Farm Talk

Livestock

March 22, 2011

A learning experience of raising quality show goats

Parsons, Kansas — What started as a Supervised Agricultural Experience project for FFA, has turned into a successful show goat operation for Lindsey Pease of Chetopa, Kansas.

Pease, a senior at Chetopa High School, started her boer goat operation, LRP Show Goats, in the seventh grade and has continued to grow and expand her business ever since. While, Pease and her family had no goat experience prior to her starting her operation, they have learned a lot about raising goats and now help others in the area.

“We raised cattle before we started with the goats,” Wayne Pease, Lindsey’s dad says. “I would have never imaged our house would be surrounded with goats instead of cattle.”

Although her knowledge of the goat industry was limited when she first started, she continues to learn from her progress and continues to expand her operation.

“I currently have 60 does, 15 replacement does, two bucks and I have a partnership with Phil Stacy from Oktaha, Oklahoma on another buck,” Pease explains. “I sell the kids to area youth looking for show goats.”

In addition to raising and selling goats, Pease will compete in 10 to 12 shows a year.

“I start showing in jackpots during the middle to the end of April and continue until the beginning of the next year at the Arizona Nationals,” Pease says. “I compete at both state shows in Kansas, the American Royal and Arizona Nationals each year.”

Pease not only shows her goats she also markets her goats to area youth looking for show goats.

“Lindsey will sell her goats in three area sales this year,” Jim Nave, Chetopa FFA advisor says. “The sales include The Circle of Champions sale in Erie, Kan., The Sunflower Elite Sale in Hutchinson, Kan. and the Contender Sale in Oswego, Kan.”

The Sunflower Elite group is the first goat group in Kansas to organize a sale and then host a show back for the youth who have purchased from one of the five breeders in the Sunflower Elite.

“Lindsey is the one who organized this group for Kansas,” Nave explains. “She has made many connections throughout the United States. Other states like Texas and Oklahoma have similar groups and Lindsey contacted some of those breeders and began to organize a group for Kansas. The breeders of the Sunflower Elite include: LRP Show Goats, Goodno Boer Goats, A5 Boer Goats, Conine Livestock and Dream Land Farms. These five producers have gathered over $7,000 in added money for a showback which will be held on October 15 in Great Bend, Kan. The showback is open to all goats purchased by 4-H and FFA members from one of the five Sunflower Elite breeders.”

Pease’s operation began with four does and encouragement from her ag teacher.

“When we first started showing goats I didn’t know anything,” Pease says. “I was involved in 4-H before I joined FFA and I wanted a project where I did not have to compete with my cousins, who showed sheep. In the seventh grade I took a pre-agricultural education class and Mr. Nave encouraged me to look at goats. At that time goats were starting to gain in popularity and Mr. Nave thought it would be a good project to break into. I had no idea my operation would grow into what it is today.”

Pease is dedicated to not only helping her customers but also area youth. She helps improve their showing skills but also expands their knowledge of the goat industry.

“When I first started I really didn’t know a lot about goats and showing them,” Pease explains. “Mr. Nave has helped me a lot. I have attended and instructed at a goat camp with Phil Stacy in Oklahoma. I also put on a camp in Columbus, which covers similar topics as the goat camp in Oklahoma.”

Pease knows the value in helping and teaching others about the goat project.

“Many people don’t realize goats are an economical alternative to cattle,” Pease says. “Goats do not require the same land requirements as cattle and goats are not like feeding a steer. I have about 10 to 12 regular customers in the area and it is important to help them learn about the industry and support them along the way—I want them to succeed the same way I want to when I go to a show.”

In addition to everything else she does, Pease continues to look for ways to improve her operation.

“I have traveled all over to look at goats,” Pease says. “It is important to me to raise quality animals which will do well in the show ring. When looking at replacement does I looks for does with good udders and wether producers.”

While it was her ag teacher who got her involved in the goat business, it is Pease, who continues to looks for ways to set her operation apart from the competition.

“Lindsey is not afraid of new ideas or technology in the marketplace,” Nave explains. “She is one of the only goat producers in the area who disbuds the kids at two weeks of age.”

Pease has had great success in the show ring, however, for her the true excitement of winning comes when one of her goats she has raised wins.

“I have won the Kansas State Fair and the Arizona Nationals but for me I was just as excited when one of the goats I raised and sold to an area kid won the Coffeyville Interstate fair,” Pease says. “Not only do I want to do well, but I want my animals to do well—it was a great feeling knowing I am able to produce quality show goats that can win against other top breeders.”

Pease plans to continue raising goats when she goes off to college next fall. She has worked for an area veterinarian while in high school, and plans to continue learning from her veterinarian as she continues her education.

“Next year I am going to go to NEO in Miami, Okla., and after that I want to go to vet school to become a veterinarian and help others,” Pease concludes.

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