Lancaster farming. (Lancaster, Pa., etc.) 1955-current, April 14, 1984, Image 1

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    VOL 29 No. 24
The pros and cons
of the ram lamb test
pnnciple behind performance
testing is simple. Place a group of
one species under controlled
conditions eliminating all possible
variables, feed a high quality
ration, monitor each animal’s
performance, and the cream rises
to the top.
Not surprisingly, the technique
works and is accepted by beef,
swine and sheep breeders as the
shortcut to genetic improvement.
Bn' t performance testing is all
that we say it is, why have only 47
rams been entered in the Pa.
Department of Agriculture’s
Spring Ram Lamb Test at the
Meat Animal Evaluation Center in
State College, and why did Ed
Barben, the program’s acting
director, find it necessary to ex
tend the sign-up deadline to April
’ i, to obtain what amounts to little
more than one-half the number of
lambs deemed necessary.
At a total value of $6,223,000,
Pennsylvania’s sheep industry can
hardly be considered a
heavyweight when compared to
the state’s $63,900,000 worth of
hogs, and its $1 billion-plus cattle
business. Nevertheless, with a
state-wide yearly lamb crop of
80,000, a test enrollment of 80 ram
lambs hardly seems excessive.
Some of the test’s former par
ticipants feel they know the
reasons for the performance test’s
low enrollment, and most
criticisms fall into one of three
categories, health problems,
inadequate promotion, and poor
prices received at the test sale.
Pa. FFA names executive-secretary
Enkson, who has a 24-year in
volvement with FFA including the
past five at Elizabethtown High
School, Lancaster County, will
begin duties on July 1 as the
t xecutive Secretary of the Penn
sylvania Association of Future
Farmers of America.
his duties will begin in the
new position, Enkson will share
hi', time with half being devoted to
itigt post and half as a continuing
member of the vo-ag staff at
Enkson is chairman of the
Elizabethtown Industrial Arts
! department. With A 1 Martin as the
other current member of the vo-ag
staff, Elizabethtown is seeking a
third member to join the depart
ment when Enkson begins his
shared duties.
With his office remaining at
f hzabethtown, Erikson’s duties as
Executive Secretary will be
devoted solely to FFA activities.
Enkson sees the post of
executive secretary as not one of
n taking a lot of initial drastic
changes, but perhaps one of doing
things that haven’t been done for
awhile or bringing a fresh ap-
Five Sections
“I’ve been up there (at the test
station) during the summer and
found the pens filthy,” remarks
Annette Menhennett, president of
the Pennsylvama-Maryland
Shropshire Association. “Because
of the height of the waterers,
they’re always full of fecal
material, and as far ayl’m con
cerned, the animals’ feet aren’t
cared for properly During one
summer, half the test was spent
trying to clear up an outbreak of
foot rot. The situation is un
fortunate because the per
formance test should be the most
important evaluating tool in our
Joan MacCauley concurs with
Menhennett’s assessment of the
health situation. Purebred Suffolk
breeders from Atglen, Joan and
Bill MacCauley have thus far
entered two of their rams in the
test. Mrs. MacCauley feels that
overcrowding may have led to foot
rot problems in the past, and cites
disease and poor test promotion as
reasons for what she feels have
been substandard prices at sale
“Though we, personally, have
never lost money,” says Mrs.
MacCauley, “we do know of a
number of instances where people
have actually had to pay after their
rams were sold.”
Dottie and Blaise Alackness,
breeders of Suffolks and Targhees,
from Roulette, in Potter County,
aren’t pleased with test sale
results, either.
“When you have $75 to $lOO
wrapped up in a test ram, you’re
(Turn to PageA34)
proach to FFA activities in the
'One of the major areas of initial
concern,” Enkson explained, "will
William Erikson
Lancaster Farming, Saturday, April 14,1984
The first step in farm crime prevention, says State Police Trooper Romaine Edwards
is to install quality locks on all doors and windows.
Just how secure is your farm?
LANCASTER - With 250 more
acres of corn to harvest before the
weekend’s forecasted rain settles
in, it was no tune for the beater bar
on the forage wagon to tear loose.
So it’s off to the shop with the
wagon where the broken part will
be welded.
A well-organized shop, you know
be the coordination of all state
FFA activities and events, as well
as regional and national activities
as they involve members from the
-'As an example, he listed coor
dination of planning and
preparation for the various con
tests and competitions in which
FFA members participate from
the local through the state levels
and on to regional and national
_ “I’m a firm believer in a policy
that if someone goes through
everything involved in these
events, then it should be done
right,” Enkson said.
‘lf Pennsylvania sends a team
on to further competition, that
team should be the best we have to
offer and the members should be
the best prepared that they
possibly can be.”
In FFA competitive activities,
he cited the coordination of such
things as the proper completion
and submitting of applications
filled out by FFA’ers and
assistance to make certain that
various contests are properly
conducted at the local level to try
and improve the standing of
(Turn to Page AJ4)
exactly where your arc welder is -
safe and secure in the far corner of
the building. But as you walk
towards the corner, no welder is in
sight. Quickly looking about the
shop, you realize your welder is
- The full moon should be out
tonight, so you see no problem in
leaving your tractor, intact with
the baler, in the back forty fertile
night. The next morning; however,
you realize that that was"; a
mistake. The battery from fhe
tractor has been removed and the
tires on your baler have been
slashed. :
Cow number 49D has finally
come into heat. Not wanting to'
miss the opportunity to breed her,
you rush off to your semen tank to
Low path depopulation
begins in Lancaster
Agriculture Secretary Penrose
Hallowed and federal Avian In
fluenza Task Force director Dr.
Gerald J Fichtner have an
nounced plans to begin eradication
ot all Pennsylvania poultry flocks
pi eviously classified as having the
low pathogenic (LP) or mild form
ot avian influenza.
The decision to depopulate LPAI
Hocks was made by Assistant
USDA Secretary tor Marketing
and Inspection Services, CW.
McMillan on Friday, April (i The
decision was based on recom
mendations from the USDA’s
Scientific and Technical Advisory
Cumnnliee on Avian Influenza.
17.SUper Year
pull some of the $135 per unit
semen you have. Your written
inventory list shows that five
ampules should be available, but
you can’t find even one.
In all three of these cases, you
have been a victim of farm crime
Statistics show that incidents of
rural cririle. are increasing
although the overall crime rate is
decreasing. One reason for this is
the increase in security measures,
such a& cpime watch programs,
that city residents are using to
protggt tfieir homes and neigh-
Thieves ,are finding it
ooHect their wares in the
rural areas
, ’lt’s getting really tough for
criminals m the <;itv.” said
(Turn to PageA26)
According to Hallowed, 48 flocks
with 2.8 million birds were
classified as LPAI flocks in
January, based on clinical signs,
epidemiology and laboratoiy
evidence of infection Howevei,
some have since been depopulated
or marketed by the owners The
Agriculture Secretary estimated
that as many as 2 2 to 2.5 million
birds in 39 flocks may be
depopulated under this phase of
the avian influenza eradication
Farmers affected by the decision
ha\e been contacted, and
depopulation began on Thursday
with those farmers who volun-
(Turn to PageA34)