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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Improving Lamb Marketing, Quality, & Profitability: Options for California Producers Workshops
January 15 – 18, 2018 – Four Locations

California Wool Growers Association (CWGA) is hosting four interactive workshops focusing on improving lamb marketing and quality as well as producer profitability by applying innovative management practices including aseasonal lambing systems, genetic selection, best management practices, ultrasound technology to pregnancy check ewes, employing teaser rams to increase ewe efficiency, and adopting specialized feeding programs designed to shorten or extend marketing periods. [click to continue…]

Romneys in Cystic Fibrosis Research

by Site Admin on November 15, 2017

Romneys in Research!

The Utah State University (USU) sheep research program is using Romneys to study cystic fibrosis. Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a genetic disorder in humans that affects the lungs and sometimes parts of the digestive system. CF is inherited as a recessive trait caused by mutations within the CFTR gene. Currently there is no known cure for CF. USU sourced a handful of Romneys from Thompson Romneys, in Tacoma, WA, which will be used in the university’s biomedical model production in order to produce a sheep that exhibits similarities to the human version of CF. This will allow a more detailed understanding of the disease and hopefully lead to better treatments and eventually a cure. The way USU is producing these models is by producing what is known as a gene knock-out, where they can cause a gene to not work properly in an organism by introducing a change in the DNA. USU has combined this knockout technology with cloning, to produce genetically identical individuals except within CFTR where some carry this single base pair change and others do not.

Their current goal is to determine if homozygous individuals (2 copies of the mutation) are non-viable because of the mutation or the cloning process. They are currently breeding these clones to the new Romney additions to produce age-matched controls (no mutation) and heterozygous individuals (1 copy of the mutation). These heterozygous clones will also be bred to each other in the hopes of creating a homozygous individual to determine if the cloning process or mutation itself is responsible for the non-viability of the homozygous individuals.

There have been several animal models generated for CF, such as the ferret, mouse, and pigs, but none have been very successful at modeling the disease. Sheep were chosen because their respiratory system is very similar to humans. Romneys were specifically chosen because a lot is known about their genome particularly where the CFTR gene is located and that makes it easier to introduce targeted changes to replicate the human DNA changes seen in CF. If all goes according to plan this sheep model of CF should serve as a useful tool for researchers investigating the disease and open the door to new treatments for patients.

Romney Ramblings – Fall 2017

by Site Admin on November 13, 2017

Post image for Romney Ramblings – Fall 2017

Ramblings Fall 2017

The Fall 2017 issue of Romney Ramblings is now available. Download your own copy here:
Romney Ramblings – Fall 2017 (2 MB PDF).

The Great Sheep Expedition

by Site Admin on November 2, 2017

The American Romney Breeders Association has participated in the Great Sheep Expedition. Jennifer Gunn and her husband have interviewed the ARBA secretary and received materials produced by the association to include in their research. Pictures, a DNA sample, Roving and Raw Wool samples have also been provided to represent the breed. The Romney breed was stop number five as they started their travels from Ohio, across Canada and down the western U.S. coast.

Welcome to The Great Sheep Expedition! We hope you will join us on our travels around the world in search of the place/region of origin for all the worlds domestic sheep breeds.

On October 4, 2017 my husband and I are going to be setting off on the first leg of The Great Sheep Expedition. This first part of the journey will be to find the place of origin for all 23 domestic sheep breeds native to the United States and the 7 domestic sheep breeds native to Canada.

Once we find the location of origin, we will attempt to find a sheep, representative of its breed, as close to the place/region of origin as possible. We will then photograph the sheep (with permission), interview the shepherd (if willing), obtain both fleece and DNA samples. A photograph and information about the breed will be sent to the Oklahoma State University’s Department of Animal Science where it will be added to their sheep breed database. The fleece sample will be sent to Betty Stikkers in the Netherlands where it will be added to a growing international sheep fleece journal. DNA samples of each breed, retrieved via ear punch, will be sent to the International Sheep Genomics Consortium lab where it will be made available for research projects.

We have also created The Great Sheep Expedition breed passport so everyone can follow along on our journey and get to know all these amazing sheep breeds with us. The passports will be available via the Facebook page soon. We are going to be documenting the journey on our YouTube channel and Facebook. We will be creating other ways for sheep enthusiasts to get involved and learn about not just the sheep breeds but the shepherds who raise them and how each breed contributes to the world. If you have any ideas, please let us know!

We would like to provide information about your breed with our followers. If you would like us to include any particular information about your breed and association, please let us know!

Jennifer Gunn MA,MS
5950 S. Ridge Road
Madison, Ohio 44057
The Great Sheep Expedition Facebook Page