Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Texas couple becomes goat-farming entrepreneurs

November 28, 2011

Greg Flakus | Waller County, Texas

Most people hold on to their jobs for security and whatever benefits they might provide. But some adventurous souls follow a more challenging path, becoming entrepreneurs, working for themselves with no safety net to catch them if they fail.  One urban couple chose to move to the country in Waller County, Texas, northwest of Houston, to begin a new life and business, with goats. 

Part of the daily routine for Christian Seger at the Blue Heron Farm is milking the goats at feeding time.

His wife, Lisa, maintains the kitchen they built to meet state specifications.

And they had to buy these expensive machines to pasteurize the milk. “It is not something you can do as a hobby. When we decided to do this, we had to make the investment and treat it like a business," said Lisa. 

Both of the Segers were city dwellers five years ago. She worked in advertising. He handled sound systems for entertainers.

But Christian says he wanted to go into business for himself. “Working for other people my whole life, I felt I had given them more than I had gotten from them. No one is ever going to take a loss to pay you more," he said. 

The Segers bought this four-hectare property in 2006 and the equipment they needed for their enterprise.

Working as a team, they process the milk, make the cheese and sell some of it to restaurants and special clients.

Click here to read more.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Canadian goats get national exposure

Rick Mercer gets to grips with the goat industry at Agribition

Ernie Penney, far right, with Rick Mercer,  Fred Homeyer and Brennin Jack
Ernie Penney, far right, with Rick Mercer, Fred Homeyer and Brennin Jack
Published on November 27, 2011
Rebecca Lawrence  RSS Feed
Click here to find out more!
  Watching Rick Mercer, host of the CBC show The Mercer Report, drive away with a goat in his vehicle must have been a funny sight for those at the Canadian Western Agribition in Regina.
  But fortunately for four-year-old Damian Schollar, owner of Friend the Goat, it was all just part of the show.
    Mercer spent time filming for a future episode at Agribition, which finished on Saturday.
    He was able to talk to many people at the event, including goat breeder Ernie Penney, of Moose Jaw, who told the Times-Herald it was the perfect opportunity to highlight the benefits of breeding goats.
    Penney did a five minute interview with Mercer for his show and spent two hours filming and chatting to him about the goat industry.
    “He said jokingly it would be nice to take a goat home. I do not want to let the goat out of the bag but it took four takes to do and it involved my car, Rick Mercer, a goat called Friend and Brennin Jack (the auctioneer).
    “I let them use my car to film the closing part of the show. We had people standing watching. It was hilarious,” Penney said. “The goat was in the car with Rick.”
    On a more serious note, Penney, the former president of the Saskatchewan Goat Breeders Association, said the interview with Mercer was a great way to advertise the industry.
    “It was an opportunity to do an interview with a well known media reporter on a national program and to be able to have Rick Mercer not just being at Agribition but being involved with the (goat) industry will really help producers and people looking at getting into the industry."

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Kansas juniors look to expand membership

The Kansas Junior Meat Goat Organization is looking to expand its membership; enrollment for the 2012 year has started. Formed last year to promote the growing meat goat project in Kansas, KJMGO intends to increase the number of youth meat goat shows and learning opportunities in the state while teaching project members valuable life lessons. A sweepstakes system has been set up for club members to receive end-of-year awards for their show participation and leadership activities.
This year, KJMGO held a well-attended May and June show, supported other spring shows, participated in several fundraisers, and sponsored a year-end-awards banquet. This year's awards banquet was held Nov. 6 in Abilene, Kan. There were five award categories: KJMGO Sanctioned Show Winners, KJMGO 2011 Overall Extraordinary Jackpot Showman, Honorable Mention, Goatless Goat, Overall Diversified KJMGO and 2011 Outstanding KJMGO Member.
Prizes awarded were show towels, neck leads, candy, ornament plaques, and cash. KJMGO members voted on what they wanted the bigger awards to be. Winners were: Cassadie Copeland, Blake Foraker, Kaci Foraker, Raine Garten, Kris Gloodt, Kalyn Gloodt, Mackenzie Riffel, Spencer Riffel, Allyson Rudd, Rebekah Thomas, Rogan Tokach, Janessa McDaniel, Ian McDaniel, Abby Lillard. Top winners were: KJMGO Year Overall Extraordinary KJMGO Jackpot Showman Raine Garten (First) and Natalie Harris (Second); 2011 Goatless Goat Winner Abby Lillard; 2011 Overall Outstanding KJMGO Member JaelAnn Hoover (First) Sam Davis (Second). The Overall Outstanding KJMGO Member can only be obtained once per age division and interviews are held for the top scoring individuals.
Those interested in becoming members, learning more about KJMGO activities, or sponsoring the organization may visit the KJMGO website at www.kjmgo.webs.com, or contact Jamie Garten at 785-263-0391 or Heather Hoover 785-238-805 or hooverfarms3@yahoo.com.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Goat packing banned in Wyoming's Wind River Range

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CASPER, Wyo. — Jewel Dirks started taking goats into the Wind River Range 17 years ago from her home in Riverton. She’d spent her life hiking and backpacking in the granite mountains, but as she grew older she needed a little help carrying her supplies.
A friend suggested pack goats. The little creatures turned out to be exactly what she needed: easy on the land, nimble on rocks, and good friends.
Since then, she’s spent every spring, summer and fall packing into the mountains.
Now if she wants to go, she has to leave her goats at home.
On Monday, the Shoshone National Forest placed a temporary ban on domestic goats in some areas of the Wind River Range until the end of 2013 because of possible disease transmission to bighorn sheep. Even though closures affect the Clarks Fork, Greybull, Wapiti and Wind River ranger districts, most of the impact will be felt in the Wind River Range Whiskey Mountain area and the south Absaroka Range outside of Dubois. This area is ideal for goat packing because of rocky terrain.
Goats will still be allowed in the Washakie Ranger District in the Southern Wind Rivers outside of Lander. Opinions about the ban are split among Western goat packers.

Read more: http://billingsgazette.com/news/state-and-regional/wyoming/opinions-split-on-goat-packing-ban-in-wind-river-range/article_820b8152-2a12-51c0-a598-3da68f61020f.html#ixzz1ep40CwdI

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

NGE to host Nigerian Dwarf Goat national show

Jennifer Parrish posted in Goin' Goat Showin'.
NDGA 2012 National Show Set For October 7th in...
Jennifer Parrish9:29pm Nov 22
NDGA 2012 National Show Set For October 7th in Des Moines, Iowa

NDGA Board of Directors announced that the 2012 National show will be held at the National Goat Expo in Des Moines, Iowa. NDGA board member Ann Alecock stated, “I am thrilled that NDGA’s National show will be held during the NGE. What a great opportunity to introduce the Nigerian Dwarf Goat Association and the Nigerian Dwarf Dairy goat to goat enthusiasts from around the country.”

In addition to having the National show at the Expo, the Emilee Hamman Memorial Show and the National Goat Expo Nigerian Dwarf show will also be held the following day. The National show will kick off the National Goat Expo’s 5 day event on Sunday, Oct 7th 2012 followed by the Emilee Hamman and NGE show on Monday, Oct 8th.
The NGE is a 5 day event being held at the Iowa State Fair Grounds in Des Moines, Iowa from Oct 7th-Oct 11th. The Expo will have everything goat related. Most breeds of goats will be having shows or showcasing a breed. Dairy goats, meat goats and fiber goats will be there and of course NDGA will be there too. Visit 
www.nationalgoatexpo.org to learn more about the exciting events, seminars, and shows being held.

NDGA became a Silver Sponsor for the NGE last winter with the intent of showcasing the association and the Nigerian Dwarf breed to other goat breeders. The BOD will be at the Expo putting on seminars, answering questions and meeting members. Board member, registrar, judge and newest Evaluator Dotty Clark will also be there to perform evaluations for members. If you haven’t participated in an evaluation of your animals the Expo will be a perfect opportunity to use this valuable tool to assess your herd.

Look for more exciting news on the newest updates for NDGA by visiting 
www.NDGA.org The Board of Directors have been busy implementing many new programs and services for its members.

Gastonia, N.C., looks to goats for kudzu control

By Michael Barrett

Gaston Gazette

The creeping, crawling, botanical nuisance known as kudzu has got Gastonia’s goat.
And that’s the very animal city leaders are counting on to help get back at the invasive vine, as inexpensively as possible.
Gastonia, N.C., is among a growing number of cities that have grown weary of the expense of clearing away kudzu using more modern means. Cutting the ubiquitous plant back using machinery can prove to be quite expensive, and sometimes totally ineffective.
The latest trend has been to look to a barnyard animal that considers kudzu to be a leafy, delicious delicacy.
“It’s becoming very prevalent,” said city engineer Rusty Bost. “Anywhere you look, there are lots of places looking into using goats. We’ve found three or four people around here who’ve made a business out of this.”
Kudzu becomes a nightmare for cities that are trying to conduct routine maintenance on equipment or public facilities located near wooded areas. It creeps into yards, grows up around ditch culverts and impedes water flow, and wraps around guardrails on highway shoulders.
“It’s a nuisance,” said Bost. “Kudzu makes everything around it that much more expensive to maintain.”
The city attempted to clear a patch of kudzu near a creek along U.S. 321 in the Highland community earlier this year, hiring a private contractor to handle it. It cost $35,000 to eradicate a mere 1 1/4 acres of land, Bost said. Erosion control jacked up the expense.
“With kudzu, you’ve got to get the root out,” Bost said.
Using goats typically involves hiring someone to bring in a herd and let them feast. Some herders might set up a temporary fence or use border collies to keep the goats on task. Others will bring goats in on a trailer and stay on site for the duration of the kudzu removal.
“It’s a fairly new industry, so a lot of people are doing it in their own specific way,” said Bost. “It might take a couple of weeks for goats to eat through an acre.”
What cost the city $35,000 this year might eventually cost $5,000 or less using goats, Bost said. And on steep slopes or detention basins where heavy machinery can be hard or unsafe to use, goats would probably do a better job, he said.
Mount Holly is among the other area cities considering the new tactic. A frost two weeks killed much of the kudzu in Gastonia, but Bost said the city will likely begin putting goats into service in the spring.
“It could be tremendously cheaper,” he said.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Kansas State Goat & Sheep conference Feb. 25

The Kansas State Research and Extension Service will be offering a Goat & Sheep Conference of February 25 from 9:45 a.m. - 3 p.m. at the Phillips Co. Fair Building, Philipsburg, Kan.

Pre-registration is $10 per person, due by February 20, and includes lunch. Walk-in price is $20.

Conference Schedule

9:45 – Registration Begins 
10:00 – Managing Goat & Sheep Health, Dr. G.F. Kennedy – Pipestone Veterinary Clinic Presentation via K-State Adobe Connect 

Noon – Lunch  
12:45 – Predator Control, Charlie Lee – Kansas State University 
2:30 - Building a Sustainable Business, Rachael Boyle, Phillips-Rooks Extension District  3:00 – Conclude

Topics presented at the Goat and Sheep Conference will assist you in making better business decisions. You’ll have the opportunity to ask questions of Dr. G.F. Kennedy, Pipestone Veterinary Clinic. He has four decades of experience and is a nationally recognized sheep veterinary expert. 

For more information, contact Rachael Boyle at 785-6851 or e-mail rboyle@ksu.edu.

Hay School Nov. 30-Dec. 1 in Bolivar, Mo.

There is a fee to attend the program which will include two meals. Registration is required by November 23 and can be made by calling the Polk County Extension office at 417-326-4916.

BOLIVAR, Mo. -- Southwest Missouri hay producers will have an opportunity to improve their hay making skills by attending a two-day hay school in Bolivar from 5:30 p.m. to 8:45 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 30 and 8 a.m. to 12:45 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 1 at the Polk County Fairgrounds Youth Building in Bolivar.

“There is a lot at stake when making hay and many things to consider to make it worth the effort and to be profitable,” said Brie Menjoulet, a University of Missouri Extension agronomy specialist and organizer of the event.

This six-hour,  non-credit course is specifically designed for livestock and horse producers who may already have their own hay equipment or have hay custom harvested on their land.   All aspects of hay and balage production will be covered.

Conference speakers will address which forages are best for this region, nutritional requirements for cows and horses, supplements, hay tests, from cutting to baling hay, fertility management, hay economics, and reducing storage and feeding loses.

“Attending a hay school is an important management tool to insure that you are getting the most out of you land, time, and hay equipment,” says Menjoulet.
University of Missouri Extension improves people’s lives through relevant, responsive and reliable research-based education from University of Missouri.


Sunday, November 20, 2011

NKR goat conference & Kiko sale May 18-19 in Missouri

The National Kiko Registry’s first nationwide meat goat conference and Kiko auction will be held May 18-19, 2012, in Springfield, Mo.

The National Kiko Registry Ozark Empire Goat Conference and Spotlight Auction will be an opportunity for all producers to learn more about managing their operations and for NKR breeders to "spotlight" some of their best animals in the sale. Breeders will also have the opportunity to set up displays showing what their farms can offer, to visit with old friends while making new ones, and to have a "good times getaway" weekend.  

The keynote speaker will by Dr. Richard Browning of Tennessee State University.  If you haven't had an opportunity to hear Dr. Browning in the last few years, don't miss this opportunity to be brought up to date on his doe herd research.  Dr. Browning will be joined at the podium by animal science and livestock health professionals from around the country as well as some of the most experienced breeders in the industry.  

Host hotel is the Lamplighter Inn & Suites North,  2820 N. Glenstone (I-44 Exit
80) ph. 417-863-3900 ( www.lamplighternorth.com ).  All rooms have
refrigerator & microwave. Hi-speed internet access; Extended stay; Free
Guest laundry; Pet friendly. The reserved rate is $59.00.

This event follows two successful educational conferences sponsored by the NKR in 2011: the Heartland Meat Goat Conference in Columbus, Kan., and the Corn Country Meat Goat Conference in Corydon, Ind. 

For more information on the Missouri conference and sale, contact the event coordinator, Ron Polette, at 314-808-7664 or mrbuff@centurytel.net.

Learn more about the NKR at www.nationalkikoregistry.com.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Pit bulls kill 42 penned goats

Published: Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2011 - 9:45 am
Last Modified: Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2011 - 7:35 pm
Animal control officials called to a corral north of Los Angeles found a gruesome scene. Inside were 42 dead goats and three of the pit bulls that had slaughtered them.
Those three dogs were in Los Angeles County animal control custody in good condition Monday, but authorities were looking for a fourth, as well as their owner, said Danny Ubario, manager of the Lancaster Animal Care Center.
The dogs were running free with no collars or tags and may be strays, Ubario told City News Service.
The pit bulls entered the pen near Lake Los Angeles with about 50 goats inside Monday. They had fatally mauled 42 of them before they were discovered.
"It appears that the pack mentality set in," Aaron Reyes, deputy director of the Department of Animal Care and Control, told the Los Angeles Times. "They just fed off one another's energy and mischievous behavior."
Three of the dogs remained in the corral when animal control arrived.
The goats' owner took the carcasses to an animal shelter to dispose of them.
"This is a tragic incident and completely avoidable," said Marcia Mayeda, the county's director of animal control.
"When dogs run at large, particularly in packs, they tend to act up," Mayeda told City News Service. "Sometimes that mentality results in tragedy."

Read more: 

Colo. disqualification upheld

The Pueblo Chieftain
The ruling to disqualify the grand champion goat at the Colorado State Fair was upheld this week.
  The Weinroth family of Sedalia presented its case to the Fair's Board of Authority on Tuesday. They said their goats grew sick after their feed had been tampered with, which they reported to the on-duty veterinarian.
  "The board took all that into account. We decided to stand by the drug test and we did not change the ruling," General Manager Chris Wiseman said.
  Margaret "Maggie" Weinroth took grand champion honors with her 83-pound goat named Theodore. The goat sold for $5,500 at the Junior Livestock Sale.
  In October, after drug tests found a banned substance, ractopamine, in the animal's system, Weinroth was disqualified.
  Her younger brother, Benjamin, also was disqualified after his goat also tested positive for ractopamine.
 His goat sold for $1,300.
  "Now it's up to me to decide whether the young boy can compete here again, and I should notify the family in December with a note," Wiseman said.
  In a phone interview Thursday, mother Susan Weinroth said she hadn't heard about the board's decision.
  "We presented our case. Mr. Wiseman talked to the same people we did and he agreed with the timetable of events," Susan Weinroth said.
  The family also was able to obtain vet records documenting their animals sudden illness from eating foreign food.
  "It says on the vet sheet ‘novel feed’ and they were treated for that," Susan Weinroth said.
  The Weinroths will not be awarded their money from the sale, Wiseman said
  The money will either be refunded to the buyer, credited to next year's sale or donated to the Fair's foundation.
  The reserve grand champion hog also was disqualified this year before the sale due to a controversy over its ownership. That animal also failed a drug test, according to Fair officials.