1. How did you get started in the Boer goat industry? I bought my first Boer goat percentages in 2007 when I moved back to my family’s farm. I rented the original homestead from them and got tired of mowing for hours after work. Since this part of the farm was where we used to house our herd of 500 Angora goats, it just seemed to click, “I need goats!” A family friend had 2 LaMancha/Boer weanlings that we in need of a home, so I grabbed them. Boy, were they wild! They could bounce up every corner and weasel through every hole in the fence. I figured a lot of their wildness was from insecurity, so I got on Craigslist. I drove out into the sticks through a lot of nothing to a place by Davenport to pick up a couple of just weaned bottle babies. This addition seemed to change the demeanor of the group. That fall, one of the tame ones became chronically lame on all four legs. I ran the tests and found that it was CAE. I humanely euthanized them and ended up finding some tested, registered Boers to take their place.
2. What does your operation look like today? Today, the 7N7 Ranch consists of 18 does, 1 yearling doe and 1.5 full blood bucks. The majority of the does are full blood. There is 5.9 acres, with 3 irrigated pastures to rotate every 4-6 weeks and a couple small corral systems. I have a pole building barn that is divided with a section that is insulated and able to be heated for winter kidding.
3. What do you like about the Boer goat industry? I find the associations and industry to be full of politics and growing pains, but I enjoy the goats! I love the design and the structure of the Boer goat. I enjoy following the bloodlines. I like the challenge of trying to add flare to the pedigrees while maintaining a doe herd that is easy to care for.
4. Who was an inspiration to you or assisted you in improving your herd? In the scheme of life, I was blessed to be raised in a goat barn. It was there that I can probably say the “facts of life” were learned. I remember sitting on a table in the corner of our kidding barn doing my homework, listening in the back of my head for a specific cry. I’d put my stuff aside, jump off the table, grab a sling, check my back pocket for a clean “snot rag” for the newborns and head out through the herd. Living in Moses Lake, it was inevitable to run into the Parker’s. Terry has a wealth of knowledge and has probably forgotten more than you can find on a google search. I purchased Parker’s Gourmet Suspicious Mind from them. He was my first serious purchase! This was the first buy that I sat down and studied pedigrees and who was winning what. I didn’t care about what color the goat was when I looked out there this time. I didn’t have a grasp on confirmation, but he was long as a rope, had muscle, his toes faced forward, awesome Boer- head and horns just like the pictures! No regrets on that purchase.
5. What is your biggest challenge as a producer? My biggest challenge being a Boer goat producer is having to work full time, when I would rather stay at home with the goats! Time and money are the main reasons I cull. I must maintain a herd of does that can take care of themselves and get their kids up to 50 lbs. asap. It would be nice to pull a profit from them, but after many years, I’ll take my tax refund. I would love to see an EPD (Expected Progeny Differences) system implemented. I feel it would help clean up some of the loose ends of maintenance and produce a better animal. ADG (avg. daily gain) is helpful but can be influenced by supplements. I know meat goats are a minor species and it would be a slow return on investments but imagine what kind of animals we would have in 10 years! 6. What are you most excited about in the coming year? We’re excited about January! That is when our Newton Farms Getcha Game Face On (AABG Face the Facts *Ennobled son) kids hit the ground! Can’t wait to watch them grow!