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Boer goat showing rising with hundreds at NAILE
An increase of the Boer goat market has lead to an increase in goat showing, with nearly 350 entries for the Junior Wether Goat Show and nearly 600 entries for the Open Boer Goat Show at the North American International Livestock Exposition (NAILE), which is in Louisville.
“Walking away with a championship banner is marketing that pays for itself,” said Chris Caudill of Waddy, NAILE market wether and boer goat superintendant, in a release.
Boer shows have become popular because there are no established leaders in the industry. “The view point is this; The show circuit is wide open. The average producer’s chances of winning are much better,” said Shawn Zollman, producer and competitor from Charlestown, Ind.
The boer goat showing circuit is now entering a new phase. “We are just now getting to the point where the very first showers are having kids that are now able to show. Goat showers are not multi-generational yet. We will eventually reach that point where people will be known as goat showers and kids will be taking over operations,” Zollman said.
As the industry and showing continues to grow, producers look forward with anticipation. “Boer goats have increased in 4-H and FFA youth shows,” Caudill said. “They have put goats on the map, as far as I am concerned. Dairy (goats) might not like it, but it’s true.”
Boer goats were introduced into the American market in the early 1990s.
Conservation loads available
USDA Farm Service Agency State Executive Director John W. McCauley, announced that funds are now available for Guaranteed Conservation Loans. Conservation loans allow farmers and ranchers to implement conservation practices on their land that will help protect natural resources.
Unlike other FSA guaranteed loan programs, Conservation Loans are not limited to family size farms. Operators who may not normally qualify for an FSA guaranteed farm operating or ownership loan could be eligible for a Guaranteed Conservation Loan.
According to McCauley, the Guaranteed Conservation Loan limit is $1.302 million, and interest rates and terms will vary. The maximum guarantee FSA can issue is 75 percent.
A streamlined application process is available for applicants with a strong financial position. The streamlined process reduces paperwork requirements and eliminates the requirement to provide a cash flow statement and supplementary documentation.
Interested applicants who do not already have a conservation plan approved by NRCS should work with their local NRCS staff to develop a conservation plan.
For questions regarding Guaranteed Conservation Loans, please contact your lender or the FSA office in Shelbyville.
FFA scholarships available
Monty’s Plant Food Company, a Louisville-based manufacturer of plant and soil enhancement products for the agriculture industry, is accepting applications from Kentucky students for four, $1,000 college scholarships. The awards will be made in conjunction with the National FFA Organization to high school seniors who are members of FFA.
To be eligible students must reside in Kentucky, live on a family farm, plan to pursue a post-secondary education and study agronomy and crop science, sustainable agriculture, soil science or soil conservation, have a minimum high school grade-point average of 3.25 and have participated in community service.
Scholarship applications are available online at www.ffa.org/scholarships. The deadline to apply is Feb. 15.
Each year, the National FFA Organization awards approximately $2 million in scholarships sponsored by businesses and individuals through the National FFA Foundation.
Farm Bureau sets annual meeting
More than 1,700 Kentucky Farm Bureau members from across the state will gather for the organization’s 93rd annual meeting Wednesday through Dec. 8 at the Galt House Hotel in Louisville. Delegates from all of the state’s 120 counties assemble for a 4-day event to participate in committee meetings, business sessions, award presentations, officer elections and to adopt 2013 priority issues and policy revisions.
There will be a series of sessions with industry and governmental leaders, and the state’s “Farmer of the Year” and “Outstanding Young Farm Family” will be announced, and top farm leaders will be recognized for distinguished service.
To view all the news updates that will be released from this year’s annual meeting, visit KYFBNewsroom.com.
Christmas tree farms
There are outlets in Kentucky that provide the cut-your-own-Christmas-tree option, including Barker’s Christmas Tree Farm near Lexington, where owner Dale Barker will let customers borrow a small sled or wagon to tow the tree back to your car, as well as a bow saw for cutting.
“The majority of the industry in Kentucky is ‘choose and cut,’” said Barker, president of the Kentucky Christmas Tree Association (KCTA). “It’s an agritourism thing. The kids enjoy going out in the field.”
KCTA’s Web site lists 18 member farms across the state.
“We have people from Owensboro to northern Kentucky that raise trees,” Barker said. “Most people make wreaths and sell tree stands. A few do garland. Some people even get further into agritourism with hayrides.”
Barker said no figures are available on how many Christmas trees Kentucky produces. He sells 500-600 per year, priced from $32 to $100, but 100 of those are Fraser firs he imports annually from North Carolina. “Our general trees, scotch or white pines, are $32 any size,” Barker said.
To find a Kentucky Christmas tree farm near you, visit www.kychristmastreefarms.com.
The Kentucky Ag Report is compiled weekly from news releases distributed by Keeton Communications, the Kentucky Press News Service.