Sunday, April 29, 2012

Top buck brings $10,000 at Winning Tradition

The crowd was overflowing as the Winning Tradition Sale V kicked off Saturday, April 28 in Washington, Ind. The bidding never slowed as the 15 consignors led more than 100 head through the sale ring, which could just as well have served as a show ring for these groomed and trimmed animals.

The top-selling animals are pictured below. See the June issue of Goat Rancher for more details, which, by the way, is our 1st annual Sire Edition.
It was a packed house at the Daviess County Fairgrounds in
Washington, Ind., Saturday for the 5th annual Winning Tradition Sale.
The top-selling animal was Lot 37, BDK2 AABG Easy Upgrade,
a Maximum Impact son. This 230-lb., 11-month-old buck was
purchased for $10,000 by a partnership of Show Me Boers (Wes & Lori Peterson) 
of Missouri and Trevor Bjerke of North Dakota.
The high-selling doe was Lot 44, AABG 2DOX Glamnation,
a December 2010 daughter of Maximum Impact. She was purchased
via the Internet for $7,000 by Marge Newton of Newton Farms of Indiana.

2M Boer Goats Legally Blonde, Lot 50, was the high-selling

percentage doe, purchased for $6,250 via the Internet by
Shana May and Aryn Proctor of Texas.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Dept. of Labor withdraws youth farm labor rules

Kansas lawmakers are applauding a White House decision to withdraw controversial youth farm labor rules.
Reporter: Melissa Brunner 
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(WIBW) - The Obama administration withdrew a controversial new set of regulations for young people working in agriculture Thursday evening.
Critics said the rules would have stopped children from helping on the family farm and even from doing 4-H projects with most animals.

Instead of the rules, the Department of Labor says it will work with groups such as the Farm Bureau and FFA on educational programs to reduce farm accidents. The administration says the change in direction was the result of concerns raised by thousands of people across the country.

U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran called the move a victory for farmers and ranchers. He says the proposal would have further reduced the rural workforce, deprived young people of valuable career training and "a way of life would have begun to disappear."
U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts also applauded the decision, saying the administration listened to common sense.

Full statement from Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kansas:
“American farmers and ranchers received welcome news this evening: the Department of Labor finally listened to them and withdrew its proposed youth farm labor rule, which would have fundamentally altered the future of agriculture in our country. If the Department would have moved forward with regulating the relationship between parents and children on their own farm, a dangerous precedent would have been set; virtually nothing would be off limits when it comes to government intrusion into our lives.

“Out of respect for the rural way of life, the Administration has agreed to not pursue this regulation further. Instead it will work with rural stakeholders – such as the American Farm Bureau Federation, the National Farmers Union, FFA, and 4-H – to promote safety among youth workers in agriculture. This is exactly what we have been asking for all along – those who know agriculture best should have been consulted from the start.

“For generations, the contributions of young people have helped family farm and ranch operations survive and prosper. If this proposal had gone into effect, not only would the shrinking rural workforce have been further reduced, and our nation’s youth deprived of valuable career training opportunities, but a way of life would have begun to disappear. This is a tremendous victory for farmers and ranchers across the country.”

Last year, DOL Secretary Hilda Solis proposed rules that would restrict family farm operations by prohibiting youth under the age of 16 from participating in common livestock practices such as vaccinating and hoof trimming, and handling most animals more than six months old, which would severely limit participation in 4-H and FFA activities and restrict their youth farm safety classes; operating farm machinery over 20 PTO horsepower; completing tasks at elevations over six feet high; and working at stockyards and grain and feed facilities. The language of the proposed rule is so specific it would even ban youth from operating a battery powered screwdriver or a pressurized garden hose.

Full statement from Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kansas:
"I am pleased the Administration has listened to reason and has withdrawn a highly criticized proposed rule that would have fundamentally altered the rural way of life in America for generations to come," Roberts said. "Under the leadership of Kansas' Senator Jerry Moran, farm country united against this short-sided proposal and once again commonsense prevails. The Administration should apply these lessons to all of its burdensome regulations."

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Three ABGA shows this weekend in Salina, Kan.

The Kansas Meat Goat Association plans a weekend of shows April 28 and 29 at the Tri-Rivers Fairgrounds in Kenwood Park in Salina

Two American Boer Goat Association open shows April 28 and one ABGA open show on April 29 are on the schedule. The events begin at 9 a.m. both days.

Following the April 28 ABGA show is an open youth meat goat show.

Proceeds from the weekend will help fund the 4-H/FFA Grand Drive Meat Goat Show at the Kansas State Fair in September in Hutchinson.

To learn more about fees and entering, go online to or, or call Carol A. Bachofer, president of the Kansas Meat Goat Association, at 826-7855. Her email address is

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Goat Rancher Sire Edition Early Bird Discounts

The June issue of Goat Rancher will feature special articles targeting buck health, management and promotion — plus advertising opportunities for well-known and up-and-coming herdsires.

In addition to being mailed to our thousands of subscribers, the Goat Rancher Sire Edition will be available at the American Boer Goat Association National Show, International Boer Goat Association National Show, the Labor Day Weekend sales and at newsstands at more than 1,000 Tractor Supply Co. stores nationwide. 

If you want national exposure for your sire, here it is!

To launch our First Annual Sire Edition, Goat Rancher is offering an early-bird discount. Book your half-page or larger color ad by 5 p.m. May 1 and get a 5% discount.

Submit your print-ready ad* by 5 p.m. May 5 and get an extra 5% off. That's a total of up to 10% off your Sire Edition ad.

To learn more about our advertising rates and specifications, click here

To learn more about Goat Rancher magazine, click here

To book your ad or for more information, call 888-562-9529 or e-mail

 *Print-ready ads must be a correctly sized, high-resolution PDF or JPEG.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Spotlight Kiko Auction catalog available

      The National Kiko Registry will host the Ozark Empire Meat Goat Conference and Spotlight Auction May 18-19 in Springfield, Mo. Friday will be filled with educational seminars and hands-on activities while two major Kiko auctions are planned for Saturday.
Producers of all breeds of goats are invited to attend the conference, which is free and open to the public. Seminars will be geared to beginners as well as veteran goat producers.
The opening sale on Saturday will be the first-of-its-kind auction featuring only 10 Kiko bucks. This is being billed as the Elite Kiko Buck Sale and will feature a select group of the best representatives of the Kiko breed in a high-profile, highly promoted arena with top herdsires going to the highest bidder.
The buck sale will be followed by an offering of approximately 100 Kiko does, including New Zealands, purebreds and percentages. All bucks and does will be registered with the National Kiko Registry.

Click on this link to download a catalog:

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Goat production plays part in Miss. economy

By Susan Collins-Smith

MSU Ag Communications

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Goats remain a niche segment of the state’s livestock production, but they have a strong fan base.
Debbie Huff and her youngest son, John Mark, prepare goat cheese in their kitchen. The Huffs’ four sons show dairy goats in 4-H and also make and sell goats’ milk products. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Scott Corey)    The Huff family get double duty out of their 4-H dairy show goats by using the goats’ milk to make lotion, soap and lip balm. The popular products are sold in several Jackson-area stores. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Scott Corey)
(top) Debbie Huff and her youngest son, John Mark, prepare goat cheese in their kitchen. The Huffs’ four sons show dairy goats in 4-H and also make and sell goats’ milk products.

(bottom) The Huff family get double duty out of their 4-H dairy show goats by using the goats’ milk to make lotion, soap and lip balm. The popular products are sold in several Jackson-area stores. (Photo by Scott Corey)
“Meat goats make up most of the goat herd in Mississippi and in the nation,” said Kipp Brown, area 4-H livestock agent and meat goat specialist with Mississippi State University Extension Service.

Bill Ryals and his son raise meat and dairy goats at the Rocking R Dairy in Tylertown.

“Goat meat is the most popular meat for consumption in the world,” Ryals said. “It is becoming more popular in the United States because of the increasing immigrant population. Goat meat is actually considered a gourmet product, and we sell a lot of it to restaurants in the New Orleans area,” he said.

Brown said all meat goats are eventually used for the meat, even if they are raised as show goats.
“Most people who have dairy goats use the milk, and some of the producers sell their goat milk products,” Brown said.

Mark and Debbie Huff of Brandon use the milk from their four sons’ show goats to make a variety of products they market locally, such as soap, lotion and lip balm.

“Goat’s milk soap is extremely moisturizing and doesn’t leave the film other soaps can,” Debbie Huff said. “People who use it for the first time tell me how clean their skin feels. I have even gotten feedback from a lot of people who have skin conditions, such as eczema and psoriasis, who say it has greatly reduced their symptoms.”

Debbie Huff said her soap, sold by several merchants in the Jackson area, is a steady seller. The Huffs make 140 to 160 bars of soap one to two times per week, depending on demand.
“We get really busy in the fall near Thanksgiving and Christmas and also around Valentine’s Day, but our soap is popular all year,” she said. “There is a growing segment of the population that is trying to get away from the additives and chemicals in all their products. Goat’s milk soap is naturally free of all those ingredients.”

Consumers seek out other goat milk products for the some of the same reasons.
The Ryals added dairy goats to their dairy cow operation four years ago and produce milk and cheese from both cows and goats. They use no hormones, steroids, antibiotics or growth enhancers on their animals.

Ryals said their goat milk and goat cheeses are extremely popular.
“We have trouble keeping up with the demand,” Ryals said. “We are producing about 75 to 80 gallons per day of goat milk. We can’t keep it in stock.”

The Ryals make fresh chevre, aged cheeses, aged raw milk cheese, fresh cheddar cheese curds, ricotta and yogurt from the goat milk. Ryals said he has seen no reduction in demand for any of his products, despite the recession. “Since we started offering goat products, the demand has been good,” he said. “I don’t see it slowing down anytime soon.”

According to the National Agricultural Statistics Service, Mississippi had 27,000 goats in the state as of Jan. 1. The state’s meat goats account for 1.1 percent of the nation’s meat goat herd. Dairy goats in Mississippi account for 0.8 percent of the nation’s dairy goats.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Tennessee Small Ruminant College May 4-5

The Tennessee Small Ruminant College will be held May 4-5 at the Lane Agri-Park Facility at 315 John R. Rice Blvd. in Murfreesboro, Tenn. There is a $50 registration fee per individual ($90.00 per couple) for both days. This includes two full meals, snacks and a professional proceedings. Pre-registration is greatly appreciated.  Checks can be written to: TSU/CEP and mailed to Tennessee State University, Cooperative Extension Program, (attn: Linda Buchanan), 3500 J.A. Merritt Blvd., Box 9635, Nashville TN 37209-1561. For more information contact An Peischel at 615-963-5539 or

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Goats rescued from crocodiles have life-long bond

Written by Karen Paolillo of the Turgwe Hippo Trust in Zimbabwe
The Turgwe Hippo Trust in Zimbabwe is not just about protecting hippos and other wildlife from the illegal bush meat trade and poachers in Africa. It will help any animal that enters Hippo Haven’s sanctuary, all our welcome.
Two decades ago it started when the Paolillo’s saved the lives of the last 13 hippos during an horrendous drought. Initially using their own money to save the hippos lives their passions were stretched keeping 57 wild animals alive alongside the hippos. As if to compound their workload Karen one day came upon a sight that touched her heart and was impossible to walk away from.

Karen with the babies.
Two little twin goat kids were lying in a huddle next to another family of goats, looking as if they had only seconds left to live. She found out from the very elderly African man named Muzite, who was in charge of caring for the goats, that their mother had been taken by a crocodile the previous day. She had been trying to quench her thirst in the very last water pool in the Turgwe River, where over 21 crocodiles had congregated.
There were no other goats with milk and so Muzite just let them lie there breathing their last gasps, as the heat of an African sun beat upon their tiny bodies. Of course the baby goats, named Rigelle and Regulus, had to come back with Karen to Hippo Haven as there was no way Karen could leave them to such an unkind fate.
Once at the sanctuary they became part of the daily lives of all the wild animals, and within a year Karen had found herself the custodian to not just 2 but 16 baby goats. Muzite and his goats were then taken away from the area by the farmer but Karen and Jean Paolillo now had 16 babies as part of their extended family.
They Lived in a Place of Beauty, Surrounded by Love

At peace in their home.
Every goat had their own little houses with a table to sleep upon in a lockable stable at night which the Paolillo’s had built for them. Predators such as lions and leopards would have loved a goat feast. During the daylight hours, all 16 lived out their lives with wild animals often side by side.
Just before New Year’s in 2011, Felix, the very last of these goats, was ready to cross the Rainbow Bridge. He was 16 years old and his life with the Paolillos was nearing its end. There are no veterinarians near the sanctuary. The nearest vet lives a six hour drive away, since the sanctuary is located in a remote area of the African bush.
An Extraordinary Bond

Jean and Felix and their 'kissing' game
Felix though could not have been more loved. Thanks to Oephebia, a wonderful French lady animal healer living in the UK, his last days on earth were spent in love and calmness with Karen and Jean in their home. He spent Christmas with them and their family of cats and their tortoise, and he lay on his bed in the living room next to the Christmas tree.
Every goat that lived out his life at the Turgwe Hippo Trust taught Karen daily lessons. The most important one is that all animals on our planet, be it a large and beautiful hippo, a tiny little kitten or a so-called ‘farm animal’ is so much more than so many people believe. All animals are sentient beings and those little baby goats grew into the most amazing companions one could ever have. In fact the love story between Jean and Felix in his last months was a lesson in itself for both man and goat. Felix had always been the most timid of all the others and kept very much to himself but as he turned out to be the last living descendant he came into his own and Jean was his chosen friend. The love between the two had to be seen to be appreciated.

Read more:

Goats cleaning up University of Georgia campus

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
They're not being allowed between the hedges just yet, but a herd of eight goats is now calling 2 acres on the University of Georgia home.
Goats munch away on the UGA campus.
Dana TeCroney, SpecialGoats munch away on the UGA campus.
And they're helping clean up the place.
The goats are munching up pesky, invasive greenery as part of a project created by student Zach Richardson, a senior landscape architecture major. Richardson, a Nashville native, was awarded a grant by the university's Office of Sustainability to bring the goats to the heart of campus to clear an overgrown patch.
The goats arrived three weeks ago and have been munching away along Tanyard Creek near the Hull Street parking deck ever since.
"It was an impenetrable wall of vegetation," Richardson said. "They’ve taken it from a jungle to like a park land."
The hard-working goats have caused a buzz on campus, too, with students from various academic departments getting involved and stopping to notice an area of campus long overlooked, Richardson said.
It's not just about clearing a patch of land, he said.
"The cool part is that it’s exploded into something much bigger than that," Richardson said. "You can sit there and watch all the students stop by and hang out with the goats."
In addition to weekly work days for volunteers, two photography students and three English students will be documenting the goats’ progress with photos and video and will compile the footage into a project at the end of the semester, according to Kevin Kirsche, head of the sustainability office.
A graduate class has planned several events around the goats as part of a larger project on landscape restoration, Kirsche said. Saturday morning, the goats will be the guests of honor at KidFest, where children in the community can meet the animals and play goat games.
For Richardson, the goat project isn't about a class and he's not going to be graded on it. The natural way of trimming back unwanted plant growth is better on the environment than big machinery or chemicals, he said.
“It's so much more entertaining to watch goats eat than listen to bulldozers," Richardson said. "I'm pretty confident that goats are the way to go now."
Eric MacDonald, an assistant professor in the College of Environment and Design, said the project offers a variety of research options.
“It’s a fairly new, innovative technique, and there are lots of research questions one can ask about it,” he said. “Given that we are a research institution, it seems to make sense that we should be engaging in that study right here in our own backyard.”

Sugar Rey offspring bring top-dollar at Splash of Color

From left, Tara Byers, Roger McSwain and Stephen Byers, with the top-selling doe and buck.

Roger McSwain’s Sugar Rey offspring were the top-sellers at Saturday’s Splash of Color production sale in Murfreesboro, Tenn. RM 50 Sugar Rey was the 2011 ABGA National Champion Buck. He was the sire of both the high-selling buck and high-selling doe at the all-colored sale, both of which were purchased by Stephen and Tara Byers of S-n-T Valley Farms in New Market, Va.

Stephen and Tara are the new owners of Lot # 70, RM 122, an August 2011 paint doe, who brought $8,200 and was the high-selling animal in the sale. The Byers partnered with Jim and Shannon Pettit of Stoney Acres Farm in New York to purchase the high-selling buck, solid red Lot #46 RM Sugar-Del-Rojo, for $7,100.

Prices held up throughout the 112 lots offered by the consignors with several animals selling in the $4,000 range. I didn’t keep a count of all the lots sold, but I’m pretty sure the average will be over $1,000 per head. See the May issue of Goat Rancher for more photos and all the details.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Showing goats in 4-H and beyond

Story by Kate Johnson

When my kids first joined 4-H, they chose Dairy Goats as their main project because they liked the idea of being able to show the same goats year after year as opposed to having to sell them at the end of each fair. And I loved the idea of having fresh milk to drink and make cheese from during the milking season.

We started with a small Nubian doe for my oldest daughter and a little Nigerian Dwarf wether for my youngest. That was four years ago, and this year we will be bringing 12-14 goats to fair, after kidding four of our does this spring. Funny thing about dairy goats — they're a bit like potato chips — you can't stop with just one!

Showing goats with 4-H has been a wonderful experience for my daughters. They have learned a lot about commitment and responsibility by having to care for, train and even milk their own goats throughout the year. They've also learned poise and confidence in the show ring, how to win well and lose with grace, and some other useful skills like cheese and soap making.

There are many other opportunities to show dairy goats beyond 4-H and the county fair, too. Each April, the Weld County Goat Extravaganza in Greeley hosts the largest gathering of goats in our area with clinics, jackpot showmanship classes and buck and doe shows for not only dairy goats, but also market, fiber and pygmy goats as well. For more information, please visit

The Colorado Dairy Goat Association also hosts several shows between June and September which is a great way to get more showing experience and to meet many fine dairy goat breeders from Colorado, Wyoming and even Texas. CDGA hosts shows at the Boulder County Fairgrounds in June and September, and also two shows in Wyoming as well as at the Colorado State Fair. They have a wonderful youth showmanship program where participants are awarded points at each show to compete for some nice prizes at the end of the show season. For more information, please visit

If you're looking for a livestock experience for your kids that will be not only fun and educational but also practical with a great product, I can't think of a better place to start than with the silly, lovable dairy goat! 

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Will horsemen accept fake goat in traditional games?

APR 5 2012, 9:15 AM ET 2
Buzkashi normally uses a dead animal in every match, but local animal rights activists want a humane alternative.
goat april5 p.jpg
Afghan horsemen tussle for control of a goat carcass during a buzkashi match. AP
The days of Kazakhstan's national sport kokpar being a wild free-for-all with a headless goat may be numbered since plans have surfaced to replace the bloody carcass at the center of the game with a plastic dummy.

The move comes at the instigation of Kazakhstan-based animal-rights group KARE-Zabota (Kazakhstan Animal Rescue and Education), acting on complaints from animal-lovers who object to the killing of goats for the sport, a local take on buzkashi.

KARE-Zabota says it received a letter from Kazakhstan's Agency for Sports and Physical Training Affairs agreeing to introduce dummy goats.

Already, the Agency has carried out tests on models from Pakistan and a locally produced imitation goat from Taras, but, lacking flexibility, these were deemed unfit for play. Hopes are now being pinned on an artificial carcass from Shymkent, with testing scheduled for later this year.

Kokpar is a macho sport where two teams of horsemen grapple over a decapitated goat, which they try to deposit in the opponent's goal. The fierce struggle is a test of strength for both riders and horses. It's unclear how this affront to tradition will be received.   

But all sports move on. Football (the game known as soccer in the US) was originally a tussle between villagers in 12th-century England over a pig's bladder before it developed into the relatively tame sport we know today. Could kokpar - which is rumored to have already given the world polo - evolve into a worldwide phenomenon by adopting fake, bloodless goats?

This article originally appeared at, an Atlantic partner site.