All I want for Christmas is……
The price of goat kibble to fall back to $7 a bag and whole cottonseed to drop below $100 a ton! I can dream can’t I? Many of ya’ll will be perusing this column after the Holiday Season is over with so it may be fruitless to ask ya’ll to support local stores and to buy American for your gifts for Family and Friends. You would be amazed at how many American made wares are available at your local shops and stores. It’s convenient to just make one stop at Bigboxmart and get it all done at once, but where’s the fun in that? It’s hard to have one of those “Aha! That would be perfect for Uncle Festus!” moment when you are staring at a whole aisle of Garden Gnomes that are exactly alike!
There are whole web sites dedicated to educating Americans about the quality products available to them that are American made. If it’s made for Bullseyemart in China by political prisoners then I can almost guarantee that it’s also made by freedom loving American hands here in the good old U.S. of A.! Most of the cheap (and I mean quality in craftsmanship) overseas-made Agricultural products like tools and halters and stuff sold at Combine Supply can be bought at Sears (Craftsman is not just a name, it’s a statement of quality built American made tools) or on-line at many web sites like Ebay and Amazon or the companies own site.
Just an idea, but if it’s too late to get such products delivered in time for Christmas then you can get a pretty picture of the item, fashion it in a card with a gift card from a dining or food market establishment and gift the person you love with it and let them know you will personally deliver the gift when it comes in! Who wouldn’t like that? Not only do they receive the gift but also get a bonus of a good meal or some such feed bag item. I’d like a Golden Corral gift card included with a present! (Hint hint!)
You could gift a loved one or dear friend a goat or puppy or some other type of critter. This is a real heart-felt gift because when you give such a gift you are entrusting the other person with LIFE. Such a gift can not be given just as a “present”. If you gift an animal then you must stop to ponder if the giftee will be responsible enough to properly care for the animal. You can’t just take a beautiful kitten or parakeet and stuff it in a closet to be forgotten like an action figure with a hand broken off once the new is wore plumb off of it. Please please please do not gift an animal if you think there is even the remote chance that the person you are giving it to will not love and care for it as much as you would. Nothing is more pitiful than to hear of a horse that was put in a paddock and fed occasionally or of a puppy that was turned over to the pound because the person it was given to got tired of it and getting stuff torn up by the puppy or even the most meanest and dastardly thing of chaining it out in the yard without any human contact and with no shelter and food and water. So please put a lot of thought into gifting a pet or animal.
You could give a subscription to one of your favorite goat publications or a membership in a breeders association of your liking. The gift of knowledge lasts for a person’s whole life and a magazine or newsletter will offer that knowledge in a handy pamphlet that folks can feel and read. It’s a very personal gift because it lets the receiver know that you really care about their personal growth and education. Now day’s computers are too impersonal and cold and sterile. You can really tell a magazine is popular by how worn it has become as its being re-read. Many Associations offer newsletters and magazines to get the word out. The also offer web sites with a lot of info and stuff. An added plus is the sales, shows, and meetings offered by them. It gives the breeder a chance to “get out more!” and interact with their fellow breeders and learn the latest and see the best goats that everyone has to offer and allows ya’ll to market your best and see how they stack up against the competition.
Some unity and determination to improve the Caprine business’ lot in the Agricultural world would be a really special gift. Prices and demand for meat, dairy, and even hair goat products are at an all time high and we as a business continue sit on our hands and practically ignore the opportunity that is smacking us in the face! Caprine products have the chance to become as important to our society as the bovine, porcine, and ovine (I forgot what the word is for poultry!) industries if we just take the initiative to unite and improve our marketing and production. This has been a long time Christmas wish for me and I hope that God allows Santa to deliver this gift before I die.
Lastly, I hope that ya’ll give each other the tremendous gift of Faith. We lament the loss of family values and ethics in today’s world. This loss can be attributed to a certain amount of callousness and inhumanity that has permeated our society here lately. Instant information and gratification is at hand so folks start to develop the “me” syndrome where they begin to think that their needs are the most important. I’m asking that ya’ll resist these urges and turn to your faith in a higher power to satisfy you soul’s needs. Pray. Pray for others and pray for you own understanding, compassion, and empathy for your fellow man. Search for the true meaning of your own religion’s holy days and help others to renew their faith. Give instead of take. Love instead of hate. That will be the most important gift that you can give. It’s the reason for the Season!
The ETGRA will be holding it’s annual Round Robin Instructional Event, Pot Luck Lunch, and General Membership Meeting at the home property on January 21st starting at 10 a.m. Topics included will be medication, hoof trimming, clipping for show, how to build healthy soil and other techniques for improving pastures. If you wish to suggest additional topics, please contact Rene McCracken. I will give you all of the details as they develop. Our association is looking into becoming an affiliate of the ABGA again. I think this would be beneficial. Maybe I will look into and maybe suggest further affiliations to other breed registries. Go to www.etgra.com for more information on events and about our association or friend us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/groups/ETGRA/.
The Northeast Texas Goat Raiser’s Association (NETGRA) is a non-profit organization established in 2003 through the Texas Cooperative Extension Service and is headed by a Board of Directors who is elected by the general membership. NETGRA’s mission is to help Northeast Texas goat producers be more successful in the goat industry. NETGRA members are involved in the production of registered & commercial dairy (Nubian, Saanen, etc.) and meat (Boer, Kiko, etc.) goats. Many members also sell wethers either as show prospects for youth 4-H, FFA and jackpot shows or for consumption (chevron/cabrito). Please visit our Members page for more specific classifications and contact information. Go to http://www.netgra.org/index.html for more info about this dynamic organization.
The PIONEERS 4H will be hosting Central New Mexico Goat Days, April 21-22, 2012.
What started out as a small pen sale has grown. In 2012 they will be hosting two ABGA sanctioned shows with Judges Terry Taylor and Jeremy Church. There will be 2 Nigerian Pygmy Goat Association shows sanctioned by the AGS and ADGA. Judges TBA. Also they are trying to get top breeders to bring market wethers and does for an auction. All this located at the Torrance County Fairgrounds, 20 miles off of I-40. The address is 604 Tenth St., Estancia, New Mexico. For more info you can e-mail email@example.com or go to http://cnmgd.webs.com/. They are getting the forms ready now and can email them out soon; they hope to have them downloadable in the near future.
That’s all I’ve got for now. All are the nannies have kidded and we feel fortunate that we have more boys than girls this time around. It looks like we will have some good ones for the Freestone County Youngsters to show in the market wether show at the Fair. Please continue to buy papers or magazines and support their advertisers by shopping for your wares at their stores. Thank ya’ll for your continued support. If your hear tell of any training stuff or any other events then let me know so I can spread the word. Please support your favorite local, area, or national goat breeders associations AND the 4-H and FFA. Call me at 903-388-8528 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any goat gossip. Bye, for now