!2/7/2009 Goat Gossip 81 Merry Christmas, Ya’ll! This is the time of year that we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. We rejoice his birth with songs of praise. We celebrate the Christ child’s coming by joining together in fellowship and brotherhood to raise our voices with faith in the Lord. I’m going to ask that everyone take the time from buying and wrapping gifts and sit down with your families and just talk about your faith in God and what Christmas should really mean to everyone, the joyous praise of the coming of the Baby Jesus. Let’s open up our Bibles and read the gospels that tell of the birth of the Son of God. Let’s all put the Christ back in Christmas! What would I like for Christmas for a gift? I pray that God gives Gwen, Rhys, and I good health. Prosperity and all of the other things that come with it has to be earned. We can be expected to ask God for the fortitude to work for prosperity, but when it comes to being prosperous, it’s up to us as Humans to stiffen our resolve and work hard for what we have and earn what we desire. This is the situation that we have in the goat industry (You just knew I would get to it sooner or later didn’t ya!). We have to work for progress in our industry and not rely on others to give us what we sorely need. We have to develop our breeds to adapt to the developing markets and supply a steady and consistent product to our consumers. This may mean breeding to animals that will reproduce at all times of the year in order to provide a constant supply. We must supply a consistent quality, providing #1 & #2 grade carcasses with every breeding. We must establish benchmarks such as EPDs to give breeders a set of consistent traits that will help to develop a market goat that will be of a constant quality. We must supply a healthy and wholesome product without the overuse of drugs and wormers to even keep our goats alive. Breeding worm resistance, hardiness, and good mothering instincts into our herds are something to strive for. The markets are developing and we as breeders must evolve in order to adapt and prosper. We have to show uncompromising unity and support for our breed and marketing associations, those already needing our support and future associations in their infancy, such as the American Goat Federation. Paying dues and lip service to your membership just ain’t gonna work in this day and age, you all need to participate and contribute. Board members and folks who pitch in are getting worn thin and need some help. It’s time to step up and help out. Lend a hand; you might discover a hidden talent that you never thought you had. I didn’t realize that I was such a good Buckpellet passer until I started writing this column for the Freestone Co. Goat Breeders Association! The American Goat Federation is having an open meeting at the ASI Convention in Nashville, Tennessee. It will be at the Sheraton Nashville Downtown on January 23rd from 9 a.m. till 5 p.m. I would like to report what will be on the agenda, but I just don’t have that much info yet. It sure would be nice for someone to provide a streaming video thingy so that us who can’t make the trip to attend can see what is happening (durned employment obligations!) but maybe we can get somebody to report on the happenings at this hopefully historic meeting. Many breeders, including me, want such an organization to succeed and help all dairy, hair, and meat producers prosper in the future. The Freestone County Goat Breeders Association would like to announce that they will be holding their Spring Pen Sale on Saturday, February 27th from 10 a.m. till 2 p.m. at the Ike Carden Arena in Fairfield, Texas. We will be offering show wethers and doelings, breeding nannies, and breeding bucks. Call our Prez, Garry Tugwell at 903-390-7780 or me for more information on the sale. We will be working out the details and I will post them when they become available. We hope to see you all there and sell you a possible Grand Champion! We will be holding our first quarterly meeting on Tuesday January 5th at 7 p.m. at the Freestone County Courthouse in beautiful downtown Fairfield, Texas. The fine citizens of Anderson, Freestone, Henderson, Leon, Limestone, and Navarro Counties are invited to attend and join our organization if you care to. The next event for the East Texas Goat Raisers Association is the general membership meeting on January 23, 2012. The educational program will start about 9:30am with topics including medication, hoof trimming, tattooing, sonogram demonstration, 'how to tell if your goat is ill' and general goat care. Plans are being made to include a demonstration of milking a goat and information about making goat soap. Location to be announced later. February 13, 2010 is the Cream of the Crop Boer Goat Show, ABGA sanctioned, to be held in Henderson, TX. Judges will be announced later. The ETGRA is having a raffle for a portable hayrack. Tickets are $5 each or 6 for $25. The hayrack was made by Greg Ashabranner and consists of three pieces. It can be assembled by one person in about five minutes and holds one square bale of hay. The hayrack is easy to move from pasture to pasture as you rotate your herd. The winning ticket will be drawn at the January, 2010 general membership meeting. Tickets will be sold at all association events. Tickets may also be purchased by mail, please include your name, address, contact phone number. Make checks payable to ETGRA and mail to P O Box 152937; Lufkin, Texas75915, for info go to http://www.etgra.com Gwen and I had hoped to attend the NETGRA Christmas Party, but due to them durned employment obligations we couldn’t make it. I hope they had a jolly good time! For information on the North East Texas Goat Raisers Association go to their web site at http://www.netgra,com Please have a safe and prosperous Christmas and New Year. Keep your goats dry and offer them shelter during the cold times. Check and recheck the electrical stuff such as heat lamps and heaters and make sure that all heat sources are operating properly. You don’t want to suffocate your goats with carbon monoxide or burn your shed or barn down, do ya!? Provide your goats with plenty of hay in the evenings cuz the ruminating of roughages helps them stay warm. If you have any goat gossips then call 903-388-0655 or e-mail [email protected]. Have a blessed Christmas and bye, for now.