- Animals: goats
- Animal Production: livestock breeding
- Education and Training: youth education
I was not involved in sustainable agriculture other than being aware of rotational grazing.
My goal was to get youth and adults more involved with goats. In my Meat Goat Grooming Video, Show Goats 101, my goal was to examine every aspect of grooming a meat show goat and put the information into a format understandable by all audiences. In doing this, I also wanted to educate those audiences non-familiar to meat show goats about the different aspects of grooming and preparing them. Another side goal and of the video was to put on a farm field day, I am proud to say I accomplished this goal and had a very fun time meeting other producers and learning about a similar passion together. I also attended a meat goat field day in Maple Lake, MN where I had the opportunity to educate rotating groups of people on the grooming of show meat goats. In my Goat Birthing Process Video, Boer Goat Birthing, a goal of mine was to have the types of birth, some different conditions under which different kid care is different and have some information on the doe’s care before birth and after birth, and the kids’ care after birth. I am still in the process of this video as we have not hit the major kidding season that audiences struggle most with, January kidding, for 4-H and FFA market. I have fall kidding taped and put together along with some birthing assistances, some birthing signs and care for kids born in fair weather. I am again waiting diligently to pick it up and start kidding again. One major goal in the marketing aspect of these videos was to contact extension agencies surrounding us and throughout the state about the videos we had.
To first begin Show Goats 101, I contacted a professional entertainment designer, Benjamin Moffit. He was to do the taping and let us direct the editing process. I decided that I wanted to have the most professional movie possible, that way the information could be easily understood and accessed by the audience. Another reason I had chapters put into the video separating the different concepts. M family and I decided to do all the taping within two days, then do the editing and actual movie making. This way, we could have everything together and be able to place the clips in the order we wanted. Once the video was finished I designed the cover and chose a title for the video. I had now made my very first video! The Goat Birthing video, though still in the process, has been not as simple to make. I have had to catch does birthing, and not try to disrupt them, except for the assisted births. It is also harder to edit together, considering I still have a major kidding season ahead and may want to put additional clips in the finished sections. I still have great hopes for this video.
I am very blessed to have all these helpful adults in my presence to encourage me: My parents, Tome and Sandi Muller, have been so encouraging, helpful, and they sponsored my videos to help me present my knowledge and make a difference for other youth and producers. My movie sponsors: TAC Manufacturing, Hiawatha Feed and Grain, VK Ventures Boer Goats and Hubbard Feed and Grain are very much thanked for helping support the production of these videos. Phillip Berg, my 4-H quiz bowl and meats judging instructor, the local Minnesota West Sheep Educator, and helpful friend has allowed me to educate other 4-H youth on goat subjects. Dr. Larry Goeltz, a large animal veterinarian at Pipestone Vet Clinic has been very helpful in speaking at my on the farm day and teaching me about goat parasites. The producers and judges around the country are also thanked for the information shared and skills taught, these include: Vern and Susan Thorp, Windrush Farms, Jack and Anita Mauldin, Mauldin Boer Goats, Judge Fred Homeyer, Antelope Creek Boer Goats, Kevin and Heidi Greniger, Just Kidding goat Farm, Tom and Gretchen Sankovitz, Hurrican Hill Farms, all these producers have had a part in teaching me all my knowledge, I am privileged to be in their knowledgeable friendship.
My video results have been very interesting. I did not know that word of my video would reach such extents of the country. I have sent my video to a 4-H club in Washington state, a school in Arkansas, a producer in Ohio, Otter Tail County extension office in Minnesota, a producer in Pequot Lakes, Minnesota, a producer in West Virginia, producers in Oklahoma, and many more around my home area. These results have led me to notice the amount of increase in goat producers in the area. If I were to try this video again, I would prepare a more organized filing system to keep track of when and where I sent my video, and would make a postcard to include with the video in order to receive feedback on how the audience feels the video projected information. The results of my video have also led me to have more of an interest in education young people and adults throughout the nation and not only in the southwest Minnesota area. The cost of producing my video was more than expected.
Goats are natural weed consumers; they can be put in almost any environment and will eat grass killing weeds. They help with the upkeep of rotational grazing ranches and dry lot ranches by maintaining the thickness of weeds that more common animals will not. Meat goats are profitable in the fact that their meat is healthy and popular among ethnicities in the United States. These characteristics have made goat meat have high demand and prices to follow. Goats have affected my family and I in a way of realizing a different upkeep technique of our cattle pastures. It is a better way to utilize the land for raising animals for consumption than for hay sales.
I have definitely reached the audiences I intended this for. The young adults and producers that are receiving my information have all had wonderful comments and even asked questions on their own that are not covered in the data. I hosted an on the farm day, with a local vet Dr. Larry Goeltz as a guest speaker, I had the attendees work on proper show posture, etiquette and ways to control different animal behaviors. I also instructed them on how to trim weathers and does. It was a hands on experience and I feel we all had a good time connecting through a common topic. I was asked to present on how to trim a goat of any type at a on the farm day in Maple Lake, MN. There was four groups of ten to fifteen people, I feel all of the audience learned valuable information and are confident enough to try their own goat now. For a 4-H livestock demonstration, I explained multiple things about goat parasites, how to find them, identify them, and treat them. Even the other livestock showers there were interested and commented on the information they did not know. Our local newspapers around our area were all very kind, they had interviews with myself and published articles on my achievement. They even put information for kids interested in goats to contact us. I plan to continue to reach out to any age audience, as I feel very strongly in the topic of goats, I want the goat community to continue to thrive and educate youth not only in the United States, but around the world. As I get older, I have goals to have expos and conferences to educate and make familiar the meat goat species in general to everyone.
I feel the SARE program has done a wonderful job in sponsoring this youth grant. The knowledge I have learned from this grant will not only affect me for the rest of my life, but it will hopefully be progressed to others who are interested in goats. Thank you very much for this wonderful opportunity.