1. How did you get started in the Boer goat industry? I’ve had goats since 1973, and will probably have them until I die. When the Boers first came to the US in 1993, they were very expensive, but a lady in Hermiston had partnered on a New Zealand buck that she brought up from Texas. I bought a couple of 50% from her. In 1995, we went to Canada and bought 5 South African bucks and 2 South African does. These had all been imported as embryos and were of Venter breeding. Those animals and resulting offspring were crossed back and forth until I had a definite “look” to my herd. In 2001, I had to start looking at new genetics. We went to Texas and visited some of the bigger operations of the day and brought home 3 new bucks.
2. What does your operation look like today? We’ve run about 100 Full Blood does for a lot of years, but I’m creeping up closer to 200 does. At one point, I sold all the Percents and Purebreds, but now I’m putting them back into the herd. Most of the Percentages are intended for recipients for embryo transfer or to raise orphans, but I’ve also picked up some very nice Percentages with color. I blame Maddie and Trevor for this new color addiction.
3. What do you enjoy the most about the Boer goat industry? I think I most enjoy trying to breed a better animal, and the satisfaction of looking at the good ones. My husband says that I’m not in the business of selling goats, I’m in the business of owning goats, and that’s the truth. I’ve always enjoyed showing, and I’m so lucky to have family that wants to do this, too.
4. Who was an inspiration to you or assisted you in improving your heard and how did they help you. I can’t think of any one person that inspired or mentored me, but I’m always learning just how much I don’t know. If my daughter Crystal, granddaughter Maddie, and Trevor didn’t share this passion/addiction, I don’t think I could keep this up, but they are always available when I need them. The kindness of fellow breeders and exhibitors is so important, and without that, I most likely wouldn’t have gotten past my first dairy goat show. Goat Showin’ is the very best way to learn about goat conformation, and I still have to ask judges to explain what they are talking about. I’ve paid a lot of money to veterinarians over the years, which I consider an investment in my knowledge, but I’ve also learned things from brand new goat owners. And then there are people like Leslie, Becki, & Kelly that have years of livestock experience, and are always willing to share.
5. What has been your biggest challenge as a producer? Where do I start? • Fencing and hoof trimming are the never ending challenges. • I’ve lost the battle of keeping numbers under control. • I’ve accepted that some goats just don’t need to be in the gene pool and I don’t use up a lot of energy trying to keep them all alive. • The drain on family life is real. 6. What are you most excited about in the coming year? I look forward to seeing what new genetics bring to the herd. I love to see the young people who have a true commitment to their animals and work really hard, even when the going gets tough.