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www.abga.org | 3
2012-2013 AMERICAN BOER GOAT ASSOCIATION BOARD OF DIRECTORS REGION 8 - ERVIN CHAVANA (EC)
REGION 7 - LINDA WEST
REGION 16 - BRAD MACKEY (EC)
REGION 9 - VICKI STICH (EC)
Vice President tCSBENBDLFZ!CNBDLGBSNTDPN
REGION 10 - TRACY DIEFENBACH
REGION 11 - SCOTT HAWTHORN
REGION 6 - DR. MARK WATKINS
REGION 12 - PAUL KINSLOW (EC)
REGION 1 - TERRY BROWN
REGION 13 - MARK ANDERSON
REGION 2 - BOYD WILLOUGHBY
REGION 14 - JOHN MORROW
REGION 3 - JEFF GIBBS (EC)
REGION 15 - SARA DAVIS
REGION 4 - KAY GARRETT (EC)
PAST PRESIDENT - TROY VEAL (EC)
REGION 5 - JOHN EDWARDS
*EC denotes Executive Committee member
Letter From the PRESIDENT
Dear ABGA and JABGA Members, Our highlight of the year is here again, the 2013 ABGA/ JABGA National Show. We are excited to see everyone back in West Monroe this year. Remember, there will be a National Sale on Friday night, so make sure to visit www.nationalboergoatauction.com for entry forms and more information. Included in this issue are details and a donation information form for the silent and live auctions during National Show week, please support this fundraising endeavor. Junior Members plan on attending the 2013 JABGA Leadership Conference which will be held July 21-25 at Angelo State University in San Angelo, Texas. Registration information can be found on the ABGA home page. Lastly, Iâ€™d like to encourage everyone to â€œlikeâ€? the American Boer Goat Associationâ€™s Facebook page. This is a great way to stay in the loop about everything going on and interact with fellow association members. We are working hard to ensure everything you need to know is updated here! See you in Monroe!
AMERICAN BOER GOAT ASSOCIATION STAFF 1207 S. Bryant Blvd., Suite C | San Angelo, TX 76903 Sandy Smith, Operations Manager, email@example.com Mary Ellen Villarreal, Office Operations Supervisor, firstname.lastname@example.org Laurie Evans, Administrative Assistant, email@example.com Belinda Constancio, Registration Support Staff, firstname.lastname@example.org Sonia Cervantez, Accounting, email@example.com Dee Ann Torres, Registration Support Staff, firstname.lastname@example.org Aaron Gillespie, Show Coordinator/Youth Coordinator, email@example.com Miranda Carrillo, Member Services, firstname.lastname@example.org
4 | THE BOER GOAT
Ervin J. Chavana, President American Boer Goat Association
Table of Contents IMPROVING CARCASS QUALITY WITHOUT STANDARDS
HAZARDS AROUND YOUR FARM
ABGA SILENT AUCTION INFORMATION AND ENTRY FORM
BREEDER SPOTLIGHT DR. FRANK PINKERTON
ARE YOU CONNECTED?
ABOUT THE COVER
GETTING IN ON THE CONVERSATION WITH SOCIAL MEDIA
ENCORE VISIONS CONTACT Kelli Chapman PO Box 917 Aspermont, TX 79502 Toll Free 877-822-3016 (f) 806-398-9047 JOGP!UIFCPFSHPBUNBHB[JOFDPN
PUBLISHER Jackie Lackey, INC. Jackie Lackey, Editor-in-chief & creative director KBDLJF!FODPSFWJTJPOTDPN CREATIVE TEAM Robyn Amthauer Jamie Banbury
LETTER FROM THE Dear ABGA/JABGA Members,
Allyson McGuire Sarah Vachlon
The goats pictured on the cover are Dolly (the mother) and Elvira (the Kid). Evelyn received Dolly as a Christmas gift from her husband in 2007. On July 4th, 2010, a pit bull attacked Dolly, where she subsequently lost the lower portion of her right front leg. She has adapted well and continues to lead a happy goat life. Dolly lives with our other Boer goats and some cows and chickens in Winder, GA. Photo submitted by Evelyn Raby. WANT TO SEE YOUR PHOTO ON OUR COVER? We are still compiling entries for our next cover photo! You still have a shot at YOUR photo being the cover of the July/August issue of The Boer Goat! Submit your pic to JOGP!UIFCPFSHPBUNBHB[JOFDPN!
In this issue you will find several topics of discussion that I am partial to. As a past meat judge of Texas Tech University, I am especially excited to feature a story on meat quality in the Boer goat industry. I think considering the end product when raising stock is something that is often overlooked; and if we stop to take a step back and really think about the meat quality standards that have been implemented in the industries of other species, I think it is imperative that this become something that is a part of the growing Boer goat industry as well. I am also intrigued by the growing popularity (and success) in incorporating social media into livestock marketing and advertising. The story weâ€™ve included on page 20 takes a closer look into how useful social media outlets are becoming to anyone from a small Boer goat herd owner to an international feed company. Finally, Iâ€™d like to encourage you all to send in your sale reports for the July/August National Show recap issue. Enjoy the issue!
www.abga.org | 5
AMERICAN BOER GOAT ASSOCIATION
The ABGA affiliate program is a partnership between regional goat clubs and ABGA. With the rapid growth in the meat goat industry, the local meat goat and Boer goat clubs have an increased role of education, marketing and promotion. These local groups provide an essential role in promoting the industry and educating breeders. In 2004, ABGA began development of a program to aid, assist and work together with local clubs. The objectives of the AGBA affiliate program include: t1SPWJEFBEEJUJPOBMSFTPVSDFTBUUIFMPDBMDMVCTMFWFM t1SPWJEFOFUXPSLJOHPQQPSUVOJUJFTGPSUIFMPDBMDMVCT t"UUSBDUBOESFUBJOHPBUQSPEVDFST t"TTJTUXJUIFEVDBUJPOBMPQQPSUVOJUJFT t1SPWJEFBNFUIPEGPSHSBTTSPPUTJOQVUGSPNMPDBMDMVCT
East Texas Goat Raisers Association (ETGRA)
Alabama Meat Goat and Sheep Producers
Andrea Thompson PO Box 2614 Jacksonville, TX 75766 email@example.com www.etgra.com
Mitt Walker P.O. Box 1100 Montgomery, AL 36191 firstname.lastname@example.org Serving States: AL
Iowa Meat Goat Association
Boer Goat Association of North Carolina
Cathy Van Wyhe 625 472nd Ave Grinnell, IA 50112 email@example.com www.iowameatgoat.com Serving States: IA, MO, IL, MN
Tall Corn Meat Goat Wether Association Inc. Vern Thorp 1959 Highway 63 New Sharon, IA 50207 Neverthorp@aol.com www.meatgoatwether.com Serving States: IA
A 6 | THE BOER GOAT
Kelly Clark P.O. Box 36497 Greensboro, NC 27416 firstname.lastname@example.org
Cascade Boer Goat Association Becki Crighton 14352 W Hwy 12 Touchet, WA 99360 email@example.com www.cascadebga.org Serving States: OR, WA
Snake River Meat Goat Association Clara Askew 8054 Ustick Rd Nampa, ID 83687 firstname.lastname@example.org www.srmga.com Serving States: ID, WA, OR, NV, UT, WY, MT If you are an officer or a member of a regional goat club, please download an ABGA Affiliate Application for your club today! Forms can be found online at www.abga.org.
Be sure to visit www.abga.com for additional information, updates and a complete year’s calendar of upcoming shows and events. Don’t see your event listed? Please contact the ABGA at 325.486.2242
CALENDAR OF EVENTS
MAY May 4-5 Mar 4-5 May 4 May 4 May 4 May 4 May 11-12 May 11 May 11 May 11 May 18-19 May 18-19 May 18-19 May 18-19 May 18 May 18 May 18 May 18 May 19 May 25-26 May 25 May 31-June 2
OHBGA/ABGA Spring Fever Boer Goat Show SRMGA Boers Be Mayo North Missouri Meat Goat Producers Indiana Boer Goat Classic Scholarship Fundraiser Show Derby Day Classic Summer Blast South Central Ohio Boer Goat Classic Area 3 JABGA Regional Show Blue Ridge Mountain Boer Goat Show WV Boer Goat Blitz Wild West Boer Show 12th Annual NAMGA Spring Classic 3rd Annual KBGA Spring Fling Indiana Boer Goat Classic ETGRA 15th Annual Boer Goat Show Corydon Spring Fling CCMGA Spring Open Boer Goat Show Northeast Livestock Expo Boer Goat Show Spring Fling- Goats in the Park Empire Sate Boer Goat Show TSGPA Mid-Summer Showdown
Zanesville, OH New Plymoth, ID Chillicothe, MO Danville, OH Crowley, OH Horse Cave, KY Brenham, TX Washington C.H., OH Harrisonburg, VA Harrisonburg, VA Kearneysville, WV Moro, OR Harrison, AR Osage City, KS Franklin, IN Tyler, TX Corydon, IA Owensville, OH Windsor, ME Cape Girardeau, MO Syracuse, NY Ashland, KY
Mary Morrow Janene Jones Tisha Diefenbach Tom Moore Cliff Hebert Angie French Robyn Walters Carole Pontious Kevin Crumpler Chrusty Crumpler Susan Burner Louise Goudge Robert McMahen Deanna Furman Tom Moore Andrea Thompson Jason Smith Pamela Motta Linda Prime Eva Rainwater Kay Kotwica Corey Billups
740-826-4333 208-871-6462 816-519-1668 219-866-7048 337-370-1673 502-827-4406 830-305-6161 740-505-6046 252-717-8411 252-531-5212 304-279-6323 503-637-6244 870-577-1759 785-806-4470 219-866-7048 903-216-5792 641-344-1179 513-739-9383 207-458-8566 573-866-2045 315-889-5333 606-585-3902
Boer-nanza New England Boer Bash Keystone Classic Boer Goat Show Indiana Boer Goat Classic ABGA National Show Alameda County Fair Henry County Fair LMGA Summer Show The Darke County Classic Butler County Boer Goat Classic Champaign County Goat Council Indiana Boer Goat Classic
Central City, IA West Springﬁeld, MA Centra Hall, PA Greenﬁeld, IN West Monroe, LA Pleasanton, CA Cambridge, IL Crowley, LA Greenville, OH Hamilton, OH Urbana, OH Rensselaer, IN
Barbie Waltz Richard Dicey Lois Zeigler Tom Moore
519-560-0854 603-283-6470 717-776-7583 219-866-7048
Tiffany Burrow Burt Walker Cliff Hebert Doug Hesson Gwena Marcum Karen Price Tom Moore
925-426-7668 309-853-6988 337-370-1673 937-459-9246 513-720-6050 937-408-4685 219-866-7048
JUNE June 1-2 June 1-2 June 1 June 1 June 10-15 June 20 June 22-23 June 22 June 22 June 29-30 June 29 June 29
www.abga.org | 7
by BRANDI BUZZARD FROBOSE
IMPROVING CARCASS QUALITY
arcass quality is a massive driver in the meat industry.
Overall carcass and meat quality provides producers with incentive to pursue premier genetics, supply the most preferential rations and provide the utmost care for their livestock. The beef industry is a prime example of a market driven by quality. Take, for example, the highly successful branded program Certified Angus Beef® (CAB). Producers whose cattle have a quality grade of U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) high choice or prime qualify for the CAB branded beef program, which boasts significant premiums over beef marketed in a nonbranded program. However, the downsize of countless herds across the U.S. last year has led to a smaller calf crop in 2013, which is reflected in fewer numbers of cattle being sent to processing plants. And unfortunately, this trend isn’t just visible in cattle, says Austin Voyles, HAACP Supervisor for Tyson Fresh Meats in Amarillo, Texas. “While the cattle market has seen a big decline in numbers, the sheep industry has seen even larger decline in terms of number of sheep and sheep slaughter facilities closing down in the country,” he says. “In the midst of all of that, Boer goat production and slaughter has increased greatly.” Voyles says the Boer goat industry has been the fastest growing area in livestock production over the past few years. Continuing to buck the trend, unlike pork and beef, no USDA quality grading system exists for goat carcasses. This means 8 | THE BOER GOAT
producers are not given the possibility to earn premiums above the base price. “We’ve had cattle standards for quality grading for the past several decades, with the most recent changes occurring in 1996,” Voyles says. “Since the Boer goat wasn’t really introduced until the ’90s, I think the biggest constraint [on developing standards] is time. The government moves slowly and, combined with the relative newness of Boer goats, you can see why we don’t have a set of quality grading standards yet.” Tate Corliss, associate director of Raider Red Meats at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas, says he and his colleagues at Raider Red Meats only harvest 20 goats per year, which come from the San Antonio Stock Show. “It’s a relatively new market and we don’t currently have a lot of demand from the area looking for goat meat,” he says. “If there was a higher demand, for example five out of 10 retailers selling it, then yes, a set of standards for goats would be developed more quickly.” Even though there are no quality grading standards for Boer goats, Voyles says producers are doing a good job with providing above-average livestock and carcasses. He does, however, indicate that some improvements could still be made. “Just like everything that is new in the industry, animal harvesting practices have improved,” he says. “Goats provide a very lean meat and very lean carcasses, so we sometimes end up having issues when it comes to proper pelt removal. It would sure be aided with a little bit more cover and condition on the animals that we’re seeing coming in.”
Photo credits: Susan Schoenian (left), Lisa Moser (above)
Both Corliss and Voyles have advice to producers who are looking to maximize carcass quality and put more profit in their pockets. “Pounds sell,” Voyles says. “We sell on a weight basis, and feeding to a different end-point would be a change I could suggest to improve yields and profit. Putting more weight and condition on these carcasses before they’re sent to harvest would help put more money in a producer’s pocket. Right now, with no grading standards and no way to set a uniform buying practice for carcasses on the rail, it’s very hard to market them on a grid basis.” Corliss says a quality grading system would make marketing much easier. “When everything is the same and consistent, there is no incentive for the producer to strive for the absolute best carcass to earn a premium,” he says. Because goats are fairly uniform in quality attributes, Corliss advises producers looking to maximize yields and profits to feed goats out similar to how they would their lambs.
“Goats are just sold on pounds, so we want a very lean product with the most pounds,” he says. “It would be wise to focus on making sure they’re getting best possible nutrition to get lean muscle.” Corliss further points out there are no legal feed additives for goats as there are for hogs or cattle, such as ZilmaxTM or PayleanTM. Additionally, although Corliss and his colleagues don’t harvest many goats throughout the year, he suggests that commercial producers remove horns so as to eliminate the possibility of carcasses being bruised. Neither Corliss or Voyles know for sure if the USDA is developing a set of quality standards for goats, but they are confident that it will eventually happen. Regardless, Corliss would like to see the approval of the use of lamb quality standards for goats. Producers can look forward to the day a set of standards is approved, and they can work towards premiums for their high-quality livestock. www.abga.org | 9
10 | THE 10 | THE BOER GOAT
BE YOUR OWN BOSS in a fun business with low startup costs and great opportunity for high profit margin. Kennedy Embroidery, established in 1999 in San Angelo, TX. Great home-based business. Includes Custom Boer Goat Designs, 1999 Barudan 4 head-15 needle commercial embroidery machine, frames, thread, two cabinets, catalog rack, and more. $35,000.
www.abga.org | 11
by STACEY STONEMAN
AROUND YOUR FARM S
ometimes goats pass away and we are left wondering “Did I use the right drug” Or, “Could this have been prevented?”
When I discovered a much-loved Lamancha not eating, I knew something was off. The first thing I noticed was her stance. She braced herself wide on all fours. Then, she took a few steps forward, yet seemed unstable. I immediately felt a horrifying feeling. I had just lost a doe in that same pen less than three weeks prior to that day. The first doe displayed the same wobbly stance and was drooling and had tremors. I began treatment for listeriosis/polio but despite treatment, she passed quickly. So you can understand why my mind immediately went to that same diagnosis. Unlike the first doe, the second doe wasn’t displaying any tremors or drooling. At one moment she appeared to be peacefully lying down with her head up and aware of her surroundings. She had no signs of depression. It was like she just didn’t want to get up. I made her walk a few steps, and she immediately wanted to go lie back down. I decided to start the same treatment for possible listeriosis or polio, and with the administration of the first shot, the doe went down. I thought she was having a reaction to the shot, so I ran for the epinephrine shot. As I ran back to her pen, she was standing again but was beginning to do her death cry. After seeing my original doe suffer, I was not going to let this doe do the same thing. I woke up my partner and made him put her down for me. I cried and called the breeder, as I had only had her for a few months. I knew she would want to know about her loss. She encouraged me to get a necropsy done, and I agreed, as listeriosis and polio are such rare issues. We put up our own hay 12 | THE BOER GOAT
and in this particular pen, square bales of alfalfa are put out free choice for their milk production. I didn’t know if it was some sort of connection between my hay or feed, or if something in the nursery could be contributing to the deaths. The next morning, I loaded up the doe and headed down to my veterinarian’s office. I had to know if this was listeriosis or polio. As I observed, the first thing that caught my eye the reticulum. Based on my time working in a veterinarian’s office, when he pulled out a large, hard crumbled mess, I knew this looked unusual. It was hard, and it was difficult to figure out what it was, but what should have been food particles being digested was something completely different. After washing, to our surprise, it was a mangled mess of various items: a variety of string used for round bales, a bit of plastic and a piece of leather, and a couple of rocks. The plastic and small rocks I can see getting into her pen, but the other items are nothing you would find on our farm. The vet concluded it could have been there for several months or even longer. I was stunned at the mangled mass and felt immediately relieved that it was most likely nothing I did to cause this death. Goats nibble everything. They get something started and just continue to get it into a wad until the only thing they can do is swallow it. There is no blame in this particular death. No matter where the items came from, the animal was purchased and sold in good faith that they were healthy and there was no expectations that the doe would die anytime soon. In this case, the $100 necropsy was worth the peace of mind that there was nothing wrong with the hay, alfalfa or grain that was being fed. Was this death preventable? Yes. But it starts with something basic. Humans must be more conscious of an animal’s environment. It doesn’t matter if it’s a loose piece of barbed wire which can cut an udder (which I’ve seen personally, too) or a Walmart sack that has flown into an area accessible to goats (as was experienced by a friend). Goats nibble. And just as you would
prep your home for a visiting toddler, you must also do so for your animals, as well. We all use baling wire when tying items back or securing things, but do you make sure you use it in a way that a baby can’t run into it and sustain an eye injury or catch a tag and rip an ear?
The locking mechanism has also been replaced on the main entry door. I have heard horror stories about does that could even open door knobs.
Do you have a metal barn? Is all of the metal tacked securely? Flapping metal is tempting for a goat to scratch its horns and other body parts, which could lead to more injuries.
Even something as simple as putting out a round bale needs to be examined. Do you have a spotter to make sure your goats are out of the way? Did you remember to cut away all net wrap and remove all twine? Even a half-eaten round bale can be a potential hazard. Therefore, I knock them over with a tractor, so as to not trap any kids beneath fallen hay.
I have a small herd of dairy goats. And despite my efforts at locking my tack room – which contains a small amount of feed, a stanchion and milking station – some goats possess the skills of Russian spies and still manage to invade where they should not.
People don’t think of mice as a farm hazard, but urinating mice can lead to a plethora of health issues. The same goes for spiders and encounters with curious babies. Care must be taken when spraying and getting rid of these annoying creatures.
Fortunately, I don’t keep enough feed to cause serious concerns, but I now have purchased metal drums with locking lids and plan to build an additional wall between the milking area, which they are invited into, and the feed area, which they are not allowed into.
Even when we go to shows, we often throw our shavings bags into a trashcan in an open barn and leave for the night. What happens if a gust of wind blows one out and into your goats’ pens? If we think of possible scenarios and are aware of our environment, we just might save lives. www.abga.org | 13
ABGA 1207 S. Bryant Blvd., Suite C, San Angelo, TX 76903| (325) 486-2242| Fax 325-486-2637 |www.ABGA.org marketing | education | genetics | commercial | youth | service
JABGA Needs Your Help!! It is that time again and the dates have been set. The 2013 ABGA National Show will be held in West Monroe, LA. The Ike Hamilton Center will host the week-long event from June 10th through 15th, 2013. The ABGA/JABGA would like to invite you to be a part of a major fundraiser for the JABGA. During the 2013 National Show week, a silent auction and live auction will be held. All of the proceeds from the items donated will go directly to the JABGA. All donations are accepted and much appreciated. Please see below for examples of past items donated: Home DĂŠcor Crosses Candles Paintings Picture frames Wall hangings
Tack Show equipment Leads Buckets Feeders Fitting equipment
Gifts Homemade goods Gift basket Gift cards Jewelry Appeal
Livestock Registered goats Recipis Breeding Services Embryoâ€™s/Flushes Fitting Services
Each donor will have their name published in an issue of The Boer Goat. During the show, names of the donors will be announced over the public address system and a special thank you given. Please find attached an information sheet that must be returned with each donated item. I would like to thank past donors for their support and encourage potential donors to contribute to a great cause. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me. Again thank you for your continued support of the ABGA/JABGA and the Boer goat industry.
See you back in West Monroe!
Aaron Gillespie Aaron Gillespie ABGA Show/Youth Coordinator
14 | THE BOER GOAT
ABGA 1207 S. Bryant Blvd., Suite C, San Angelo, TX 76903| (325) 486-2242| Fax 325-486-2637 |www.ABGA.org marketing | education | genetics | commercial | youth | service
Donation Information Sheet x Please fill out the below information and return with item x One sheet per item donated
Donor: ____________________________________________________________________ Address: ___________________________________________________________________ City, State, & Zip: ___________________________________________________________ Email Address: ______________________________________________________________ Website: ___________________________________________________________________ Item Being Donated: _________________________________________________________ Description of Item: __________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________ Additional Information: _______________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________
Please attach business card for proper acknowledgement during and after Nationals.
www.abga.org | 15
e v a S te a D
the BUILDING BLOCK PRODUCTION GOAT SALE
May 25, 2013 Mercer County Fair Grounds Celina, OH Sale time: 1 pm EST More info to come
Z728 monds n Buck ia D f o ampio Duke Hobby al Reserve Ch n o ti a IB GA N
Show Doe prospects, Bred Does, Herd sire Prospects, bred recips and semen lots from the nations leading bucks- WILL SELL! Advanced Boer Genetics Aaron & Denise Crabtree Chillicothe, OH 740-701-0364 www.advancedboergenetics.com
Feathers and Horns Ranch Mark & Debbie Anderson Lebanon, TN 615-967-1415 www.fandhranch.com
Land Of Grace Farm Phil & Sharon Fullerton Elizabethtown, PA 717-689-0010 www.landofgracefarm.com
Bar None Meat Goats Robin Walters Seguin, Tx 830-305-0161 www.barnonemeagoats.com
Florence Farms Boer Goats Riggs Florence Coldwater, OH 419-852-7836 www.ďŹ‚orencefarmsboergoats.com
M & C Farms Cindy Price- Westfall Cable, OH 937-215-4143 www.mandcfarms.com
Boers by Hobby Bill & Sue Hobby Hughson, CA 209-632-4492 www.boersbyhobby.com
Lamoni Farms Boer Goats Maurice & Kim Erwin Davis City, IA 641-223-0023 www.lamonifarmsboergoats.com
Rio Grande Boer Goats Rick Labunski Harlingen, Tx 956-245-7898 www.riograndeboergoats.com
Elk Creek Boer Goats Jeremy Church Sentinel, OK 405-747-1647 http://oklahomashowsteer.com/ elkcreekboers/
2M Boer Goats Painted Pretty ABGA National Grand Champion Doe
For More Informaton Contact Riggs Florence #VSSWJMMF3Et$PMEXBUFS 0)
www.buildingblockgoatsale.com IBGA Nat
A 16 | THE BOER GOAT
Check us out on Facebook!
rose 3tri z3 96 ional Gra nd Cham pion Doe
Breeder SPOTLIGHT Dr. Frank Pinkerton The Goat Man
by y ROBYN SCHERER, M.AGR.
At 84 years old, he continues to write a monthly column for The Goat Rancher since March 2005. He maintains the column writing informational articles on a variety of topics, including research projects with LSU and PVAMU, or that seem to be of interest to producers in the U.S. and, occasionally, by request, in Canada.
Dr. Frank Pinkerton lives in Martindale, Texas, and is a retired extension goat specialist. He answers a few questions about his operation. 1. HOW DID YOU GET STARTED IN THE BOER GOAT INDUSTRY?
5. WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR YOUNG PRODUCERS GETTING INTO THE I purchased Boer embryos from Landcorp, New Zealand BOER GOAT INDUSTRY? and sold the survivors; too high to keep. Then I bought one Boer male from Canada to put on 50 or so Spanish and half Spanish/Myotonic doelings in the fall of 1995, and other Boer buck from the same source as needed for a decade. I sold 4-H project crossbred kids and a few replacement females.
Look carefully at the source of breeding stock. There are great variations in worm tolerance, feet quality, teeth/ plate alignment, teat numbers, as well ADG performance; reproductive performance was never a problem with my herd and not in other herds that don’t have health problems.
2. HOW MANY GOATS DO YOU HAVE, AND WHAT DO YOU USE THEM FOR?
I sold out entire herd in 2004 due to my wife’s declining health and relocated to a medical services area.
3. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PART ABOUT RAISING BOER GOATS? I found them to be good breeders and ‘easy-keepers.’ I had no real issues except poor internal parasite resistance. They handled better than Spanish and gained satisfactorily on grasses and some browse, and they wintered well on various forages and supplements.
4. WHAT ARE SOME OF THE CHALLENGES YOU HAVE FACED, AND WHAT DID YOU DO TO OVERCOME THEM?
In the 8 years of taking questions for my Rancher column and in doing Seminars for commercial goat producers, I have noted an increase in owner’s complaints of Boer goat performance, mostly poor mothering ability and parasite issues. Commercial meat goat ranchers in Texas feel that half or 5/8 Boer are all that their dry country can tolerate. In wetter areas in east Texas and to the southeast coast, 3/4 and 7/8 Boer does do well if parasites can be managed. In our research work, we note that Boer bucks produce superior crossbred carcasses and that packers prefer such crosses. Purebred Boer carcasses begin to be overly fat as the live animal gets to near 80 lb. Boer show goats are discounted heavily for being both too large and too fat for consumers.
I treated for worms every two months initially, and then on as-needed basis. About one-fourth of the does seemed to have 90 percent of the problems.
www.abga.org | 17
18 | THE BOER GOAT
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Re be cc a Sc hi er me ye r www.abga.org | 19
by ASHLEY BURNS
GET IT ON THE CONVERSATION WITH SOCIAL MEDIA
ou don’t have to do a lot of looking around to see a teenager at a stock show messing with a smart phone.
They could just be text-messaging friends, but what is equally likely is that they are checking Facebook, or updating their Twitter or posting pictures on Instagram, which will then simultaneously update their Twitter and Facebook profiles. Social media has interconnected our society in a way that we could not have imagined 20 years ago. But social media isn’t just for the teens and tweens of the Internet anymore. Today livestock operations are using social media to show off breeding stock, and get involved in the dialogue between producers and consumers, while agricultural advocacy groups are using social media to promote agricultural literacy. “Producers really like social media because it put the power back in their hands to tell their story,” said Kassi Williams the communications coordinator at the Nebraska Farm Bureau, in Lincoln, Neb. “Social media really took off when it became mobile. Once it became available on our phones and went everywhere we went, anyone could become a journalist,” Williams said. Though she also said that this mobility and omnipresence of social media hasn’t always been a good thing for the livestock industry, it has really put the power and the story back into the producer’s hands, if they want to take it. Size isn’t really a factor in social media, said Williams, anyone can use social media if they want to make the time investment to do it. Along with promoting your own stock and herd, you are also contributing the larger dialogue that is going on the agricultural community, said Williams. Among social media sites there are several who can be counted as major players in the social media scene. 20 | THE BOER GOAT
According to Forbes Magazine in a Jan. 29, 2013 article Twitter was picked out as the fastest growing social media platform. With 21% of the Internet population using twitter at least once a month and a 715% growth rate since 2009, Twitter is one of a few heavy weights in the social media scene. According to their fact book, Facebook is close in the running with more than 618 million daily users, twelve domestic district offices and 24 foreign offices it is competing neck and neck with Twitter for the lead position. According to Williams, both of sites are huge assets to the agricultural community. “Facebook is a really good site because it brings together words and pictures. I saw somewhere that people are 47% more likely to read something on Facebook if it appears with images,” Williams said. Williams also said that Twitter is a great place for producers to join the conversation and promote their businesses. “It [Twitter] has really helped people gain insight and learn and connect,” Williams said. “I don’t think social media is going anywhere,” said Williams, “Its been on a straight upward growth for a long time. Now people in the 40 and over age range are getting involved. Now is the time to jump on the board and get comfortable, because social media isn’t going anywhere. This begs the question, how can producers effectively use social media to market themselves and get involved. Malory Bankhead, a former California State Beef ambassador and student at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, suggests that producers use platforms like Twitter to post trivia or, ‘Did you know…?’ facts to get people interested and perk curiosity. “I think the Boer goat industry has some serious ‘Wow’ factors associated with it,” Bankhead said, “There are a lot of people out there that know nothing about goats, so I think you could do a lot with fun facts!”
“Many of the girls I worked with on the dairy in Hawaii, didn’t know that goat meat was the most widely consumed meat in the world,” said Kelly Gray, a past employee at the Surfing Goat Dairy in Kula Hawaii and self-proclaimed goat advocate, “We’ve got a lot of room to sell the industry.” Even if producers have nothing in particularly note worthy going on the farm that day, Williams suggests reposting information from an organization or another producer to help promote the industry. “Putting a face to a goat producer or farm is essential in social media,” Bankhead said, “People want to know where their food came from.”
It is a fact that a majority of businesses have noticed an improvement in their visibility, turnover and website traffic by using social media.
Williams said much the same, adding that the best way to do social media is to keep it simple. “Social media can become incredibly complex, make sure you keep a personal voice,” Williams said, “There is no need to sound like a robot. If your friends know that there is a certain way you normally say something, say it like that. Producers are passionate about what they do and that needs to come through.”
“Putting a face to a goat producer or farm is essential in social media. People want to know where their food came from.”
Malory Bankhead Both Bankhead and Williams suggest that posts about normal everyday chores, pictures of your own baby animals and farm updates can get people interested and excited in the industry. Along with fun facts and trivia, producers are also using social media to promote their individual stock, along with the industry, with updates on animals for sale, videos of animals on the move to show off structure, and pictures of animals at shows, stats, and awards. A cursory survey of Boer goat producers’ twitter feeds yielded everything from tweets about selling goat meat and how wonderful a product it is, to showing off pictures of new herd sires to advertising goats for sale with requests to send personal messages for more information. “Social media is the best way to connect these days,” said Gray. Gray also adds that with online sales becoming more prevalent in our industry, having a social media presence is a great way to gain an edge on the market. Social media, is getting and will continue to pervade our society and its important for Boer goat operations to promote themselves to the best of their ability.
Of these companies that had been using social media constantly for three or more years, over eighty percent of them claimed that they had increased exposure.
Over seventy percent of new business partnerships have been as a result of social media.
A large number of businesses also stated that they have an increased number of leads generated through social media, this amounted to around sixty percent of businesses that use this medium on a regular basis.
For those looking to improve their exposure in search engine results, the use of guest blogging services, status updates and video blogs assisted ﬁfty nine percent of these business to achieve this.
After three years of using social media, ﬁfty seven percent of businesses reported that their sales had improved.
In short- using social media is dramatically reducing marketing expenses for any business whether a large corporation or a small Boer goat farm.
So what’s the take home message? “Get involved in the conversation,” said Williams, “Get your toes wet. Producers need to put themselves out there.”
SOURCE: The Road to Success Using Social Media, visual.ly/road-success-using-social-media www.abga.org | 21
2013 JABGA LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE
JULY 21-25, 2013 Angelo State University SAN ANGELO, TEXAS
CONFERENCE IS OPEN TO ALL JABGA MEMBERS AGE 13 & OLDER AND ADULT CHAPERONES
Ä‘Ĺ? $250 per JABGA Member Ä‘Ĺ? $150 per Adult Chaperone
Ä‘Ĺ? Lodging Ä‘Ĺ? Three meals per day + snacks Ä‘Ĺ? Local transportation to events
Boer Goat Topics Ä‘Ĺ? %2!Ĺ?*%)(Ĺ?2(10%+*Ĺ?Ä¨* /ÄĄ+*ÄŠ Ä‘Ĺ?.//Ĺ?2(10%+*Ĺ?Ä¨* /ÄĄ+*ÄŠ Ä‘Ĺ?!*!.(Ĺ? *#!)!*0Ĺ?.0%!/ Ä‘Ĺ?!(Ĺ?##Ĺ?+1*0/Ĺ?Ä¨* /ÄĄ+*ÄŠ Ä‘Ĺ?2(10%+*Ĺ?* Ĺ?1.$/%*#Ĺ?0Ĺ? Ĺ?Ĺ?Ĺ?(!Ĺ?.*Ĺ?Ä¨* /ÄĄ+*ÄŠ Ä‘Ĺ?!*!.(Ĺ?!,.+ 10%+* Ä‘Ĺ?+0Ĺ?.2!/0%*#Ĺ?Ä¨* /ÄĄ+*ÄŠ Ä‘Ĺ?/01.!Ĺ?* Ĺ?*#!Ĺ?1,,(!)!*00%+* Ä‘Ĺ? ,.+/+,%Ĺ? Ĺ?Ä¨* /ÄĄ+*ÄŠ Ä‘Ĺ?!. Ĺ?!(0$Ĺ? *#!)!*0
Leadership Ä‘Ĺ?Ĺ?Ĺ? ! !./$%,Ĺ?4!.%/!/ Ä‘Ĺ?!)Ĺ?1%( %*#Ĺ?!*.%+/
Conference Features Ä‘Ĺ?1%6Ĺ?+3( Ä‘Ĺ?.+1,Ĺ?.+&!0/ Ä‘Ĺ?0%2%0%!/Ĺ?Ä¨+'Ĺ?((ÄŒĹ?!Ĺ?!*0!.ÄŒĹ? Ĺ?Ĺ?Ĺ?+3(%*#ÄŒĹ?3%))%*#ÄŒĹ?0Ä‹ÄŠ
22 | THE BOER GOAT
For registration documents: Please contact the ABGA office 325.486.2242
Print the registration documents from our website www.abga.org
Ĺ? Ĺ?Ĺ? Ĺ?Ĺ? Ĺ? Ĺ?Ĺ? Ĺ? Minimum attendees needed to hold conference is 20.
Ĺ?Ĺ? Ĺ? Ĺ? Ĺ? Ĺ? Ĺ?Ä‚Ä ÄŒĹ?Ä‚Ä€Ä ÄƒĹ?Ä? American Boer Goat Association 1207 S. Bryant Blvd., Suite C San Angelo, TX 76903
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TOP 10 SIRES BY ENNOBLEMENT POINTS
26 | THE BOER GOAT
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