I must say the recently completed Sheep & Goat Expo in San Angelo was THE turning point for Dorper Sheep as an industry. The reason I say this is because with 250 attendees and options for wool sheep, goats, club lambs, and hair sheep the vast majority of attendees went to the hair sheep educational sessions. As I was setting up to do a condensed power point presentation on Dorper Sheep the number of people in the stands kept increasing. By the time I was ready to kick off the session I estimate that there were 200 people in attendance. That was 80% of the attendees at this event! This is a testament to the productivity and popularity of Dorper sheep. I have always said that, although many of us worked hard to market Dorper sheep, its the sheep that due to their hardiness, ease of care, and ability to produce a superior product that are due the congratulations.
Over the years I have personally felt extreme predujuice coming from wool sheep breeders. I was pushed aside for so many years by these people who I had nothing but respect for. They were in charge and it didnt matter what us "new guys" were doing. At every meeting we had to apologize by stating "we are not asking you to change sheep breeds" before we could report on the exponential success of our enterprize. I am happy to say this is behind us. Dorpers and their crosses are now approaching 75% of the Texas sheep flock. Now our industry is the one in the lead and it is time we take charge and move on from the past.
What do we do now that we have achieved this goal of being number 1? Its very, very simple. We must maintain what got us here and that is the strict adhereance to the Dorper Breed Standards. We must not allow shows and extreme trends to sway our breeding programs. If we do we are doomed to the same fate as the Boer Goat, now roundly shamed for its poor performance. Lets educate everyone on the merits of our wonderful sheep by attending courses and workshops. Spread the word that the exceptional book Dorpers Into The New Century is now electronically available on Amazon Kindle and the Kindle Ap for iPad so everyone can learn the Dorper Breed Standards and how to apply them.