I haven’t decided if it is an advantage or a pain in the ass that Kela got me to start showing goats in Oklahoma before it was the cool thing to do. One, there was nobody to turn to for advice. At that time, nobody else knew how to really feed a wether. The breeders didn’t really know what they were doing and they didn’t know anything about showing, feeding or fitting. The vets really didn’t know anything about goats. A lot of them still don’t, but there are some trying. I had to learn on my own. Proper feeding, hoof trimming, shearing, showing, fighting fungus, medications, etc.etc. I learned almost all of it on my own through trial and error. A whole lot of error. A strong livestock background and some common sense helped us figure things out.
I’ve never really figured out how to charge people to help them or answer their questions. Milligan and Thompson like to remind me that I am a dumb ass because I haven’t been charging for my services. Time, experience and knowledge is worth a lot. Several successful familes have never written me a check for my help, but they also buy goats from me and help me or my kids. Good friends are worth more than a few dollars. We work together, win together and have fun.
I like to help people. But I like to help people that have earned the right to be helped. I can be kind of a mean growly SOB. I don’t always have the sunniest personality and I normally don’t give a rats rear what anybody else thinks. But I will almost always help somebody when they ask. Unless, they don’t deserve the help.
I also watch around the show barns. Who is working? Who is close but needs help? Who asks questions and says, “Thank you” and means it. I always help a kid when they ask. I don’t always help an adult.
It amazes me how a parent can talk to me and tell me that they want help so that they can beat Duke or Schovanec’s or Riley’s, etc. What have they done to that point to deserve to get a goat of that caliber? Have they been close? Do they have a dedicated showman? Do they screw things up (not feed and exercise properly, let them get a horrendous case of fungus and than expect somebody to perform a miracle to fix their screw ups, not show properly, etc.) I would rather buy a high dollar goat and give it to some deserving kid that has earned the right to show a good one. If you can’t tell, I respect hard work, effort, good attitude and team players.
Its the ones that have never bought a goat from me, never been to the house to look at my goats, haven’t bid on any of my goats, don’t feed Special K, haven’t taken their kids to a Simply the Best show clinic but they have a problem and need my advice immediately that chaps my rear. But, I will probably still tell them what they need to do and they will probably still screw it up.