calm before the storm???

Whoever came up with that ‘observation’, hardly exists in my current situation!! …and I’m not talking about the weather! Let me explain.

It’s less than 10-days before our local Armada Fair…ready or not, here we come! It’s THE BIG EVENT for all our 4-H livestock project kids – such as GOATS – (and including dogs and cats, pocket pets, etc) and many various ‘CRAFT’ projects. The FAIR is the ultimate show ‘n tell for both 4-H and Open Class (the public at large) with premiums and ribbons and bragging rights! whosh!!

We, my daughter and I, have been working with our 4-H goat project kids – a mix of both market goats and dairy goats since January. We focus on goat knowledge during the winter months and later in Spring/Summer, we work with our goats on showmanship skills, hands-on projects ****and MORE goat knowledge.****  The kids are also required to ‘make’ a Goat Project Book – a compilation of info about their goat AND a vet science project (also about goats)…in order to actually ‘compete’ (a prerequisite) in the show ring. We have goats to shave/fit for show and complete our Club display board for the goat barn too!

The 4-H’rs are also expected to help/volunteer to clean and re-clean the fairgrounds in preparation for Fair including this year, re-painting the 4-H barn, set-up displays, decorate various livestock barns, etc.

This year, I’ve accepted/volunteered to be the 4-H Goat Superintendent. Simply collecting Goat Project Books – on time – has been a challenge to say the least! No exceptions…why do THEY say that when it ain’t true? There’s always an exception! Yesterday I delivered my Goat Project Books to my judge(s) to afford them the time/courtesy to review the project books [which the kids work on so diligently – well, most of the kids] before the actual sit-down interview with the judge. …and I was STILL missing ONE project book! Oh well.

The Fair also encourages goat FUN classes: costume and agility. YES, I’ve been making agility obstacles (out-of-pocket expense) for Fair. Now, that should be fun to watch the goaties and kids!!

BUT, the greatest challenge for me has been/will be administrative/regulatory SCRAPIE ID & health inspection [ie  check-in] for the 4-H goat exhibitors…each and every goat! While nothing new (after all, it IS required by law), it appears WE haven’t been diligent in performing our duties – and now it’s a really big deal! Goat folks are scurrying to get Scrapie tags, tattoos, paperwork in order to be allowed to show their goats… YIKES! Kill me now!!!

Is it over yet????

4 thoughts on “calm before the storm???

  1. Jenny a sheep question for the goat super. I have entered a few sheep for the first time at Armada. We have tagged our lambs with Premier Q-flex small tags. The lambs are registered and the tag number is on the registration. Will this meet the requirement? Thanks!

    • Hi Roger! It would be ‘best’ to ask the Fair sheep super what FAIR will ‘accept’ for scrapie ID. While this is nothing new (State law requires any sheep/goat leaving your property – unless going to butcher – to be ‘tagged’ w/scrapie facility ID #), the Fair has never enforced. In my opinion, NO – your sheep do not comply w/scrapie ID (UNLESS your PREMIER tags have your scrapie premises ID# on them??). I have talked to MI State officials – owners of goats that have been registered/tattooed w/their breed registry (similar to NASSA) may LINK their scrapie facility premise ID to their registered goat herd ID and that will satisfy MI scrapie. They do not have a similar MI law/link for sheep ): …because I asked about my LINKING my NASSA flock also. However, you may tattoo your scrapie facility ID (a 7-alpha numeric #) into your sheep’s ear, in lieu of a scrapie tag! YAY! You must also keep a ‘crimped’ ‘spent’ scrapie tag/document on sheep’s registry even better…with your records! Scrapie facility ID # and tags are available free from MI agency.

      Sorry for such a loooooong answer…I googled Premier tags and they indicate NOT SCRAPIE APPROVED, but I don’t know what you had custom printed on them. You can also order custom scrapie tags from State for a fee. Feel free to discuss further off-line. (:

  2. Good for you for sharing your goat knowledge with your local 4-H club! My kids were involved in 4-H growing up and my daughter and I helped out the horse project kids when we lived in Texas. It’s time consuming but so worth it!

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