Wednesday, December 18, 2013

American Goat Federation gets two new board members

The American Goat Federation just concluded the 2013 election of new members to the board of directors.  Two new directors will be seated on the board at the Annual Meeting in Charleston, South Carolina on January 25, 2014.

Becky Sauder, from Carlsbad, Texas, will be an at-large director on the board.  She is employed by the USDA Livestock Market News Service in San Angelo, Texas, where she covers the market reports for the sheep and goat sale there, which is the largest sheep and goat sale in the United States.  She was initially involved in the research and development of the live guidelines that USDA has used for describing goats in market reports.  She also assisted in the IMPS, developed for goat carcasses.  Becky has been involved in raising goats for almost thirty years, first commercial meat goats and then registered Boer goats. Along with her sister, Beth Mason, she ran a fitting service and showed Boer goats all over the U.S.  They currently have a small herd of dairy goats in addition to Boer goats.  From 1993 to 1994 Becky served on the board of the American Meat Goat Association.

Vicki Stich, from New Albin, Iowa, will be representing the American Boer Goat Association (ABGA) on the AGF Board.  She has been active in the ABGA for several years and is currently in her second term as a director on the ABGA Board. During her tenure on the ABGA Board she chaired the Breed Standards Committee and also assists the ABGA staff with the National Show every year.  In addition, she attended the National Goat Expo in 2012 and 2013 as a representative of the ABGA. In addition to serving on the ABGA board, Vicki raised and showed Boer goats for several years.

Returning AGF Directors are:  Linda Campbell from Virginia, Anita Dahnke from Indiana, Sam Abney from Alabama, Thomas Boyer from Utah, Bob Buchholz from Texas, Jan Carlson from California, Terry Hankins from Mississippi, and Dr. An Peischel from Tennessee.  The American Goat Federation is a national organization whose mission is to represent, unify, improve and advance the American goat industry and assist producers to achieve maximum success.  The AGF collects and makes available news of interest to all segments of the industry. The AGF Facebook page contains up-to-the-minute information about what the AGF is doing for the goat industry as well as what other agencies are engaged in that affect producers. 

More information is available at

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Goat-showing seminar in Raymond, Miss., on Jan. 5

A goat-showing seminar will be held January 5 at 1 p.m. at Hinds Community College in Raymond, Miss. There will be training in nutrition, showmanship and clipping. Conducting the clinic will be Catherine Riley, Toni Riley and Madison Kelly.

Catherine is an experienced showman and feeder in both the goat and lamb projects. She started showing lambs at age four and began showing goats at age 13. Goats became her main project and she became an elite exhibitor in Kentucky and at National Shows.  
She won the Kentucky Commissioner award for top showman in goats twice at the Kentucky State Fair and exhibited the Reserve Champion Goat in 2010 and the Champion goat in 2011. She was a division winner in Showmanship at the NAILE and American Royal and exhibited the Champion Market Goat at the NAILE in 2011. She has been the high point goat exhibitor in Kentucky twice and had high point goat 4 times.  

Now that she is too old to show, she wants to share her expertise with other exhibitors.  You can see Catherine’s exhibiting at, and Show Barn Genetics on Facebook.

Toni Riley, is the owner and operator of Bellaire Farms in Hopkinsville, Ky.  She served as a 4-H agent in Kentucky for 33 years with a strong livestock program.  She has coached livestock and skillathon teams and in 2007 coached the National Champion 4-H Skillathon team. Now that she is retired from Extension, she raises market goats and enjoys teaching youth and adults about goats and goat exhibition.

Christian County, Ky., 4-Her Madison Kelly is a regular winner in showmanship and market goat classes.  Madison has been her age group showmanship division winner at the Kentucky State Fair three times.  She exhibited the reserve high point in the Kentucky Proud points program.  She has won the Intermediate Livestock Judging contest twice.  She is 15 years old and a sophomore at Heritage Christian Academy in Hopkinsville, Ky.

Cost is $20 per person. Deadline to register is December 27. For more information, contact Kipp Brown, Mississippi State University Extension Livestock Coordinator, 662-237-6926 or e-mail

To register, please mail the following to

Katrina Owens, PO Box 1068, Yazoo City, MS 39194

Name _____________________________________________

Address ___________________________________________

City _________________________ State _____Zip________

Age ___________ Phone Number ______________________

Make checks payable to Yazoo County 4H

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Proceeds from goat calendar sales go to World Vision

Once again Greg Christiansen, a farmer and goat rancher from Parker, Kan., is making his goat calendars available and all profits will go to send goats to children and families in need around the world through World Vision. Those that receive goats will also be provided feed, vaccinations and be instructed on how to care for the animals.  Proceeds from calendar sales last year purchased eight goats through the World Vision program.
Read what a young girl had to say about the goats she received. Teopista, an AIDS orphan and World Vision-sponsored child in Uganda, is proud of her first gift ever — two donated goats that will help provide her with a brighter future. “I was very happy when I got the goats,” says the 10-year-old. “They will be of use to us. We will get money from them. I thank World Vision for thinking about me, too.”
Her aunt Restetuta feels the same way. “When the goats give birth again, we will sell off some of the younger [goats],” says Restetuta. “We will use the money to buy Teopista a school uniform, books and beddings. We can also buy food with some of the money. I thank World Vision so much for all the help they have given us ... we know that those goats will be of benefit to us in the future.”

The calendars cost $15 and can be purchased at or contact Greg at You can learn more about the World Vision goat program at

Greg Christiansen is the author of the popular "Raising Meat Goats in a Commercial Operation".  Greg called upon his 12 years of experience raising and marketing meat goats to create this book designed for commercial breeders who are interested in raising stock for the consumer market. Greg lets the reader profit from his experiences — good and bad — along the learning curve to becoming a successful producer. For ordering information, visit

Monday, December 9, 2013

Are 'superbugs' as antibiotic-resistant as feared?

Consumers aware of food safety issues may worry about "superbugs," but the bacterium resistant to all antibiotics that can cause a foodborne illness is rare according to the latest Meat MythCrusher video. 

The newest video in the series addresses concerns about the occurrence of superbugs on meat and poultry products. While activists may claim such cases are on the rise, Mindy Brashears, Ph.D., professor of microbiology and food safety at Texas Tech University, says the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) data points to an opposing result. 

"Overall USDA testing shows that all bacteria are decreasing in meat and poultry products, not increasing," Brashears says. "The number one goal of any meat and poultry processor is to reduce or eliminate all the pathogens in the product before they are consumed." 

In addition to sanitary working conditions, processors follow strict withdrawal times to ensure the animal is processed without any residual antibiotics in the meat. USDA testing adds another level of defense against contaminated meat in the food supply. 

The Meat MythCrusher video series is produced by the American Meat Institute, in conjunction with the American Meat Science Association, and seeks to bust some of the most common myths surrounding meat and poultry production and processing. 

The videos are available at

Friday, December 6, 2013

Watch Cold, Wet Weather with Sheep and Goats

Management of mature sheep and goats may change only slightly in colder weather compared to the routine management throughout the rest of the year.  Nothing takes the place of good routine observations for changes in feed availability and body condition score, health problems such as internal parasites and foot rot.

However, management will need to change in very cold temperatures and even more so in wet, cold temperatures according to Dr. Jodie Pennington, small ruminant educator with Lincoln University Extension.

For example, most producers who kid or lamb in late spring or after there is little likelihood of snow of freezing rain, no shelter may be needed for animals giving birth outside.

“For other producers who plan to have sheep or goats give birth in the winter months, they need to plan ahead for shelter when the babies are born,” said Dr. Pennington. “Keep in mind that it is possible to lose most of the babies born in cold, wet weather if there is no shelter for the babies.  Lambs and kids are smaller than calves and need more shelter in the cold, wet winter than the larger calves.”

If it is wet, then shelter is needed for babies born in cold, wet weather because the babies will not be able to maintain their body temperature outside.

“The wind chill will negatively affect the babies before it will the larger mothers which will generate more heat from the bodies.  If you are inside, a heat lamp will provide extra heat for the babies,” said Pennington.

If it is not wet, then a wind break may be needed to protect the babies in cold weather.  Many lambs and kids will be fine in cold weather, but the wind and wet will significantly add to the problems of maintaining body temperature.

According to Pennington, in severe weather, sheep and goats will eat more than normal in order to maintain body temperature.  Good quality hay or other feed should be available to them.

“Make sure that the water is not frozen and is available to the animals.  The water may be frozen on the top and require breaking the ice.  It is also possible the pipes to the water can be frozen in very cold temperatures,” said Pennington.

For more information about raising goats and sheep contact Dr. Jodie A. Pennington, a Lincoln University region small ruminant educator headquartered at Newton County Extension Center, Neosho by phone at (417) 455-9500 or by email at