1. How did you get started in the Boer goat industry? We first started raising Boer goats in 2006 under the herd name Milk-E-Way Farms. We started with one 3-legged Boer/Nubian doe that someone gave us, and were quickly enamored by her personality. One very quickly turned to 20, and then eventually grew to 75. Our first purchased goats were 4-H projects, and then quickly turned into a family addiction for my mom and me. My first registered doe was purchased from Gorge-Us Boers in Washington, I was awarded the money to purchase her by my county 4-H program as a starter animal.
2. What does your operation look like today? Today we run two separate herds. A commercial herd that strip grazes my grandfather's dairy ranch, and our registered herd. Our commercial herd consists of 12 or so crossbred does and their kids. We have used our home grown buck MEWF Hot Pepper the last two years to improve the quality of our commercial herd replacement does, and are planning to use our JR herdsire MEWF Cobalt By Design this coming year to continue to improve their quality. Their main purpose is to help clear blackberries on the family dairy farm, and help pay for the spoiled rotten registered goats. The registered herd currently consists 18 does, 11 yearlings, 9 doelings, 5 bucks, and an obese pet wether that my mother keeps trying to eat . We run both percentage and fullblood stock. Our registered herd produces anything from market goats for local 4-H kids, to registered show stock.
3. What do you enjoy the most about the Boer goat industry? What I enjoy the most about the Boer goat industry is the getting the opportunity to educate people about goats, and sharing my love for the breed. We have spent a lot of years learning about the ins and out of raising goats, and I love to help other people learn and hopefully help educate them on animal husbandry and general livestock management. I also love the personalities of each and every one of my goats in the pasture.
4. Who was an inspiration to you or assisted you in improving your herd and how did they help you. There were two breeders/families who really stood out when it came to helping us to improve our herd immensely, David Armstrong and his family from DASH Acres and Richard and Sandy from RNSH Boer Goats! Not only have David and his family provided us with some awesome goats over the years, they have also provided tons of information and contacts. They were the ones who introduced me to Richard and Sandy, who helped to put our herd on the fast track to amazing genetics and massively improved the looks of the whole herd. We have purchased two bucks from Richard and Sandy, and were fortunate to be able to purchase their buck RNSH Designer *Ennobled*. Anyone who has had the opportunity to meet Designer knows he's a bit(or more than a bit) of a handful to deal with, but boy has he done amazing things for our herd!
5. What has been your biggest challenge as a producer? Over the years this project has brought many challenges and tests into our lives. The biggest challenges that come to mind is the stress kidding season puts on me, and my anxiety about actually making it to a goat show, with correctly fit animals. I try to be involved in the kidding of every goat, and spend way too much time assuming every animal is going to have a problem. They are my "children", and each time something happens to one of them, it breaks me a little. I'm still working on the challenge of actually showing these goats that we've put so much time and energy into, and hopefully in the near future we'll be able to hit some shows. 6. What are you most excited about in the coming year? We are very excited to see the kid crop out of our yearling RNSH Designer *Ennobled* daughters from our new buck Capriole's Tin Man! We also hope hit some goat shows in the coming year, and get our genetics out into the Boer goat community!