Boer Goat Show Highlights Livestock That's Good Fit for Small Farms
By Steve White, Grand Island Bureau Chief - bio | email
The number of farms in the nation continues to decline, but all it takes is a few acres to raise goats, and there’s growing demand for their meat. All that means interest runs high in the Boer Goat National Show.
Piper Fisher came to nationals to show her goat."I came here to show and have fun," she said.
She will leave with something to show her friends in Oklahoma, a giant belt buckle proclaiming her Peewee Champion.
"I won about five minutes ago," she said with a smile.
From the peewee division to the older kids, and adults, there’s growing interest in raising goats like these.
Brad Mackey is president of the American Boer Goat Association.
He said, "They're kind of an animal you can raise on a very small acreage. Lots of folks who have them aren't in the livestock business, have other income, it's a hobby to them."
That’s true of Bethany Gochenour's family.
"My parents are part time farmers," she explained.
The Iowa family makes their living off the farm, but want Bethany to learn from her animals. She serves as the president of the Junior American Boer Goat Association.
She said, "I think the best thing about showing goats is they all have different personalities, none the same. More like people than any other species I show."
Leaders with the ABGA say interest is growing, and many find it easier to get into than showing cattle or pigs.
Past ABGA President Ervin Chavana said, "This is a wonderful ag enterprise, one of the largest in North America that allows anybody from hobby farmers to retirees to the youth, to the older folks, allows them to raise livestock."
Kids like Piper love the playful nature of the goats.
She said, "If they run, they run after you, just play."
For Vicki Stich it all started with a donkey.
"And then I saw the goats and that was my next addiction. They're just like everything else, you get them and they develop fast," she said.
Now she runs the national show, taking place for the first time at the Nebraska State Fairgrounds.
She said, "It's like one giant family, see all their friends they haven't seen in a year."
You may not have realized that goat meat is one of the most consumed meats in the world. We’ll learn more about that this week on NTV's Grow, Sunday at 10:35 p.m.