6/10/2010 Goat Gossip 93 Is there anyone out there? “Does anyone know where a show is this weekend?” “Does anyone know where there’s a sale? I have some goats that really need to be sold!” I see folks asking those questions all of the time. I see it on e-mails I receive. I see folks asking where the shows and sales are on the Yahoo Goat Groups. I see it on Facebook. Recently I witnessed a sale cancelled before the deadline for entries because the folks holding it were worried because there weren’t enough early entries. That has to strike confidence in folks in our Industry! Where have the shows and sales gone? I’ll tell you where. They have gone where most of the Area and Regional Goat Breeders Associations have gone, in the tank! Many breeders associations, such as the Mills Co. Meat Goat Assn., one of the oldest and at one time the biggest regional breeders Assn.s, are on the brink of folding their tent because of a decline in their membership. The ETGRA and NETGRA are struggling to stay viable and hold events for folks to participate in. The goat breeders association that I hold near and dear to my heart, the Freestone Co. Goat Breeders Association, is in limbo because our present Board of Directors doesn’t have enough people in it to even make a decision. We are without a Vice-President and Secretary! When we held our meet and greet with the Scholarship Winners we had three members show up. It was President Gary Tugwell, Treasurer Gwen VanderMartin, and Photographer Fred VanderMartin. The Youngsters and their Parents outnumbered our members! I’m not too sure that the FCGBA can even sponsor an event like our Fall Pen Sale. We have a small amount of money to advertise but if we don’t make up the funds for advertising with pen sales then we are broke. Destitute. As bankrupt as the goat industry! We have opened up our membership to all Texas Goat Breeders, but the response hasn’t been overwhelming, to say the least! Our active members would love to hold some instructional seminars but even that can not be done due to the lack of funds. Not only with our Association, but also with the Agrilife Extension Service. Our CEA, Nick Hoffman, has to watch his budget as carefully as everyone else and has to balance Freestone County’s needs with what resources he has available, especially now that he wears both the Agricultural and Family Life hats! What is a goat breeder to do in the present climate that our industry finds itself in? JOIN! Yes, join your area or regional goat breeders association. PARTICIPATE! Many of these small shows and sales are put on by small GBAs whose members are usually unfamiliar with all of the rules and customs and small things that need to be attended to and help the participants to enjoy the event more. If you participate in a show or sale and have a complaint or suggestion speak up to the folks sponsoring the event and suggest how to run things more smoothly. Complaining to your fellow participants or griping about it on a public forum only discourages that GBA and makes them hesitate to hold another event. Ya’ll may even go so far as to join and actively help out with advice and guidance on how to make the event special to the participants and make them come back for more events. For show folks, just the offering of a bag of shavings at a big discount or a fancy show lead as a prize can make them want to show next year. And YOU, as an experienced show participant, can suggest these little things that make a small show sponsored by a small GBA special and bring in other show folks! Suggest and help find door prizes and silent auction items for fund raisers to draw folks in to sales and help out. The Lord knows that Gary, Gwen, and I are really tired of doing a lot of the work when the FCGBA has a sale or event and could use all of the help we can get!!! Once you have decided to join a GBA, help out where you can. When they announce a sale or show then shout to the highest mountain that you plan on being there as a participant and try to draw other like-minded folks in to participate. If the Advertising Guy sends an e-mail out with a flier attached for the event then print it out and post it at the feed stores and other such establishments. When we had our last sale I asked some folks where they found out about the sale and they said they saw the notice at a diner that Gwen and I love and eat at all of the time, Ponte’s! They didn’t buy any goats but they did purchase some goodies from our 4-H group selling refreshments. All I’m saying is that in order to take advantage of the events held by your local, area, or regional goat breeders associations, then reach a hand to help them up! They aren’t looking for a hand out, just a hand offered in help and friendship. Think of this: would you like to depend on the area sale barn and the order buyers there to give you top dollar for your well bred goats? Or would you like to see your well bred goats sit in the pens weekend after weekend because there aren’t any shows to enter them in? Help or join your area GBA and keep our industry viable! The Freestone County Goat Breeders Association holds their meetings at the Freestone County Courthouse in Fairfield, Texas. Our meetings are open to the general public and we invite the good citizens from anywhere in the Great State of Texas to visit and join our organization if it fits you. To find out more about our Association go to www.freestonecountygoats.org and see what we are all about. . It has been decided, and this is an important announcement, to open up our membership roles to any resident in the state of Texas who cares to join! We would like to welcome any of ya’ll fellow Texans who would care to join our association. The East Texas Goat Raisers Association will be sponsoring a Prospect Show and Sale on July 24th in Henderson. Show Wether prospects as well as breeding show stock, does and bucks, will be featured. Judges for the wether show and breeding stock show will be announced at a later date. Go to www.etgra.com for more information on the shows and sales and details on the association. The North East Texas Goat Raisers Association will have the 6th Annual Sizzlin’ Summer Boer Goat shows July 24th & 25th at the Hunt County Fairgrounds in Greenville. The will be awarding show leads for Division Prizes and Buckles for Overall winners. They are also giving some pretty good discounts on the entry fees for members and others. Go to http://netgra.com for details on these shows. Ms. Linda Scales of Donie has a beautiful full blood Black Boer Doe for sale. She had bought the doe from Melisa Mason of C’em Walking Ranch (http://huckabeeweb.net/2cemwalkin/index.htm) in Waco. The Doe is IBGA registered. Call Linda at 903-391-3148 for details. Well, that’s it for now. Keep an eye on you herds for parasites and worm them as needed. Trim them hooves so that they can do their jobs- staying on their feet and keeping fat and sassy on the pasture provided and kidding on schedule! Thank you all for reading the goat gossip and your support of the FCGBA and your area Goat Breeder Associations. Call me at 903-388-8528 or e-mail [email protected] if you have any goat gossip. Bye, for now.