The winter board meeting of the American Romney Breeders Association was called to order at 1:03 p.m. EST by president, Chris Posbergh. Participating in the conference call were Posbergh, Randy Thompson, Charlene Carlisle, Scott Culver, Anne McIntyre-Lahner, Allison Seyfert, Katherine Moore, Don Burgess, Sue Kalina, Carolynn Harwell, Betsy McPherson and JoAnn Mast.
The American Romney Breeders Association (ARBA), is the registrar for and promoter of Romney sheep in the United States and Canada. ARBA registers both white and natural colored Romneys. We welcome your visit!
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The 2016 Romney Futurity results for youth members of the American Romney Breeders Association have been announced. The placings are as follows:
First Place White Romney
Megan Higgins of Coventry, CT showing Chapin 185 a ewe lamb from Smiling Sheep Farm in NH.
First Place Black Romney
Courtney Lyman of Dracut, MA showing Anchorage Farm 1392B a ewe lamb from Anchorage Farm in NY.
Second Place Black Romney
Ethan Plank of Hillsdale, MI showing 3L-1601 a ewe lamb from 3L & S Farms in MI.
Futurity points are earned for each show in which the futurity sponsored animals are shown. Points are totaled and placings determined. Futurity sponsored animals are offered at purebred sales in the spring and lambs can be shown throughout the year, ending with the classes at NAILE.
The Board has adopted a one breed; one standard approach. This initial version, approved on 11/11/16, focuses on the White Romney. The Education Committee of the Board is currently working on language to incorporate natural colored (black) Romneys, followed by Moorit (brown) Romneys. The Board anticipates this work will be completed during the spring of 2017.
Below are the findings of the Science Advisory Panel explaining the science behind brown versus black color and how brown could have remained hidden in the Romney population.
As the field of genetics is evolving from studying abstract alleles to knowing the specific DNA code responsible for various differences, breed associations must adapt to this continuously updated knowledge. With the recent advances in genomics, more is being discovered about the sheep genome every day to give us better insight into the DNA changes responsible for the sheep we love. These Romneys are the same as white or black Romneys except for a small piece of DNA out of three billion base pairs. We should not exclude them for registry based only on a single piece that changes their color but does not affect their health, well-being, or attributes that make them strong American Romneys.
Until such time a DNA test for moorit status is available (hopefully in the next few months), the steps for tracking moorit as recommended by the Panel and decided upon by the Board of Directors are the best course of action for the breed and association. Individual breeders can decide if they want to breed with moorit lines or not, very similar to breeders now that choose to breed solely white Romneys or specific breeding lines.