Mid South Regional Dorper Association
MSRDA Mission Statement
The Mid-South Regional Dorper Association promotes the Dorper and White Dorper Breeds through collaborative marketing strategies, educational programs, youth involvement, and an annual show and sale. We lend equal support to producers ofall sizes. Members of the Mid-South Regional Dorper Association commit themselves to the continual improvement of their breed and look forward to supplying an ever-growing market for Dorper Sheep.
Broadening the Customer Base
David S. Redwine, DVM
Having just returned from Sedalia, Missouri, and the National Dorper /White Dorper Sale, I am very pleased and enthusiastic about the future of our breed. Both the numbers and quality of dorper and white dorper sheep were up, the sale was lively, and prices reflected the industry's approval of our breed nationwide. Four days in sweltering heat gave me the opportunity to evaluate where dorper sheep fit into the long term future of the national sheep industry, and formulate a plan to insure survival. Our continued success stems from the ways in which dorpers differ from other breeds. I had the misfortune of suffering through the shows and sales of every kind of "dale" you could think of. Montadales, Corriedales, Shaggydales, Skinnydales, etc. After watching a parade of sheep gather no bids, I concluded that these breeds have sealed their own fate. As breeding sheep, they contribute absolutely nothing that would enable the commercial lamb producer to become more profitable. Fine boned, thin muscled, small framed sheep backed by little or no performance data fail to attract buyers outside of the few registered producers in attendance. As a result, the sales have deteriorated to a "sheep swap among friends". This is where I believe we have and should continue to separate ourselves from the pack. As I spoke with prospective dorper buyers, the conversation inevitably turned to carcass merit, cutability, loin eyes, legs, and average daily gain. At the grass roots level, dorpers are getting it done in the market lamb department. We are reaching a customer base that is educated, profit driven, and serious about their sheep operation. They see dorper sheep as providing a valuable and essential piece to the puzzle that is the ultimate market lamb. The early and rapid gain of dorper lambs, increased dressing percentage, higher percentage of retail cuts, and increased feed efficiency are being noticed, and are paying big dividends to commercial breeders. As dorper breeders, we should be running performance trials, collecting carcass data, measuring feed efficiency, and telling everyone we know about the superior qualities of this breed. Our goal should be to place a dorper ram in every flock of sheep in the nation. Marketing is at least as important and production, if not more so. Let's stake a claim in the commercial market lamb industry. This broad customer base will support us and provide a foundation for successful registered breeders to build on.
This page was last updated: June 12, 2016
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