Saturday, October 30, 2010

4H Goat Workshop

Good Ole Boy and I celebrated our thirteenth anniversary the 16th. He had to work. We didn't do anything special. I jokingly tell people the goat workshop was our anniversary getaway. :) 
We are very fortunate here in our county, that they pay for these workshops. It was Friday - Sunday with meals and lodging provided. We didn't have anyone to stay overnight with the kids, so we did have to drive back and forth, but it is only a 45 minute drive so was doable. 

Friday night was registration, dinner, roundtable discussion and then goat jeopardy. We were given a 3 ring binder upon registration. It has notes for all the sessions.  This is awesome since you can't go to them all. Dinner was ok. My chicken wasn't quite done but otherwise it was good. The roundtable was LLLOOONNNGG. Sigh... Since that took so long, we decided not to stay for jeopardy.

Saturday morning was sausage biscuits and gravy. Yum. Except biscuits weren't done. sigh. 
The first session we went to was Goat Showmanship 101. This was pretty good, some information was over our heads though. Some differences between what she was sharing and our counties rules though. 
Our second session, we LOVED! We decided to go to Goat Craft Ideas for your 4H Club, thinking since we have a CloverBud and a younger member that this would be helpful. Wow. Yes, it was, but we can also do these crafts with the older kids. We each did a craft and then worked together on another. They had pillow case fabric painting & rubber stamping ideas - I can handle those. What caught our eye was the glass etching. 

We picked the same design and drinking glasses. 

However, we pictured it differently and so our designs are opposites. I was very impressed with not only HOW they turned out, but also how EASY glass etching is! While our glasses were sitting, we worked together on a tile. Using paper cut outs and modge podge we made a nice Thank you gift for our Buyers Appreciate Banquet that was Monday night. 
After lunch of baked ziti, we went to our third session of Biosecurity & Keeping your Goats Safe. Let me just say, WAY OVER MY HEAD! :S Plus very drug oriented and I would much rather learn about natural and organic methods of pest control and goat care. But even with all that, we were able to walk away with many ideas and thoughts that hadn't crossed our minds before, so it was helpful in that regard. 
Session four was Selecting a Meat Goat and Preparation for the Fair. This was a short session but lots of information. Much about Boers, which Chip is half and a breed I would like to raise. Our county is mostly dairy so it was good for us. Packed with information from clipping for show, to clothes to wear. 
Session five was Showmanship Troubleshooting. Pretty informative but probably more for kids that have been showing for awhile as compared with our new ones, but still very good. Again, the discrepancies were simply our county rules compared with others. 
After a yummy ham dinner, we attended Animal Care & Welfare for session six. This was VERY good! Not at all what I was expecting! It consisted of much discussion regarding groups such as PETA and animal liberators. Some shared experiences from their fairs; from picketers to tainted animal water to animals being released from pens. There was brainstorming on what we would do if confronted, and how we can instruct our kids in a fear free way. Most people are simply curious, how can we help our kids know when the questions cross the line? Very thought provoking session - as a wanna be farmer, I want to provide my animals with the best care that I can and I abhor animal cruelty/abuse. However, I firmly believe the Bible and God's command that we (humans) are to rule over the animals - they do not have rights greater than ours. 
We didn't stay for the auction fun but left for home. We participated in the silent auction but didn't win the few things we were after there.

Sunday morning's arrival greeted us with a delicious breakfast of french toast and *perfectly* done biscuits & gravy! :) 
Session seven was Nutritional Needs of Goats. Very interesting and mostly over my head but I did learn some! We have been feeding alfalfa hay and we learned that it isn't the best of wethers. Oops! Need to find a grass hay. Many questions now regarding salt blocks/minerals. More research needs to be done! 
Session eight was First Aid for Your Goats and was very fun. Wonderful presenter and many inexpensive items are recommended and that is great. She had freebies for all as well. Very cool.
Our weekend was wrapped up with a rib sandwich lunch and surveys. 
In all, it was a great weekend, we learned alot, have  future ideas and got to spend some quality time together which was nice. :) 

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