goat farmers promote
their hobby at annual field day
keep event lively
BEDFORD, Ky. (June 2009) The simple brick
building on U.S. Hwy. 42 North on May 9 looked and smelled more like
a goat farm than a county extension office. Between milking and hoof-trimming
demonstrations, participants were munching on a free lunch of goat cheese
and goat barbecue, or entering their names in a door prize drawing for
a free kid baby goat, that is.
courtesy of Mike Pyles
McElroy (standing back right)
watches as children learn to milk a goat
at the Goat Field Day in Bedford, Ky.
The North Central Kentucky Goat Producers Association
on May 15 held its annual field day at the Trimble County Cooperative
Extension Office, drawing more than 40 adults and 15 children. The field
day included several educational workshops for those interested in goat
farming. Dairy goat owner Jim Graves was on hand for a cheese making
demonstration. Kim Field, Program Coordinator for the University of
Kentuckys Agriculture Department, spoke on hay testing procedures.
And animal science specialist Dr. Ken Andries, also from the University
of Kentucky, spoke on famacha, a method for controlling intestinal parasites
in goats and sheep.
We want to utilize as many resources as possible from the University
of Kentucky and their agricultural department, said the associations
president, Sonia McElroy. The field day, like most of our associations
events, draws on the resources of individuals that have expertise on
topics that have to do with producing healthy goats and sheep on a both
a large and small scale.
Local homestead farmer of two years, Lorna Sterile, demonstrated safe
milk handling techniques during the event. Sterile educated participants
on the necessity for stringent sanitation procedures.
The field day was very family friendly, said Sterile, who
brought along her 6-year-old son and 4-year-old daughter. The
kids had a great time. They are really involved here at home with the
animals. And thats why we do this. We want them to know how the
food system works and the costs and procedures associated with producing
your own dairy products.
The association was originally known as the Henry County Group,
but four years ago members changed their name and became a non-profit
organization. Their goal is to provide education, support and resources
for the areas goat producers of dairy, fiber and meat, said Treasurer
Marianne Holmes. Holmes and McElroy are the associations only
Because there are so many similarities between goats and sheep, the
group now includes and invites sheep producers to their events something
theyve just begun doing in the past year, said McElroy. The group
currently has 12 due-paying members, but 62 individuals and families
are on their mailing list. These families come from surrounding counties
in both southern Indiana and north central Kentucky.
Meetings are held the second Tuesday of every month at 7 p.m. the Trimble
County Cooperative Extension Office. There is a $20 membership fee per
family, but anyone 18 or under qualifies for a free membership.
Anyone is welcome. You dont have to be a member to attend
a meeting, said Holmes. We have a lot of new people who
are interested in goat or sheep producing but would like to know more
about it. The meetings are very informative for anyone looking to get
The association tries to invite an educational speaker to every meeting.
There is a relevant, knowledgeable and qualified speaker almost every
month, said Holmes. In the past, veterinarians, nutritionists and University
of Kentucky professors have participated in goat- and sheep-related
"Its very helpful just connecting with other people who have
goats and are interested in dairy farming.The networking opportunities
are invaluable, said Sterile.
For more information about the North Central
Kentucky Goat Producers Association, contact the Trimble County
Cooperative Extension Office at (502) 255-7188.
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