Ram Sale Party: Event encourages connections
“My late wife and I started the Ram Sale Party about 30 years ago,” says Gene Hardy, event coordinator for the party. “We wanted to bring buyers and sellers together and get them acquainted before the sale.”
“I had seen similar parties done before other sales over the years,” Hardy continues. “Those parties really brought people together, and I thought that we could have a mixer that could be beneficial to the sale.”
The 2013 Ram Sale Party begins at 5:30 p.m. on Sept. 9 at the Douglas Moose Club. Dinner, purchased by the attendees, will be served at 7 p.m. Everyone is welcome to this event.
Since its inception, Hardy says the only thing that has changed, besides the age of the attendees, is the band.
“We used to bring in a band for everyone to dance to,” Hardy says, “but, as the years went by, people said that they didn’t like to dance as much as they used to. Some also said that the music was too loud, and they couldn’t hear each other to visit. We removed the band, and now it is just a mixer where most everyone knows each other.”
“When the Ram Sale Party first started, the people who were raising and selling bucks had young families that they would bring,” says Tracy Dilts of Hageman Sisters Rambouillets. “We also had a lot more buyers and sellers attending the event. It used to be a big production. Now people are older, and I think the numbers for the parties are down a bit. However, we usually have about 100 attendees.”
“My family started attending the party when my sister and I were 4-H age,” says Dilts. “It was overwhelming to be a couple of kids just starting out around all of the adults who had done this for a while. The whole time there have not been a lot of kids involved. We were doing a grown-up thing from the start.”
Producers and consigners pitch in to help create this event. Every consigner donates one dollar per head from the rams they are consigning and many chip in a $50 donation.
“Every year, we have an open bar and hors d’oeuvres,” Hardy explains. “A supper that is prepared at the Moose Club can be purchased by the guests as well.”
“The money from consigners funds the open bar,” explains Dilts, “and whatever is left over from that is given to help fund the Ram Sale Scholarship.”
This causal event also offers tasty food for attendees to enjoy as they network and mingle.
This much-anticipated event is one that buyers and sellers look forward to each year. It also achieves Hardy’s goal of bringing everyone together before the sale.
“I think the party has improved relationships between buyers and sellers,” he adds, “and it allows new producers to get to know others in the industry. Every year, it is a mix of old friends and new friends.”
Dilts notes that new consigners and young producers just starting their flocks attend the event yearly.
“This event really helps to just get everyone together the night before the sale,” Hardy explains. “People can come and go as they please, and they do not have to stay all night.”
Event to attend
Dilts adds that in addition to the casual and enjoyable Ram Sale Party, the Ram Sale itself is something to be attended.
“We work very hard to keep high quality of the rams in the sale,” she explains. “We are the one of the few ram sales, if not the only, that has veterinarians come in to assure the quality of the bucks being consigned. We do have a few bucks removed from the sale each year for conformation reasons, but that just adds to the superior quality being offered.”