As you may have noticed on previous posts, JB has expressed his interest in one day having a farm. This wouldn't be a huge farm but more of a "hobby farm." He would probably like this farm to include some goats so this was very educational and intriguing for him.
It was in fact a "Goat U" and was designed as an advertising tool for Purina. It's actually a very brilliant idea. Provide the general public and goat owners information about goats, give them a free lunch, t-shirt and products, charge a minimal amount of money ($12) and receive in return a bunch of free advertisement.
JB decided mid-week that this 8-4:00 "University" was something he planned to do despite the fact that it would take up his whole Saturday. While he was at Goat U, I planned to spend the day scrapbooking, cleaning up the house, and taking naps.
I ended up at Goat U with JB.
I'm not even really sure how this happened. Sometime inbetween getting halfway through Ben Hur (which we plan to finish tonight and so far I just absolutely LOVE) and waking up this morning, JB had convinced me to attend the Goat University with him.
I know, I know. Can you believe it? I love my husband so much that I decided I would rather listen to people talk about goats the whole day then spend the whole day without him around.
Basically what this was was two hours of opening lectures and then different workshops. Honestly, if it wasn't for the fact that I was having to take so much headache medicine that I was nearly sitting up asleep, (so much so that one of the speaker's wives asked me if I was "listening intently"), I kinda, sorta, enjoyed the goat talk and getting to see and pet the goats.
At one point I went to a different session than JB. He wanted to learn about healthcare for the goats, but I wanted to see some actual goats so I went to a class on showmanship. This was very interesting. They actually had the young kids get out there and worked with them on how to show their goats. I learned that there are two judging classes in all the 4H "stuff." There is actually judging on the quality of your animal which is nothing you can control. I always thought this was what all kids were judged on. But there is actually a "Showmanship" category as well which has nothing to do with how "good" your animal is but how "good" the kid is at making the animal look good. This means that even kids without the money to invest in a great, award-winning goat (or cow or pig or whatever), can win some awards.
We also attended a class on how to care for you goat. This was actually quite painful as they taught us techniques for de-budding (taking the horns out), de-hooving (trimming the toe-nails down), castrating (taking the, well, you know, out) etc. I was feeling really bad for some of these goats by the time we were done. At least with the dairy goats, this is for a full-life. But these poor meat goats will only live about 6 or 7 months anyways!
During the session of meat goats (which is probably what we would have as they require less work -- no milking), I learned what kind of market there is for these goats. Pakistanians, Indians, Mexicans actually come to the speaker's house and butcher the goat right there! He doesn't even need to advertise. There is a market for goat meat at any age. Even one of the dairy goat speakers told us that he simply leaves raw goat milk in the refrigerator on the side of his property and people he never meets come in, leave money, and take milk! How bizarre and fascinating all at the same time.
Another class discussed how to make good gates for your goats and provide them with entertaining toys. I learned that goats can climb really high and are very agile. I learned that goats are picky eaters. I learned that goats do NOT like to get wet. I really learned a lot of things. I got a good lunch, and I got a cool t-shirt.
I came home and fell asleep for nearly two hours and am now going to eat some dinner and finish the movie with JB. However, I did take some pictures of the goats (and JB took some pictures of me with the goats). I figured that there a lot of things I like to do (i.e., walking around a mall for the entire day) that JB doesn't really like to do, and that I am sure I can get a great swap out of this event.
And, I got to spend the day with JB, my best friend which was worth 8 hours of talking about goats!
Anyways, I know you are anxious (and it's not like you can't scroll past all my mumbo jumbo anyways). So without further ado, here are our photos from Goat U which we both successfully graduated from! This gives me a BA,GU and JB an almost MD,BS, GU! Cool!The main workshop area in a 4H barn.
The goats used to teach the kids about showmanship.
These Nigerian Drawf goats were only 2 days old!
Here's me getting to hold the 2 day old goats! So cute! (The goats I mean!)
Here was my graduation gift! A t-shirt. I actually quite like it.