12/23/2009 Goat Gossip 82 A New Year. A new beginning. I ain’t gonna make a New Years resolution. Ok….. Maybe just a little one. I resolve to allow changes to happen in my life. Was that slippery enough? I learned how to do that by watching C-Span. Them silver-tongued devils in Washington can really talk slick! Maybe I can take the job as a politician once I retire as a Sailor Man. But enough of this talk. I’ll let them other fellows on radio and TV talk about what raw deals the politicians are trying to hand Americans. They will stand before God eventually and I don’t think the Good Lord is near as easy to fool as we are. Things are changing around the rancho. We are experiencing a new beginning with our management practices. We have started breeding to have both spring and fall kids. Gwen and I can see that we are going to have to remain flexible and make some changes in our pasture rotations and how we have our pens set up. Maybe add a couple of fences and a gate or three. Shuffling herds in and out can cause some consternation amongst Man and beast but the goats are used to the dumb humans’ silly changes and adapt easily. The same cannot be said for the silly humans! Thunderbolt and Prospector have covered all but a few of the nannies and nannettes. The fall kids out of Thunderbolt are pretty impressive and even though Pretty Girl is a first time mama, the two bucklings out of Prospector look pretty good. Even the oldsters, Strawberry, Francine, and Earlene got into the act and succumbed to T-Bolts billyish wiles! We figured that Francine and Earlene had retired themselves from kidding but I guess they decided to give it another go. They saw the beautiful nannette that Strawberry produced last spring that Larry Smart took to Melissa and got jealous! (Someone told me a long time ago that a herd of nannies was like a pack of 12 year old girls in the way they act and interact with each other. Observing our herd I can attest that this is true!). Now comes the fun part of separating the bred nannies, weaning the kids, and getting the few does that remain unbred to get with the program and get er’ done. Hopefully I can report on a new beginning in the goat industry with the birth of the American Goat Federation. They are having a meeting in Nashville in January and there are many producers out there who are interested on how this association is developing. Many are looking for someone to represent them in our Capitols and get things going as far as national marketing. Personally, I feel that the time has come for all goat producers to unite and work together to make our products more attractive to mainstream Americans. I feel that folks will be open to trying our products if they are made available to them. Just seeing how everyone gobbled up our goat meat tacos at our last sale made me believe that it could become a popular foodstuff in the future and folks will seek out our dairy and clothing apparel. 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 Open Pen Sale on Saturday, February 27th from 10 a.m. till 2 p.m. at the Ike Carden Arena in Fairfield, Texas. We invite any breeders who wish to market their stock to participate. This will be an open pen sale for everyone to participate in no matter if you are from Alpine or Arp! Come and buy, sell, or trade to your hearts content. There will be a special meat goat pen to sell your healthy meat goats for an average market price. Pens can be rented for $10 each. There will be a limit of 5 goats or one Buck per pen. The meat goat pen will be $2 per meat goat. Meat goats will be numbered and will be weighed upon sale and sold for an average market price to be determined. This will be a private treaty sale with prices agreed upon by the buyer and seller. The average market price for meat goats will be agreed to by the seller on the day of the sale unless the price is renegotiated by the buyer and seller. The FCGBA and its members will provide the facilities and livestock scales for the sale but will not be held responsible or liable for the condition or sale of any animal sold. We will be offering meat goats, 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 ask that sellers call ahead or e-mail with some numbers so that we can get a number of pens for the sellers built. Concessions will be provided by the Dew 4-H. We hope to see you all there and sell you a possible Grand Champion. Last year’s Freestone Co. Grand and Reserve Grand show wethers were sold by Jennifer Newton of Figbar Farms (www.figbarfarms.com) at this sale! 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. 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 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 winning ticket will be drawn at the January general membership meeting. 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 www.etgra.com The North East Texas Goat Raisers Assn. will be holding their general membership meeting on Saturday, January 9th at 9:30 a.m. at the Ag Building in Sulphur Springs. Go to www.netgra.com for more info. That’s all I have for now. Call me at 903-388-8528 or e-mail [email protected] if you have any juicy tidbits for the Goat Gossip. Bye, for now and Happy New Year!