For half a century, the WVU Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design’s Reymann Memorial Farm has been “taking the bull by the horns” with its annual bull sale and evaluation program.
The West Virginia Bull Evaluation Program, commonly referred to as the Wardensville Bull Test, was introduced to this West Virginia University farm in 1967. The evaluation center, sponsored by the West Virginia Cattlemen’s Association, West Virginia Department of Agriculture, WVU Extension Service, and WVU Division of Animal and Nutritional Sciences, is available to mid-size seedstock breeders and is designed to identify genetically superior bulls and increase profitability of commercial cattlemen in West Virginia and the Mid-Atlantic Region.
The evaluation program will hold its 50th Bull Sale at the Reymann Memorial Farm, which is also celebrating its 100th year as a WVU farm, at noon March 23. The sale has always taken place at the Reymann Memorial Farm, located on Highway 259 about two miles north of Wardensville in Hardy County.
“Each year the program culminates with a sale the fourth Thursday in March with only 60-70 percent of the participating bulls qualifying,” Shaffer said. “Bulls qualify by meeting and/or exceeding strict criteria for gain, weight, efficiency, muscle expression, carcass quality, soundness and fertility.”
This longstanding event has truly withstood the test of time. According to Shaffer, many similar programs have failed to last for as long as this one.
“Early on, the program focused on improving growth rate and feed conversion, but to meet the demands of an evolving market, the program later shifted to emphasizing calving ease and carcass quality,” said Kevin Shaffer, program coordinator.
Shaffer said input costs have steadily risen and the program has focused on feed conversion efficiency and identifying complete bulls that can function efficiently in all sectors of the beef industry.
“The program is dependent upon producer participation both as consignors and buyers,” he continued. “The success is largely due to their commitment to the program. This is truly a program for the people of the beef industry.”
The Bull Sale will feature three breeds of bulls: Angus, Hereford and Charolais. Interested individuals can either bid in person during the auction at Reymann Memorial Farm or via telephone. The sale will be broadcast live over the Internet.
In 1917, the Reymann family of Wheeling donated this farm to WVU. Originally, a 931.25-acre dairy farm, Reymann Memorial Farm has grown in both size and functionality.
Today, the farm is not only home to the Bull Evaluation Program, but is also involved in several other endeavors throughout the year. The now 996-acre farm also performs research in a variety of areas, including ovarian functions in domestic ruminants, field crop testing, genetic lines of turkeys and more.
For more information on the West Virginia Bull Evaluation Program and Bull Sale, visit http://bulltest.ext.wvu.edu/. To learn more about the farm’s 50th anniversary and the history of Reymann Memorial Farm, click here.
CONTACT: Julie Cryser;
Assistant Dean of Advancement, Davis College of Agriculture Natural Resources
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