On RAM and Rams

It’s that time of year. Whne my Farming self and my Computer self get to deal with the conflicting meanings of various words and acrynonyms.

RAM i.e. Ram Random Access Memory is obvious to the computer person but for me I’m also dealing with rams, of the ovine type. While for most conversations it’s easy to figure out which one the person is talking about there have been some amusing instances where I thought the person was talking about one but they really meant the other.

Ditto for AI

There is a surprising large computer knowledgeable contigent here in our valley who are also farmers. We’re hosting a class on AI this week and the initial thought from most of the folks is that it was on Artificial Intelligence. That’s because the real subject, Artificial Insemination, has, in sheep, up until now, been a surgical procedure that the farmer could not perform. So the farmers who may know and use AI on their hogs, goats and cattle all “knew” that you can’t do it in sheep.

We spent 13 years working with the USDA to prefect the method and this year is the payoff, teaching a class of 10 farmers how to safel perform the procedure on their own flocks. Our flock is tbeing used for the live lab and all students will get actual practice on real sheep with real semen. Grades will be provide in late April when we lamb.

Just early morning musings as I wait until it’s time for the next procedure to get the ewes synchronized so that the inseminations have a better chance of tgetting them pregnant,


And another thought, just like in computers where more RAM is better, in rare breed sheep breeding more rams are better to prevent genetic bottlenecks and gene pool narrowing.

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