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West Virginia University helps cattlemen boost efficiency and profitability during 51st annual Wardensville Bull Test and Sale

Angus bull at the WVU Reymann Memorial Farm in Wardensville, West Virginia

West Virginia University will continue its tradition of helping commercial cattlemen in West Virginia and the mid-Atlantic region increase profitability and improve their bottom line by connecting them with genetically-superior bulls.


On Thursday, March 22, at noon, more than 250 cattlemen will gather at the WVU Reymann Memorial Farm to participate in the 51st annual Wardensville Bull Sale, during which 100 performance tested bulls will be auctioned off to the highest bidder. The sale is the culminating event of the Wardensville Bull Evaluation Program, more commonly referred to as the Wardensville Bull Test.


At its start, the Wardensville Bull Test, which develops and evaluates more than 150 bulls annually for some of the region’s most progressive seedstock breeders, focused on improving growth rate and feed conversion. As industry needs changed, it began focusing on calving ease and calving quality.


Ronnie Helmondollar moves the bulls to a new pen to be weighed at the Reymann Memorial Farm in Wardensville.

In response to rising input costs in more recent years, the 88-day evaluation program now includes feed conversion efficiency and identifying complete bulls that can function efficiently in all sectors of the beef industry. The thorough evaluation covers factors such as fertility, marbling, muscling and structure. 


“Since its inception in 1967, the Wardensville Bull Test program has seen continual improvements,” said Kevin Shaffer, program coordinator who also serves as WVU Extension livestock production specialist and assistant professor in the WVU Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design.


Such improvements have placed the Wardensville Bull Test in a leading position on the national landscape, making it the first in the nation to evaluate residual feed intake.


“Our goal – to serve the current and future needs of the beef industry – has been supported by our ability to rapidly incorporate emerging technology to evaluate traits of economic significance,” Shaffer added. “As a result of those efforts, the bulls offered represent the top 10 percent of over 1,000 bull calves and average the top 15 percent of their respective herd contemporaries.”


To accommodate those who are unable to make it to Wardensville, the sale will be broadcasted live online, giving buyers the opportunity to bid online without a buyer’s premium.


“The selection pressure available to our buyers is, without a doubt, unparalleled – providing the best of the best,” Shaffer said. “Our consignors are to be commended for the quality of bulls they provided, as well as their commitment to objective performance evaluation.


“On their behalf, I graciously invite you to join us on March 22 and consider investing in some of the most scrutinized bulls in the industry.”


The Wardensville Bull Test and Sale are sponsored by WVU Extension Service; the WVU Division of Animal and Nutritional Sciences, which is housed in the Davis College School of Agriculture and Food; the West Virginia Department of Agriculture; and the West Virginia Cattlemen’s Association.


For questions about the program, contact Kevin Shaffer (304-293-2669, or Jerry Yates, Station Manager (304-874-3561,

Second photo from the top: Bulls are weighed at two-week intervals during the evaluation period. Here, Ronnie Hemondollar, program director for WVU Extension’s Agriculture and Natural Resources unit, moves the bulls to a new pen to prevent any potential biases in data collection. 



CONTACT: Kevin Shaffer; program coordinator, WVU Extension and WVU Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design 304-293-2669;