This week, I had the opportunity to go volunteer at a local 4-H club meeting. It was their first in person meeting since the pandemic started, so the kids were anxious to get out with their goats and to see the other kids. I got to talk to kids who had not had a chance to get their goats off of the farm in over a year, so there was some rust to knock off from both the goats and the kids perspective. But, we had a great time! We talked through showmanship, the showmanship scorecard, the parts of the goat and the dairy goat score cards for Jr.does, Sr. Does and Bucks. We also worked on walking with our goats, and keeping the goat in between the exhibitor and the judge and several other maneuvers. The kids were excited to ask questions, and tell me what they most liked about their goats.
As I drove away from the session I really reflected on how much I truly enjoyed teaching this next generation about my passion. I could see the spark in the eyes of the kids when they understood a concept that we were talking about and were able to identify a part that I asked them! These kids are truly the future of the goat industry and will be selecting goats for breeding moving forward, so I think it is absolutely paramount to take the time to impart the knowledge we have about goats to them. This allows them to avoid mistakes that we have made and get them to a further point in their goat raising and breeding endeavors earlier than we were able to get there.
I vividly remember my goat 4-H club that I was in called Goats 4 Goats. I learned many of my basic management skills from this club and our summer clinics. We covered things from hoof trimming to tattooing, showmanship and much more. I use these basic skills on a daily basis to care for my herd.
I hope these children can look back on this experience with fondness and use it as a springboard for all things goat they choose to do with their lives.
I hadn't realized how much I missed interacting with youth that had the same interest as me. As I drove home I was on cloud nine, realizing how much of my dreams I have been able to achieve and turn into reality and how lucky I am. I hope you all have a chance to give back because it makes you appreciate what you have more deeply. I spent extra time in the barn that evening and simply savored my goats and their company.
I hope you have a spectacular memorial day weekend, do not forget to honor our fallen veterans and Happy Goating!