WHITE Suffolk rams from Farrer Memorial Agricultural High School were spread among buyers from three different states during their annual sale on Wednesday where a full clearance was achieved.
All 52 rams on offer sold for a $1136 average and a top of $6300, back on last year's $1734 average and $9100 top due to seasonal conditions.
Rams sold to NSW and Queensland but it was Victorian buyers who parted with the most money during the Helmsman style auction with Anden White Suffolk stud securing lot 33, Farrer 180177.
By Felix 151229 and out of Farrer 150056, the August-drop twin ram was used as a back-up sire in Farrer's 2019 artificial insemination program.
He was in the top one per cent for worm resistance at -74, along with intramuscular fat (IMF) at 0.41 per cent and shear force at -2.6. His lamb eating quality (LEQ) was also top one per cent. This was all combined with carcase traits in the top 20 per cent for growth and muscle.
Anden stud principal Andrew Donnan hadn't seen the ram but trusted the judgement of Farrer stud manager Darren Smith.
Mr Donnan runs a flock of 250 stud ewes and purchased a Farrer ram some years ago whose grandson recently won Adelaide Royal Show.
He said the his new ram's top eating quality performance was a key reason for the purchase.
He believed, much like the cattle industry, intramuscular fat and shear force would be important traits in the future.
"When people start paying crayfish prices for lamb they are going to want a bit of a treat," Mr Donnan said.
"If we want to sell our sires to produce better eating quality well we have got with intramuscular fat and shear force.
"If we can improve anyway of eating quality on our lamb, well it's only going to help.
"They (Farrer rams) have got a lot of good genetic gain there and they do a lot of good work for a school, it's quite impressive."
Another Victorian stud, Iona White Suffolks, paid the second top price of $5500 for Farrer 180273, an August-drop son of Farrer 170015 APP.
He was also a back-up ram in the AI program and was selected in the Series 24 Superwhite Program.
He was in the top one per cent for LEQ, top five per cent for IMF at -0.02 and shear force at -0.8 and recognised for his low birth weight and extra fat.
A $3300 bid secured the twin brother of the $6300 ram, Farrer 180178, who was secured by Martin Oppenheimer, Petali White Suffolk stud, Walcha.
Commercial support was also solid with Fletcher International purchasing 12 rams for the Kiagarthur Station, Condobolin.
Tim Smith, Casinoroo, Lake Cargelligo, secured six rams as did Peter and Fiona Morse, Booyanurra, Coolah.
Farrer White Suffolk stud manager Darren Smith was overall pleased with the result considering the tough season around Tamworth.
The sale was conducted by Garvin and Cousens, Tamworth.