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www.abga.org | 3
2013-2014 AMERICAN BOER GOAT ASSOCIATION BOARD OF DIRECTORS REGION 8 - SHON CALLAHAN
REGION 7 - LINDA WEST
REGION 16 - BRAD MACKEY (EC)
REGION 9 - VICKI STICH (EC)
REGION 10 - TRACY DIEFENBACH (EC)
REGION 11 - SCOTT HAWTHORN
REGION 6 - DR. MARK WATKINS
REGION 12 - PAUL KINSLOW (EC)
REGION 1 - TERRY BROWN
REGION 13 - MARK ANDERSON
REGION 2 - SCOTT PRUETT
REGION 14 - JOHN MORROW
REGION 3 - JEFF GIBBS (EC) Vice President tHJCCTGBSN!BPMDPN
REGION 15 - SARA DAVIS
REGION 4 - CECIL SWEPSTON
PAST PRESIDENT - ERVIN CHAVANA (EC) NFOHFSDSFFL!IPUNBJMDPN
Dear ABGA and JABGA Members,
*EC denotes Executive Committee member
It is an honor to be voted President of the ABGA for the upcoming year. I have enjoyed working on the board for the past 2 years and look forward to new and positive changes in 2013 -2014.
REGION 5 - JOHN EDWARDS
Letter From the PRESIDENT
I have big shoes to fill following Ervin Chavana as last yearâ€™s President but with the people that are assembled on the present board, we will continue to promote the American Boer Goat Association with the highest of integrity. I hope you enjoy this issue catered toward our youth member, who are the future of the American Boer Goat Association. Look for exciting changes in our industry. Sincerely,
AMERICAN BOER GOAT ASSOCIATION STAFF 1207 S. Bryant Blvd., Suite C | San Angelo, TX 76903 Mary Ellen Villarreal, Office Operations Supervisor, firstname.lastname@example.org Laurie Evans, Administrative Assistant, email@example.com Sonia Cervantez, Accounting, firstname.lastname@example.org Dee Ann Torres, Registration Support Staff, email@example.com Aaron Gillespie, Show Coordinator/Youth Coordinator, firstname.lastname@example.org
4 | THE BOER GOAT
Brad D Mackey, President American Boer Goat Association
Table of Contents THE POWER OF COMPETITION IT TEACHES US HOW TO WIN AT LIFE
MEET THE ABGA BOARD OF DIRECTORS
BREEDER SPOTLIGHT RAMBO RANCH
JABGA YOUTH LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE RECAP ABOUT THE COVER
The cover photo was taken at Angelo State University during the JABGA Youth Leadership Conference. Pictured are the JABGA youth participants, Youth Coordinator Aaron Gillespie and ASU instructor Mr. Corey Owens.
RARE, BUT FATAL
ENCORE VISIONS CONTACT Kelli Chapman PO Box 917 Aspermont, TX 79502 Toll Free 877-822-3016 (f) 806-398-9047 JOGP!UIFCPFSHPBUNBHB[JOFDPN
WANT TO SEE YOUR PHOTO ON OUR COVER?
PUBLISHER Jackie Lackey, INC. Jackie Lackey, Editor-in-chief & creative director KBDLJF!FODPSFWJTJPOTDPN CREATIVE TEAM Robyn Amthauer Jamie Banbury
LETTER L ETTER FROM FROM THE THE
Allyson McGuire Sarah Vachlon
We are still compiling entries for our next cover photo! You still have a shot at YOUR photo being the cover of the November/ December issue of The Boer Goat! Submit your pic to JOGP!UIFCPFSHPBUNBHB[JOFDPN!
We have worked hard to cater this issue to our junior audience. In July, I had the pleasure of attending the JABGA Youth Leadership Conference and was most impressed with the knowledge of our youth leaders involved in the association. I couldnâ€™t believe how far some of these members had traveled to attend (see page 20 for details there)! Recognizing our junior members is such the most crucial aspect of the future of the association. Creating opportunities for youth to become involved is a great aspect of the ABGA. On another note, our editorial calendar for 2014 is in full force, we would love to hear what you would like to see in the magazine. Feature stories, industry leaders for our Breeder Spotlight, interactive contests (like our 2013 cover photo contest!) anything of interest! Specifically, weâ€™d love any suggestions on our Jan/Feb issue, Herd Health. Sincerely,
www.abga.org | 5
AMERICANBOER BOERGOAT GOATASSOCIATION ASSOCIATION AMERICAN
AffiliatesProgram Program Affiliates
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 Nathan Jaeger P.O. Box 1100 PO Box 11000 Montgomery, AL 36191 firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com Serving States: AL
Iowa Meat Goat Association
Boer Goat Association of North Carolina
Cathy Van Wyhe 625 472nd Ave Grinnell, IA 50112 firstname.lastname@example.org 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
6 | THE BOER GOAT
Kelly Clark P.O. Box 36497 Greensboro, NC 27416 email@example.com
Cascade Boer Goat Association Becki Crighton 14352 W Hwy 12 Touchet, WA 99360 firstname.lastname@example.org www.cascadebga.org Serving States: OR, WA
Snake River Meat Goat Association Clara Askew 8054 Ustick Rd Nampa, ID 83687 email@example.com 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
SEPTEMBER Sept 1
North Missouri Meat Goat Producers
Three County Fair Boer Goat Show
Colorado Boer Classic
KMGA Fall Prairie Circuit
Eastern Idaho State Fair
6th Annual Shenandoah Valley Showdown
Southwe3st Missouri Boer Goat Classic Nevada, MO
IMGA Open Boer Goat Shows
West Texas Fair and Rodeo
Kansas State Fair
Permian Basin Fair
Michigan Fall Boer Goat 2 Show Madness
Ogeechee Summer Classic
North Carolina Mountain State Fair
Oklahoma State Fair
Oklahoma City, OK
Delkalb County VFM Fair Goat Show
Fort Payne, AL
East Texas State Fair
Southern Middle TN Boer Goat Show
NYS Jack Frost Classic
San Benito Classic
Tres Pinos, CA
OCTOBER Oct 5
Heart of Missouri Boer Goat Sale
Georgia National Fair
Arkansas State Fair
Little Rock, AR
State Fair of Texas
Alabama National Fair
Mary Lou Abney
Cuero Fall Classic
Grand National Rodeo, Horse and Stock Show
Daly City, CA
MSU Fall Classic
North Carolina State Fair
Marble Falls Spooktacular
www.abga.org | 7
by KELLY HARKEY
The power of
was a junior in high school. It was my first time to ever show, but I loved Brandi just as much as the barrows I had shown since I was a third grader. At our local show, I won grand champion with him, as well as showmanship. I had never been so excited and proud for myself. My hard work paid off.
There is something thrilling about winning. I don’t want to just participate. I want to work hard. I want to compete. I want to win. What is the point, otherwise? The show ring is just one example, but there is healthy competition everywhere you look. Youth organizations, such as 4-H and FFA, are no exceptions. I think the agricultural industry overall is pretty pragmatic in the fact that we are used to being judged, from county fair projects to FFA events to the show ring. There always seems to be a healthy level of competition, and this does reap a multitude of benefits for youth – and for everyone involved. Many positives come out of competing. The most powerful lesson taught during competition is work ethic. The pressure of competition is sometimes a lot to handle. You either work hard and rise to the pressure, honing the skills you already possess and learning new ones, or you fail.
Having certain levels of healthy competition helps set obtainable goals. Without goals set for yourself, where would you be headed? You would be like an aimless arrow soaring through the sky. Setting goals is important, giving you something to strive for and work towards. Competition also teaches that timelines are important. You must set goals according to when the actual competition is. You have a clearly marked date and time mapped out on your road to success. Without a timeline and an overall goal, things can be overlooked and disregarded, teaching nothing. Healthy competition, more specifically youth projects, also teaches about the importance of a support system.
You are almost always taught that success does not come without hard work in some form or fashion.
No matter what happens, though, you are almost always taught that success does not come without hard work in some form or fashion. A solid work ethic is an invaluable life skill, which if taught early, will aid in future successes.
This support system could come in many forms, such as a family and friends or teammates. This support helps justify what you are doing and aids in the competition. It is nice know someone has your back and is there for you. Competition, if you let it, can bring people together.
Competition solidifies goals. You know what you are after, what’s realistic, and what’s going to define your success; this, in essence, is your goal.
In addition to learning to use and appreciate your support system, competition teaches sportsmanship. To me, sportsmanship is a form of fellowship. It is respect for yourself,
8 | THE BOER GOAT
respect for your teammates, respect for you competition, and respect for the game, whatever your game may be. It is being humble and grateful, win or lose. At some point you will fail at a competition, but this isn’t a bad thing. If you let it, failure can also teach you some of the most valuable life lessons. Failure can keep you levelheaded. Failure can reiterate the fact that you, too, are human. Maybe you didn’t work hard enough or put in enough time. Maybe you need to find more help from that support system. Maybe someone just out-worked you. Or maybe your overall package wasn’t what the judge in the competition sought. You will get the “better luck next years” and the “nice tries.” You can choose to let them get to you and be upset, or you can harness that and actually have a better year next year. I vote, “harness that.” Gather those feeling that come with failure, reevaluate, and come back next time ready. Learn from the lessons being taught. Don’t let them fall to the side. Don’t let failure be the end.
it placing in a show ring and making the sale with your show animal? Is it participating and getting a ribbon that is the exact same as everyone else in the show ring? Are you considering competition at all when thinking about success? Are we a generation that only needs participation to be good enough? Should we push the next generation to break this mold and strive for a higher level of competition? I was raised in agriculture, I can recite the FFA Creed and drive a tractor. I have laid polypipe and tagged newborn ears.
You put a lot on the line by working hard, and then being judged in front of people. But if you worked hard and took pride in your work, this should be nothing less than an amazing experience, win or lose.
When my livestock was judged in a show ring, I learned more than I realized at the time. What I was taught in the show ring ended up being valuable life lessons. What I was taught in FFA and 4-H events are skills I still use and hone to this day. I am proud of my competitions – success and failures alike – and you should be, too. Is the idea that “everyone is a winner” a bad thing? You compete in half marathons and everyone gets the same finishers medal. You graduate from college and your diploma looks like everyone else’s. Are we all winners in certain cases? Maybe.
These are all important life skills that are used every day in a successful person’s life. All taught from competing. All taught from being judged by someone else.
With that being said, I still think that the life lessons taught through competition are valuable and will be something people will carry with them throughout their entire life.
It’s actually somewhat weird. You put a lot on the line by working hard, and then being judged in front of people. But if you worked hard and took pride in your work, this should be nothing less than an amazing experience, win or lose.
Compete if you want to compete. Don’t let anything stop you.
You will emerge from the competition with new ideas and understandings that others won’t. I think it all goes back to deciding how you define success. Is
Win or lose you will gain so much. You will be thankful of the judges criticizing your hard work, maybe not immediately, but eventually. You will be thankful for your support system, be it your high school agriculture teacher or your basketball coach. You will learn and you will grow. Competition teaches us how to win at life. www.abga.org | 9
TO OUR 2013 ABGA NATIONAL SHOW SPONSORS JABGA Auction Jr Patterson Sunshine Boers Antelope Creek Ranch Linda & Darrell Blumich Blue Top Farm E-3 Farms Circle Star Boer Goats Diamond H Boers Menger Creek Ranch A Bar Boer Goats 2-Bit Boer Ranch Hard Chargin’ Boer Ranch Windy Acres Sanders Farm Bell 7 Boer Goats Nelson Manufacturing Co GG’s Boer Goat Ranch Kid’s Play Boer Goats Shelton & Joetta Boyd E-I-E-I-Owe Farms, LLC Ron & Debbie Dilley Show Me Boers Diamond B Boers Little Ranch CBA Boer Goats Old National Road Boer Goats Rocking M Ranch The Goat Rancher REI, Inc. Bio-Genics, LTD Wetherell Farm AgriBuckle Koone Ranch Janelle Hennigan JABGA Area 1 Lazy S-T Ranch JABGA Area 1 Rockin M Ranch Word Ranch John & Jackie Edwards Lynx Hollow Boer Goats 4-M Farms Broken S Ranch Casada Creations Mazurek Family Ranch Tuf E Nuf Energy Juice Kaden Kennedy
BOER GOA GOAT AT 10 | THE 10 | THE BOER
F & H Ranch Pima Ranch Bernard’s Acadiana Honey Hoegger Supply Company Mary Newman Mollick Farms North Star Boer Goats Sandy Creek Goat Farms Tip of Texas Triple W Boer Goats JABGA Area 2 JABGA Area 2 Mars Hill Country Farms Diamond D Goats JABGA Area 5 Erika Huskamp Elk Creek Boer Goats Emily Sanchez Sydell, Inc. River Valley Boers Circle R Boer Goats Bailey Bergherm Lamoni Farms Boer Goats Bryleigh Goodwin Bohler Welding Group Farmers Co-Op Jeanise Bernard Berry’s GH Farm Livestock Designs Caden Church JABGA Area 4 Josalyn Lewis Brianna Hubbard Kaylee Eastland Rocken 3E Boer Goats Reilly Butler K-n-K Feed & Supply Red Gate Farm Ag Youth Magazine Reggie & Suzi Pillans C-n-C Flagstone Creations Jack & Mary Talley Outback Laboratories Clear Creek Farms Deborah Gunther Zap-Tex Boer Goats Randy Head
On behalf of the JABGA Board of Directors, thank you very much for your participation in the 2013 JABGA National Show. We are extremely grateful for your generosity and the National Show was a huge success due in part to your participation. Thank you again for your continued support and we look forward to working with you for years to come. Sincerely,
Aaron Gillespie Aaron Gillespie ABGA Youth Coordinator
Will Rogers Classic Goat Sale
Labor Day Classic Sale
Riata West LTD
American Goat Federation
Bosque Valley Reproduction Center
BOSQUE VALLEY REPRODUCTION CENTER Outback Laboratories 1RUWK6WDU*RDWV Eco Livestock Products
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Thank you to everybody who helped with the JABGA events, there are too many to name. Thank you all! $ODQ<RXQJ2I¿FH0DFKLQHV .HQGDOO%UDVKHDUV &UXWFKHU¶V:HVWHUQ:HDU Dr. Mary Newman $%*$1DWLRQDO6KRZ6WDII ABGA Board of Directors JABGA Board of Diretors $%*$1DWLRQDO6KRZ&RPPLWWHH $%*$1DWLRQDO6KRZ6XSHULQWHQGHQWV ABGA and JABGA Judges Messer Family La Fortuna Restaurant
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www.abga.org | 11
by y ROBYN SCHERER, M.AGR.
Meet the ABGA
Board of Directors
he Board of Directors serves as the governing body of the ABGA, and the 17-member board represents their individual regions, serving as the voice for those regions. Each board member is elected for a three-year term. REGION 1: 7HUU\%URZQ&DSULROH%RHU*RDWV Terry Brown began raising goats in 1973. He bought his first Boer crosses in 1995 and his first fullblood Canadian registered Boers the following year. When he began with Americanregistered Boers, he joined the ABGA. Today, he runs about 100 fullblood breeding females plus a dozen bucks. He breeds and exhibits goats with his family. “Goats seem to be in our blood, and both my daughter and granddaughter share this obsession. We enjoy exhibiting our goats, and the challenge of breeding good ones. It is exciting to see this industry grow, and to see goats gaining respect as a livestock enterprise,” he says. He has been on the board for five years. “My desire is to see that the membership is represented and kept informed,” he says. REGION 2:6FRWW3UXHWW(,(,2ZH)DUPV Scott Pruett got involved in the Boer goat industry and in ABGA after he made the move from sheep to goats. He started with crossbreds does, and eventually worked his way into breeding seedstock animals, as well as market goats for meat. He currently breeds about 40 does a year. He’s been in the ABGA for 10 years, and is serving on his first term on the board. “My biggest goal is to communicate with our membership, and let them know what is
12 | THE BOER GOAT
happening on a current basis. The intent with that is to create an interested membership that is active,” Pruett says. “In particular, I want to focus on the junior association. My region encompasses nine states, and our participation is minimum right now. I want to get them motivated and active.” Pruett enjoys Boer goats for many reasons. “I love the goat producers, and the fellowship, camaraderie and knowledge they have. The people are what make the goats worthwhile,” he says. REGION 3:-HII*LEEV*LEEV)DUP Jeff Gibbs first got involved because he had friends that raised goats. Today, he owns about 150. He enjoys raising goats because of what it takes. “I enjoy the challenges of matching/ breeding genetics, and the friends we have made since becoming members,” he said. This is Gibbs’ first term. “I want to help make the association better for the members,” he says. REGION 4:&XUUHQWO\9DFDQW REGION 5:-RKQ(GZDUGV(**6%RHUV John Edwards was also one of the first importers of Boer goats to the United States. “Our facility, Erath General Genetic Services, was approved as a quarantine unit just prior to the first importations of Boer goats from New Zealand in 1993. From 1993 through 1995, we were the temporary home for more than 200 Boer bucks and does, pending their delivery to the new owners. With the benefit of a lifetime of
ranching experience, this was a remarkable opportunity to appreciate first-hand the possibilities and limitations represented by the breed,” he explains. They purchased their first goats in 1995, and now produce about 300 kids a year. He has enjoyed seeing the breed develop in the U.S. “The earliest Boer goats brought to the U.S. were impressive, when compared to the indigenous goat population, but with a few notable exceptions, were not premier examples. Being part of the improvement of the Boer goat, both in terms of conformation and performance, has been a gratifying challenge,” he says. “We make a few shows each year, but our genetic selections are primarily driven by performance factors: feed efficiency, weight per day of age, carcass content at market weight, and thriveability in a pasture environment. It’s both exciting and essential, in our view.” He has been on the board for 13 years. “I have watched the ABGA grow into a financially stable, member-friendly organization,” he says. “I am most happy with the growth of our junior membership and want to see that trend continue. Expanding the youth program and education in general are my primary goals.” REGION 6:'U0DUN:DWNLQV&LUFOH6WDU%RHUV Dr. Mark Watkins started with just 10 bred does that he bought to keep the agricultural status on his land, and soon after that, his wife made the decision to begin showing. “Once we got into the show ring, it was a natural thing to join ABGA. In the early days, we joined all of the associations to get
information, and then decided to stay with ABGA,” he says. He now raises about 30 does, down from 150 several years ago. “It is going to be enjoyable again and not so much work,” he says. Since he came from a medical background, Dr. Watkins enjoys the breeding and genetics of raising Boer goats. “I like the genetics, the AI and the embryo transfer parts of it. I enjoy kidding and delivering baby goats, as well. There is nothing more fun that sitting out there in an early morning and watching two week olds kids run and jump and play. It’s a good combination. I enjoy that part of it, and she enjoys the ring,” he says. Dr. Watkins is halfway through his first term, is currently serving as treasurer, and is looking forward to bettering the organization for the members. “We need to increase efficiency of the office to better serve our members. That’s important to me,” he says. “The juniors are also important. I would like to see more emphasis on the bred-and-owned part of the show. I would like to see them more involved in the while process, and experience that pride of winning with their own animals. Those kids are our future.” REGION 7:/LQGD:HVW&%:%RHUV Linda West became involved in Boer goats through her grandchildren. “In 2004, my granddaughter Jordan came to me and said, ‘Grandmother, I want a goat.’ I asked what kind and she said, ‘The white ones with the red head.’ Six months later, we owned two young does and we all were hooked,” she says. “It has always been my husband’s contention that you can feed a registered animal just as cheap as a grade one, so ‘registered’ it was. We all became members of the ABGA, JABGA that same year.” They own 45 registered does, two bucks and 15-20 recipient does. “I just love the Boers because of their docile character and individual personality. I have always said they are just people with four legs and a fur coat. We enjoy showing, but are especially happy when our breeding animals are shown by others and do very well. That is satisfaction,” she says. West has been on the board for a year. “I have enjoyed every minute of representing all the people. I believe my goal is like many others on the board, and that is to take the association to a new level, to acquaint the public with what a great product we all produce, to hopefully one day
see packaged goat meat right along Angus beef in the grocery store, and to do DNA testing and further performance programs. These programs will help everyone in the association. In short, I want the Boer goat to become a force in the agricultural market now and in the future,” she says. REGION 8:6KRQ&DOODKDQ&%RHUV Shon Callahan first got involved in raising Boer goats when his daughter wanted goats. They attended a few shows, and decided it would be a good thing for them to do together. “We have an absolute ball together. Boer goat people are the coolest people in the world, and it’s become a big family with everyone that we show with. The goats are cool, but I love the people. My kids have learned some pretty cool lessons from some pretty cool people,” he says.
does for an FFA project. They later joined FFA, and began showing in 2003. They now run about 40 head, and the operation is a family deal. “Goats have always been a family project. My husband, son and daughter-in-law all show. My son, Ryan, and his wife, Tisha, met while showing,” she says. “We also help put on sanctioned shows each year. Coming home at night after a bad day at the office always gets better after a few minutes in the baby lot.” She has been on the board for five years, and is currently serving as secretary. “I want to continue to work toward improving member services,” she says. REGION 11:6FRWW+DZWKRUQ&HGDU*URYH)DUPV Scott Hawthorn got involved in goats through his daughter’s 4-H budget.
They now raise 35-50 kids a year, with the majority of those coming from embryo flushes. They bred 20-25 does a year.
“We got hooked from there. We began to breed and raise them. We enjoyed it very much,” he says.
Coming from an equine background, Callahan enjoys the shorter genetic turnaround that he sees with goats.
The family now raises 25 does, and practices live breeding at his facility. “We have gotten a lot out of them over the years. We have a lot of good friends, and have done a lot of traveling with them. We enjoy messing with the livestock and raising them,” he explains.
“With horses, it’s two and a half years before you can see the results of your program. With goats, you can see it after only eight months,” he explains. He is recently elected and serving his first term. “I just want to better the association for the membership. It seems like at every show someone has a better idea. I want to be a part of a proactive board to relay those ideas. I want to give back as much as I can,” he says. REGION 99LFNL6WLWFK/D]\5DYHQ5DQFK Vicki Stitch first got involved when her doctor suggested she do something to keep active. She had horses, but due to their size, goats were a better fit. She got involved in ABGA when she bought her first goats. She currently does not raise any goats, because her health has prevented her from having them now. She still has her main herd sire, an old buck that is now 10 years old. “I enjoyed all of it from the babies to the does. I liked the showing and being around people, and the competitiveness of it, too,” she explains. Stitch is in her fourth year on the board. “I want to help educate people about the success of the breed as well as the organization. I miss having the goats, but now I have more time to do what I need to do for the board,” she says. REGION 10:7UDF\'LHIHQEDFK$PDUXJLD %RHU*RDWV Tracy Diefenbach got started raising goats in 1999 when her son wanted to raise a few
Hawthorn has been on the board for two years. “I didn’t have any set goals. I always thought ABGA was a good organization. We have had some rule changes over the years, and worked on projects that have been beneficial overall. I wanted to help support the organization and do what I could,” he says. REGION 123DXO.LQVORZ/HJDF\)DUPV Paul Kinslow got involved in the industry when his daughter was deciding what project she wanted to do in 4-H, and she settled on goats. They got involved in ABGA that same year. Currently, he has 10 breeding does that he raises for show. “I enjoy the camaraderie and the people,” he says. “Goats are a fun breed. They have different personalities and sometimes are almost like dogs. The children enjoy them and they are safe when dealing with kids and momma. They are personable animals.” Kinslow has been on the board for six years. “I want to continue the success of ABGA,” he says. REGION 130DUN$QGHUVRQ) +5DQFK Mark Anderson got involved in Boer goats in 2009 after retiring from a 27.5-year career in the Air Force. He had promised his wife Debbie after retirement they would settle down and get animals. The chose Boer goats. He now owns about 120 does. www.abga.org | 13
“We enjoy the embryo part of this industry and love the challenge of trying new genetic combinations,” he says. They also host four sanctioned shows a year, and have established two scholarships for students who raise animals. “Our hope/prayers is that we can give back to the great industry we have gotten involved with,” he explains. Like others, Anderson enjoys the people side of Boer goats just as much as the goat themselves. “We truly enjoy the friendships we have made and the willingness to help the new people get involved and improve their herd and show string. Debbie and I had no livestock background and had many people offer to help us and give advice on improvements, fitting, showing and many other things,” he says. Anderson is in his second year on the board. “My goal is to be a voice for the small breeders who may not have all the acreage to have hundreds of goats or want that many, but enjoy the challenges of raising these beautiful animals and showing them at shows throughout the year. I also want to see if we can get more involved in researching health issues to assist everyone in improving management practices,” he says. REGION 14-RKQ0RUURZ6WRQH\3RLQW)DUP John Morrow got his start when Boer goats first came to the U.S., when they picked up a group of eight half-bloods. They had raised dairy and pygmy goats, and the Boers caught their attention after they read about them in a magazine. They now raise between 325-375 goats including does, kids and bucks. They raise seedstock, commercial and 4-H wethers. “If someone would have told me that I would only have goats, I would have said they are nuts, but that’s all I have now,” he says. His family enjoys not only raising goats, but also showing them. “My wife, daughter and two granddaughters eat and breathe Boer goats every day of the year,” he says. He was elected to the board in 2006, and truly believes in doing what is best for the members. “I want to see us do what is best for all American Boer goat members: what is truly best for the industry, clear across the industry. It takes each and every one of the people across the U.S. to do that, and see everything work well for all Boer goat members,” Morrow says.
14 | THE BOER GOAT
REGION 156DUD'DYLV2DN+ROORZ/LYHVWRFN Sara Davis began with a few commercial does 15 years ago, and her first registered goat was a fullblood buck. “I quickly made the decision to transition completely to registered Boers. That first buck was registered with ABGA and was our introduction to the American Boer Goat Association,” she says. She currently has 20 does. “Our animals are selected for docile temperaments, superior carcass traits, fast growth rates, and hardy animals with excellent maternal characteristics. They have also been quite competitive in ABGA shows,” she says. She likes Boer goes for the many attributes they offer. “Boer goats are easy to handle, aggressive foragers and a low-maintenance livestock option for us. They are mild mannered enough that our two young children can enjoy spending time with them, as well. We sell registered breeding stock and also provide our family and our customers with a healthy, delicious, locally raised option to the mainstream red meats,” Davis says. She has been on the board for five years. “I believe there is an amazing potential for growth in our association and with that, strong leadership is pivotal to ensuring ABGA remains the premier meat goat registry and shapes the future of this growing industry,” she says. “In my time on the Board, I have found the ABGA members to be an amazing group of individuals. As individuals, we all have different priorities and philosophies. I choose to look at these differences as strengths in our industry. At the Board level, I believe we have the responsibility to weigh input from all members and do our best to ensure the best interest of the breed and the ABGA and its members. My door is always open to members with concerns or questions.” REGION 1%UDG0DFNH\%0DFN)DUPV//& Brad Mackey got his first Boer goats when a friend, Frankie Beeman, got him started as a hobby. After moving to North Carolina, Mackey started a commercial hog and turkey operation, and believed the goats were a perfect fit for him to get back into raising purebred show animals. The ABGA was the right organization for him, as he considered it the gold standard for Boer goat registration, and still believes that is the case. He currently has 35 donor does, and about 100 recipients. He enjoys the genetics of raising goats.
“I enjoy the mixing and matching of genetics that are highly competitive in the show ring, whether it be regionally or nationally. They are the most challenging species of livestock I have ever tried to raise,” he says. He has been on the board for two years, and is serving as President this year. “I hope to bring the organization together with the focus of adding more emphasis on the junior programs, and to introduce new and improved ways to do business, and grow the ABGA into the future,” he says. ,00(',$7(3$6735(6,'(17: (UYLQ&KDYDQD0HDJHU&UHHN5DQFK Ervin Chavana was one of the original importers of Boer goats, and has been with the ABGA since its inception. He didn’t get into showing until nearly 10 years after he bought his first goats, and credits that experience to the way he breeds his goats today. “We wanted to get out and see how we stacked up with our bloodlines and breeding program. It was an eye opener for us. We bred for a long time without seeing what others had, and sometimes that makes you barn blind to what you are doing,” he explains. “It changed our breeding program from a genetic standpoint, to really going and getting the specific attributes that we wanted. If there are genetics out there that will enhance my program, I’m going to use it. I’m constantly trying to put animals on the ground that are better each year.” Today, Chavana has about 200 goats, not including recipient does. He truly loves the Boer goat, and the beauty of the animal. “I think what drew me to them originally is what still draws me to them. When you look at them, they have an ennobled look. There is nothing better than seeing a mature buck that is big, bold, robust and proud standing there. He’s a testament to the breed,” he says. Chavana just finished his first term, and is currently serving as the immediate past president for this year, and then he will be off the board. “My whole intention was not to have an agenda, but to move the association forward, and lend my expertise. We have a dedicated board that will do what they need to do to move association forward right now,” he says. “We are elected to represent our constituents and be their voice at the table. We all come from different backgrounds, but at the end, must make decisions to make the association better.”
by y ROBYN SCHERER, M.AGR.
Rambo Ranch 1. HOW DID YOU GET STARTED IN THE BOER GOAT INDUSTRY? We got started after retiring from the US Army. We started with selling show wethers and then have slowly changed to all full bloods making sure to concentrate on quality over quantity.
2. HOW MANY GOATS DO YOU HAVE, AND WHAT DO YOU USE THEM FOR? For many years we ran close to 75 grown does and sold them as registered Full bloods as well as champion wethers. We have, in the last few years, been raising mainly full bloods of a herd of 25 head. We are increasing the herd this coming year slowly, making sure each doe meets out strict requirements. We are concentrating on quality, not quantity or pedigree.
3. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PART ABOUT RAISING BOER GOATS? The Great friends we have made and the smile on a child when they win with one of our goats.
Rambo Ranch, located in Palacios, Tex., is owned by Karen Venglar. They focus on raising quality show goats with the genetics that perform and win in the show ring as well as out in the pasture. They answer a few questions about their operation.
powerful and meaty, that look great and are productive. We never keep or buy a doe just because of what is on the registration paper. We expect our does to work for a living. All does run on pasture, get a small amount of goat feed in the evening and coastal hay. We are trying to breed for does who carry such attributes as hardiness, big correct conformation, good clean utters, good milk production & good mothering abilities.
5. WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR YOUNG PRODUCERS GETTING INTO THE BOER GOAT INDUSTRY? To look at the goat and not the registration paper first. A doe or buck with correct conformation will always give you a great kid no matter what is on the registration papers. A doe with bad udder, steep hip, or weak pasterns will not give you great kids no matter how good the papers are. To learn more Rambo Ranch, please visit www.ramboranch.com
4. WHAT ARE SOME OF THE CHALLENGES YOU HAVE FACED, AND WHAT DID YOU DO TO OVERCOME THEM? The challenge to produce even better kids each year without a lot of feed or additives. We work hard to breed quality show goats, with the genetics that perform and win in the show ring as well as out in the pasture. We are breeding for goats that are naturally
www.abga.org | 15
2013 2014 BOARD
BOER GOAT ASSOCIATION
FROM LEFT: FROM LEF E T:: Jared Hopkins, Isaac Ridings, Noah Ridings, Michael Wetherell, Sarah Brend, Aaron Gillespie
NOT PICTURED: Maddie Fenton, Ben Fredrickson, Garrett Horwedel, Shelbi Webb
Meet the Team PRESIDENT
These outstanding individuals have been elected by the membership to help guide the organization and serve in their capacity for one year. Find out more about them and their involvement.
Sarah Brend (Area 2)
Hi, I’m Sarah Brend, owner and operator of Good Shepherd Ranch now located in Milburn, Okla., formerly of Bucyrus, Kan., and I am honored to be your 2013-2014 JABGA President. This is my second term to serve as a JABGA Director from Area 2, and it has been my privilege to do so. I started showing Boer goats in 2006 and established my own herd shortly thereafter, learning as I went mostly from hands-on experience but also from leading producers in the ABGA industry. I have had the privilege of breeding and owning the 2011 ABGA National Reserve Champion Percentage Doe. I have also experienced the heartbreak of working hard with my animals only to lose them to illness and accidents. One of the most important things I learned from the adults around me is to give back - to share the knowledge I’ve gained with others. This is my last opportunity to serve you as a Junior Director, and I hope to be a positive influence for our junior organization! I am excited about working with the current Junior Board of Directors to implement your ideas and suggestions to promote the Boer goat breed and encourage constructive changes for the better of the JABGA. We are YOUR Junior American Boer Goat Association Directors - If you have ideas or questions, bring ‘em to us!
Michael Wetherall (Area 2)
Hello my name is Michael Wetherell, I am 16 years old and entering my junior year at Unity High School in Tolono, Ill. This is my second year as an Area 2 board member and elected this year as Vice President to the board. Centrally located in Illinois, my family and I have been in the goat business since 2006. My immediate family members are my parents, Deric and Sheila Wetherell and my 14 year old sister Mikayla Wetherell. As an active 4-H and FFA member my focus has been learning, breeding, and showing Boer goats. JABGA is a great organization, I have enjoyed meeting new friends with the same passion throughout the United States.
Noah Ridings (Area 4)
My name is Noah Ridings. I got started in goats when I was four, when Charlene Kent gave me and my brothers our first goat; a wether named Old Yeller. We started showing and have never looked back. I could never put it together to say how wonderful the experience with goats has been. All the great people I have met and all the great friends I have made over the years. Through goats I have been taught many great things: perseverance, honesty and that hard word does pay off, just to name a few. I will be a junior at North Forsyth County High School in Cumming, Ga. this school year. I am active in Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and I am on the wrestling team. I enjoy being an active member in my church. I am very humbled to have been elected to the JABGA Board of Directors by our peers. I will do my best to make the JABGA an even greater association. If you have any questions or if I can possible help you in anyway please contact us. I thank everyone for this opportunity and I look forward to what lies ahead.
Jared Hopkins (Area 5)
I originally bought goats for brush control around my house and just really enjoyed them. I started showing wethers and didn’t have much luck, and I hated working with them and then not getting anything back. So I switched to the breeding stock I’ve been very fortunate with them. I have won the Houston Livestock Show, Oklahoma State Fair and several more. I ran for the JABGA board because I love the goats and want to make a difference, I’m a junior in High School and my time in the JABGA is almost over. I hope to make a difference in this organization to better it, and preserve the values it has given me.
16 | THE BOER GOAT
Maddie Fenton (Area 1)
Hi, I’m Maddie Fenton. I’m 14 years old and I’ve been showing goats for 12 years. I’ve been a member of JABGA for several years. I really love fitting and showing my goats, and I plan to do it for as many more years as possible! I own 65 of my own goats, a few of which I travel around the states to show. I love those long road trips, so going to shows like Nationals is so much fun for me! I strive to continue to improve my own herd quality, and my skills and knowledge. When I’m not doing things with my goats, which isn’t very often, I like playing any of my seven guitars, reading or playing softball. Being one of the Area 1 JABGA directors is a huge honor, and a one of a kind learning experience..
Ben Fredrickson (Area 1)
Hey, I’m Ben Fredrickson and I’m one of your Area 1 Junior Directors again this year. I have lived in the small town of Roy, Wash. my whole life and am currently a junior at Yelm High School. I grew up on a farm with horses, pigs, cattle and a yak. I have been raising Boer goats since I turned 9 years old. I am currently a member of the Yelm FFA chapter where I have been showing my cows and Boer goats at the Thurston County and Western Washington fair for the last four years. I’m excited for the coming years activities in the JABGA, and I hope you are too!
Garrett Horwedel (Area 3)
My name is Garrett Horwedel, I’m 16, and I represent Area 3 for the JABGA. I live in the great state of Indiana and enjoy showing livestock, fishing, hunting and playing football. I enjoy showing goats and going to shows, meeting people, and competing. I hope to continue to be involved in livestock and attend college to study agriculture. I’ve really enjoyed my time on the JABGA board and have learned a lot from the experience. I’m sure this knowledge will help me with in the future. Thanks to all of the people involved for allowing me to serve you on this board.
Bethany Gochenour(Area 3)
My name is Bethany Gochenour, I will be a junior at Strasburg High School this year, in Va. I have been showing and raising goats for the seven years. I also show cattle and hogs. I am involved in both 4-H and FFA. I am a member of the Strasburg FFA chapter, Lebanon Church 4-H club, and the 7 Bends 4-H Shooting Education Team. I just recently won the Virginia State FFA Goat Proficiency Award and will be moving on to national judging in October. The JABGA National Leadership Conference was one of the best experiences that I have come across; there we learned all kinds go of things about goats. From judging and selecting goats to harvesting and eating goat. We really did learn all about the goat industry.
Isaac Ridings (Area 4)
My name is Isaac Ridings. I thoroughly love anything pertaining to goats. There is nothing better than raising a goat yourself and taking it to a show and doing well in the show. My most memorable moment in showing goats was in Tulsa, Okla. when Mr. Anton Ward handed me the bronze trophy for Junior Reserve Percentage Doe, for a doe I bred and raised. I have been involved in goats my entire life. I know I will never to be able to give back to the goat industry as much as it has given me. I will start North Forsyth County High School this year as a freshman. I love being on the wrestling team, but the only thing closer to my heart than my goats is my Jesus. Hopefully working together we can make the JABGA even better that what it is. We look forward to the journey that we are starting out on. Please let us know if we can be of any help to any of you.
Shelbi Webb (Area 5)
Howdy, my name is Shelbi Webb from Danbury, Texas Region 5. I have recently graduated from Danbury High School. After being a part of the JABGA for 11 years as well as serving on the Board of Directors for the past 6 years. This will be my first year not serving as an officer, but rather taking a step back and viewing the organization from different angles. I have high hopes for this year being a fantastic year for the Organization as well as the Board. I am continuing my education at Brazosport Community College to receive my Associates degree in Nursing and become a registered nurse.
to the 2013-2014 Board of Directors! www.abga.org | 17
2013 North American International Livestock Exposition ABGA Sanctioned
Boer Goat Show Thursday, November 21
Junior Wether Goat Show Wednesday, November 20
North American International Livestock Exposition z November 9-22 Kentucky Exposition Center z PO Box 36367 z Louisville, KY 40233-6367 Phone 502-595-3166 z Fax 502-367-5299 z www.livestockexpo.org
18 | THE BOER GOAT
Official Media Partner
www.abga.org | 19
by KELLI CHAPMAN
YOUTH LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE M
onday, July 22 through Thursday, July 25, 17 junior ABGA members and 5 chaperones stayed in the dorms of Angelo State University for the 2013 JABGA Leadership Conference. Members literally traveled from coast to coast for the conference. Brittany Volk, of Ramona, Calif. drove 16 hours, however also managed to get a doe purchased from Fred Homeyer, of Antelope Creek, Texas while she was here. Bethany Gichenour and her mother, Kim, took the award for “furthest distance traveled” while a 24 hour road trip from Lebanon Church, Va. Kim mentioned. She commended Aaron Gillespie, Youth Director for how well everything had gone at the conference. “They have all seemed to become great friends.” Kim explained. The continued with how impressed she was at how friendly all the kids were, and how interested they stayed with the ASU professors handson teaching practices. After an ASU campus tour one evening, she mentioned that several campers who had already made their decision for higher education, were now considering ASU. Throughout the duration of the conference, the team purchased a set of goats from the local auction, harvested the animals, evaluation the carcasses, fabricated the carcasses and finally enjoyed the animals at their awards dinner barbecue. Emily Brown, 15 of Brownwood, Texas was most excited about the ultrasound workshop they had attended. However, some participants maybe didn’t expect what the workshops entailed. Micheal Weatherall, 16 of Tolono, Ill fainted during the carcass evaluation workshop when they began the skinning process. When discussing his conference experience with him, he explained that his favorite experience was learning about the reproduction aspect of the Boer goat industry, and he is interested in learning more about the process of embryo transfer.
20 | THE BOER GOAT
When the members arrived they were split into random groups and assigned various topics related to goat production: Breeding Season, Gestation, Weaning, Kidding and Lactation. Groups were allotted about an hour daily for preparation of their presentations, which we enjoyed watching Wednesday afternoon. Kristi Rothmann, of Port Lavaca, Texas recommended using wheat germ to supplement goats during gestation to give goats the increased energy to sustain normal levels. “Run fecal test for deworming, in south Texas it doesn’t get cold enough to kill the works – fecal testing is constant for them.” Rothmann explained, when discussing recommended practicing during an animals gestation period. She also advised to use propylene glycol for pregnancy toxemia cases. Austin Davis, of De Leon Springs, Fla. presented with Rothmann over Gestation. Davis gave his personal recommendation for being watchful of Mastitis, which was mentioned in several presentations. He advised for the feeder to not also the animals to overeat and limit their grain intake during gestation. As is sat through a food safety presentation from Loree Branham, Ph.D., I was interested to learn details regarding common food borne pathogens including E. coli 0157 and Salmonella. Dr. Branham lead an interesting and insightful presentation that the members were extremely interested in. A hands-on evaluation of the bacteria growing on common surfaces (including one student’s notebook) was well received among the campers. After speaking with several campers about their experience at this camp, all had extremely positive feedback and great attitudes. This proved to be time well spent for the campers who attended. Stay tuned for information regarding the 2013 JABGA Youth Leadership Conference!
Comments from the experienced: JARED HOPKINS, Azle, Texas What was the most beneficial experience of the conference? I think harvesting the goat was most beneficial, at least for me it was. You actually get to see the insides of the animal, and learn exactly where the fat and muscle is located. And when we decide you want to eat one, well now we know how to properly skin the goat.
What was the most fun memory you will take away? The most fun to me was probably after the long days of learning in the classroom we just got to hang out and have fun. You make life long friends at these type of events and I encourage every one to go next year.
At what point in the conference were you most surprised? Lets see...the most surprising thing was when Michael Wetherell fainted we were all worried about him, but right after he had that big goofy smile on his face and we knew he was okay you couldn’t help but laugh. He even named his quiz bowl team “The Fainting Goats!” We all laughed about it all week even Michael.
Would you recommend this to other JABGA members? Why/Why not? I would definitely recommend this to all JABGA members. It was a lot of work but we all had a blast and it’s about goats and it was very beneficial. I know I will be putting a lot of what I learned into my heard so I can better my animals and hopefully better the breed.
SARAH BREND, Milburn, OK JABGA President What was the most beneficial experience of the conference? What I found most beneficial was probably the goat harvesting and carcass evaluation. This was also the most challenging. Going from evaluating the animals one day to harvesting them the next was quiet the experience! It taught me a lot about the inside of the goat and where the fat lays on them. Also, how important it is to raise an animal with the most meat on the hoof, because in the end they are Meat Goats.
What was the most fun memory you will take away? Most fun was after working and learning all day, we got to go bowling one night and played basketball and volleyball another night. We all (JABGA youth from across the country) just hung out and got to know each other better!
At what point in the conference were you most surprised? Most surprising for me and probably everyone one else was when our JABGA Vice President and my other Area 2 director, Micheal Wetherell, fainted during the goat harvesting! He had everyone scared to death as two guys carried him out of the room. The next thing we know, he is smiling and laughing at us from the hallway, letting everyone know he’s okay! We all, even him, joked and laughed about it for the rest of the week, it was great!!!
Most applicable to your day-to-day life The most applicable thing for me was the nutrition, biological management, and learning about the harvesting. The biological management was one of the best things I learned about. It taught me how you can train goats to eat certain plants/trees that are over populating. The nutrition helped me learn what to better feed my goats. There are a lot of natural plants that are very high in fat and protein and better for your animals sometimes than some feed. Again, the harvesting taught me a lot especially when it comes to show goats and how much weight/fat we have to put on them to be able to compete. But after seeing the harvesting, it’s making me think twice about how much weight to put on them because it’s extremely unhealthy for the animal.
Would you recommend this to other JABGA members? Why/Why not? I do and will definitely recommend this to all JABGA members! It was one of the best learning experiences I’ve had, and you also make a lot of life-long friends! I already excited for next year’s conference, and I imagine it’ll be even bigger and better than this year’s!
CODY RUMBAUGH, Plymouth, NE What was the most beneficial experience of the conference? I feel that the ultrasound was the most beneficial to me. I can use that on my does at home now that I now how to use the equipment properly.
What was the most fun memory you will take away? I thought that the most fun was the free time we had to interact with the other members at the camp.
Most applicable to your day-to-day life The most applicable to my day to day life would be the ultrasound and the nutrition parts.
Would you recommend this to other JABGA members? Why/Why not? Yes. I thought that it was a great learning experience. All of the JABGA members should be a part of this it was a great camp.
JESSICA BERRY, Glenwood, AR What was the most beneficial experience of the conference? I felt the most beneficial aspect of the conference for me was the goat health and reproduction sections. If we as producers cannot keep our goats healthy and reproducing, then we do not have a business
What was the most fun memory you will take away? Probably the most fun we had was at our dorm on the last night with the county agent and skill building activities.
At what point in the conference were you most surprised? In my opinion the most surprising experience was the harvest floor. It is a necessary aspect of this business but the first time I had actually seen it in action.
Most applicable to your day-to-day life The health and reproduction sessions were most applicable. As a breeder I have to focus on these two areas to have a thrifty herd.
Would you recommend this to other JABGA members? Why/Why not? I would absolutely recommend this conference to other JABGA members. I wish more could have attended. I was very impressed that Angelo State University opened their doors to us as they did and how detailed the agri department was in their sessions. It was very well planned and the most comprehensive conference for youth I have ever attended! After leaving the conference, my mom and I stopped by a couple of farms of other breeders.....Don Smith, Smith Boer Goats, Talpa TX, and Gerald and Betty Peterson in Stephenville, TX. Mom and I also took a quick detour of about 3 hours through the Ft Worth Stockyards to take in some of the history there. It was an amazing trip!
At what point in the conference were you most surprised? The most surprising was the leadership activities that we did. www.abga.org | 21
by Ginger Merritt
eeping your goat herd healthy is a lofty goal, but it is a goal that every good herdsmen has.
Producers must monitor for many disease. One is deadly and can be harbored in goats for months, even years, without any sign of symptoms. “Scrapie in goats is much less common than in sheep, but the disease has been recorded in them,” says John Middleton, MU College of Veterinary Medicine Associate Professor of Food Animal Medicine. Scrapie is a fatal, degenerative disease affecting the central nervous system of sheep and goats. It is among a number of diseases classified as transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSE). Infected flocks that contain a high percentage of susceptible animals can experience significant production losses. Proper diagnosis is key to keeping goats healthy, because incubation is prolonged and can range from months to years. “Age at onset of clinical signs can range from 2-8 years of age,” Middleton says. “Clinical signs, once they occur, can include weight loss, incoordination, changes in mentation, itching, progressive debilitation and ultimately death.” The name scrapie is derived from one of the classic conditions of the disease. 22 | THE BOER GOAT
RARE, BUT FATAL
Some affected animals will compulsively itch and scrape off their wool against rocks, trees or fences. “Animals with the disease will be really itchy, especially over the back and rump,” says Jesse Cheever, veterinarian at Labahn Animal Hospital in Arkansas.
HISTORY Although first recognized as a disease of sheep in Great Britain and other countries of Western Europe more than 250 years ago, scrapie has been reported throughout the world. Only two countries are recognized by the United States as being free of scrapie: Australia and New Zealand. The first case of scrapie in the U.S. was diagnosed in 1947 in Michigan. The flock owner had imported sheep of British origin through Canada for several years. According to the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), which conducted a slaughter surveillance study from April 1, 2002, to March 31, 2003, the prevalence of scrapie in mature U.S. cull sheep was 0.2 percent or one positive out of 500 cull sheep. In the U.S., scrapie has primarily been reported in the Suffolk breed. It also has been diagnosed in a Border Leicester, Cheviots, Corriedales, Cotswold, Dorsets, Finn, Hampshires, Merinos, Montadales, Rambouillets,
Shropshires, Southdowns, and a number of crossbreeds. Through October 2003, approximately 2,350 cases in sheep and 12 cases in goats have been reported.
CAUSE Much controversy revolves around the cause of scrapie. Most experts now concur that the primary component of the agent is the prion protein. Scrapie is characterized by holes in cells of the brain and the accumulation of an abnormal protein, which results in the loss of nervous function. Prions are proteins found in the membrane of a number of normal cells. In a scrapie-infected animal, the prion takes on an altered three-dimensional shape. Scientists believe the abnormal prion protein binds to normal prions causing the shape to change to the abnormal form. The accumulation of the abnormal prion protein in the nervous tissue in the brain leads to dysfunction and death of the nerve cells and the onset of clinical symptoms. Unfortunately, scrapie is present in the U.S. and prevents the export of breeding stock, semen and embryos to many other countries. Since it is classified as a TSE, it is under increased scrutiny because of the discovery of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in cattle, the link between BSE and variant Creutzfeldt-
Jakob disease (vCJD) in humans and feline spongiform encephalopathy (FSE) in cats in Europe.
PREVENTION In scrapie-infected flocks, over a period of several years, the number of infected animals increases, and the age at onset of clinical signs decreases, making these flocks economically unviable. In addition, animals sold from infected flocks spread scrapie to other flocks. All of these facts make prevention of scrapie at herd level of utmost importance, despite the low incidence in goats. Veterinarians suggest the use of three management tools for dealing with scrapie: 1. maintaining a closeddam flock; 2. genetic selection; and 3. improving kidding hygiene. These practices have been devised from knowledge of how scrapie is spread. Experts believe the primary mode of transmission is through lateral transmission from direct goat-to-goat contact. “Scrapie can be transmitted by ingestion of infected tissues from sheep or infected goats,” Middleton says. “In sheep, transmission from dam to fetus is thought to occur, but this is unknown for goats and has not been achieved experimentally.”
decrease the need for genetic-based or other management practices. A closed flock means there is no exposure of disease through the commingling with or acquisition of dams from another flock or the sharing of kidding facilities. “In addition, responsible goat owners can choose to be a part of the USDA Voluntary Scrapie Flock Certification Program,” Cheever says. “Making the conscious choice to keep your herd as healthy as it can be will only help you and the industry, as a whole.” The Scrapie “Free” Flock Certification Program (SFCP) is designed to monitor flocks for scrapie and to certify flocks that have met all requirements of the program as scrapie free. Any sheep or goat owner or manager may apply to participate in the program, and APHIS makes information about participating flocks available to the public through its webpage. “Not only will goat producers benefit from the opportunity to increase the marketability of their animals by showing a minimal risk of scrapie in their flock, the program strengthens the APHIS’ scrapie surveillance strategy, which can help the U.S. push toward the eradication of this disease,” says Cheever.
Symptoms EARLIEST SIGNS:
* Behavioral changes * Apprehension or uneasiness during handling or feeding * Tremors of the head or neck * Isolation from the flock * Movements of hind legs become uncoordinated * Weight loss
ADVANCED SIGNS: * * * * * * *
Intense itching and scraping Broken or pulled out wool High stepping or stumbling Falling Grinding of teeth Shaking of the tail and rump Death
WANT TO ENROLL? If you would like to enroll in the Scrapie “Free” Flock Certification Program (SFCP), contact your local USDA Area Office.
Experts encourage goat owners to maintain a closed-dam flock as the best way to remain scrapie-free, as it might www.abga.org | 23
PIT KEMMER, AUCTIONEER 931-335-4628 www.kemmerranch.com
www.abga.org | 25
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