Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Maryland hosts Katahdin Expo

The 2008 Katahdin Hair Sheep International (KHSI) Expo & Sale was held recently at the Washington County Agricultural Education Center near Boonsboro, MD.

Approximately 160 Katahdin enthusiasts from 23 states and Mexico attended the educational program on September 26. Representatives from Virginia Tech, Virginia State University, West Virginia University, and the University of Maryland and Delaware State University briefly discussed their small ruminant programs and how Katahdin sheep were being used.

Todd Morren from the Hagerstown Canteen carves a lamb for dinner Other speakers focused on the pasture production of Katahdin lambs, genetic improvement of Katahdin sheep, including selection for parasite resistance; and marketing Katahdin sheep and lambs. Two speakers addressed the ethnic markets. Representatives from the Scott County Hair Sheep Association shared their experiences marketing Katahdin lamb through a multi-state supermarket chain (Food City).

Lunch was taco salad made from lamb. Two whole lambs were roasted for dinner. The Hagerstown Canteen did an excellent job on the meals. Entertainment was provided by a local country and western band: Don and the Starlighters.

High selling Katahdin:  (L-R) David Maddox (buyer), Marcia and Carl Ginapp (consigners)On the second day of the Expo, participants had the opportunity to tour the nearby Western Maryland Research & Education Center, home of the Western Maryland Pasture-Based Meat Goat Performance Test. The tour also highlighted pumpkins, forages, and vineyards.

Fifty-five registered Katahdin sheep were sold in the National Katahdin Sale on September 27. The high-selling sheep was a yearling ram consigned by Carl Ginapp from Iowa. The ram sold on the strength of his outstanding EPD's and brought $3,100. The buyer was Dave Maddox from Georgia.

Katahdins are an American breed of hair sheep. They are known for their outstanding reproductive qualities and easy-care nature: no shearing or docking and minimal deworming. Katahdins are the sixth most popular breed of registered sheep in the United States.