Rams with high performing carcase traits were sought after at the Wilson Creek White Suffolk sale reaching a top of $2200.
The sale achieved a high clearance of 39 rams sold of the 40 offered for an average of $1187.
The top-priced ram, Wilson's Creek 220016,was purchased by University of New England's (UNE's) Smart Farm, Armidale.
The ram had a lamb eating quality (LEQ) figure of +161.55 and post-weaning eye muscle depth (PEMD) figure of +4.06, both in the top five per cent of the breed.
The September-drop ram also recorded a post-weaning-weight figure of +17.28 and an intramuscular fat figure of -0.05, placing him in the top 20pc for both traits, while also displaying a birthweight value of +0.12.
Drought Resilience Adoption and Innovation Hub Armidale manager, Lu Hogan, said the program, Empowering Gen Z, bought the rams with the plan for them to be part of the drought resilience teaching program for the universities students.
"I'm managing a project at UNE to establish an education site for students around drought resilient grazing management, which is funded through the future drought fund," Ms Hogan said.
"We have 250 Merino ewes that will be demonstrating best practice grazing management to students and comparing that to industry average grazing management.
"We want to join them to a terminal ram, but we specifically selected low birth weight and very good worm egg count (WEC) figures in addition to great weaning and post weaning weight figures."
Ms Hogan said the students would go through the same process as she did to buy the rams to show them how to buy the right rams for the business to make their flocks most resilient to drought and climate variability.
"I also used a product that UNE developed called Ramselect to rank the rams and identify the ones that best suited our needs," Ms Hogan said.
"So I excluded any animals greater than 0.25 for birth weight on my list.
"Half the farm is set up as rotational grazing best practice and half the farm is set up as set stocked and we are going to compare how the animals perform in those two systems."
"We put in best practice water infrastructure, in terms of high quality, secure supply reticulated through poly and concrete troughs.
"We have new yards, new fences and we're putting down improved pastures in the rotational grazing part and we're doing up all the facilities so it's most suitable for education."
The program also purchased another three rams for an average of $1900.
Wilson's Creek White Suffolk stud principal Cameron Gall said the he was happy with the result of the sale.
"The buyers directed their choices on estimated breeding values (EBVs) and there was certainly were a large portion of the offering in the top five pc for their EBV traits.
"A number of buyers utilised Ramselect to make their choice of rams."
The sale was conducted by PR Watts and Company, Armidale, while AuctionsPlus provided the online interface.