for the 2nd Annual Shropshire Jr Association Kickstart Online Sale in May where you may purchase sponsorships or items that may be donated for sale. Please contact Becky Peterson for more information.
The place where one Shropshire breeder a month can share their story and promote their Shropshires in a unique and effective manner!
ASRA Hall of Fame
The Shropshire breed and its breeders are rich in history. The American Shropshire Registry Association (ASRA) has developed the Hall of Fame to honor people/families that have had a profound and positive impact on the growth, development, and legend of Registered Purebred Shropshire Sheep in the United States. The award will consist of a certificate with the recipient and/or farm name. The award will be presented/mailed to the recipient, if the recipient is deceased, the award will be presented to a family member. The recipient’s name will be added to the American Shropshire Registry Association Hall of Fame list that shall be printed in “The Voice”. It is the ASRA Board of Directors goal to embrace, celebrate and honor those people/families who have been historically influential to the Shropshire Breed. Click here for eligibility and nomination information (PDF).
Deaths in the Industry