A common question that I am asked is “How come I don’t keep all of the best goats that I buy/raise for Duke?’ This is a very valid question and I have numerous answers.
1–I don’t always know “exactly” which one is the “right” one.
2–Even, when I am extremely confident as to the “right” one, I try to put it in the right showman’s hands, at that time.
3–Duke doesn’t need to be trying to work a whole fleet of goats. He’s still only 12. So, we just keep a couple.
4–I sell our’s and feed similar genetics. I’ve bought bucks from Helms, Gallagher, Kelly, Halfman and that is what we have fed–similar genetics. Duke has shown 191s, Freaky offspring, Rainman kids, wethers out of Rainman mommas, etc. I’ve watched friends try to sell show animals when their kids were still showing and it is a double-edged sword. I don’t have the right answer.
5–I don’t have a problem getting beat by my own. Take Woodward district last year. Bree Taylor was grand with a goat that I bought from Helms. She earned it. Kory Dietz was reserve grand with a goat from me. He earned it. Duke had 2 res. divisions behind Taylor and Riley. He had a killer good day and got beat by great families. I’m fine with that. He has earned the right to compete with the best. Is he the best? No. Not yet.
6–Did I mention that Duke is only 12? I only get in a hurry when I’m driving. We’ll take consistency and just have fun with that.
7–We’re not in search of purple banners. Our family is more about the journey to get “there”. I get a little carried aways with feeding projects. Which is fine if you are feeding a dozen, but we have 3 on feed for this winter. 1 good one, 1 nice one and 1 project. Those odds aren’t very good.
8–But Duke likes BOB, knows that Optimus is a good one and he thinks Tommy is cool. So as long as we have fun, then we are winning.
9–It is way more fun to travel with a crew that all has a shot to win. The more, the merrier.
10–It is more important to Tammy and I that our kids learn how to do things right, than it is to win every time. The wins will come as the work is invested, the experience begins to pay off and the desire to win builds. That is what we feel this program is about. Our expreriences with raising the first kid has shown us that we are right.
11–There are times that it is hard for me to swallow, but you just have to stop what you are doing and say, “let’s not work goats today. Let’s play catch, go fishing, shoot cow turds, etc.”
12–Sometimes, maybe more than sometimes, you have to take the edge off so that you can have fun. Sometimes, just sometimes, too many are expecting to win and you have to step back and go “WOW, I don’t get paid for this crap. So, let’s have a large time.” The next thing you know, you have 1/2 interest in a ’93 chevy van, 4 new stories and a new desire to fight the good fight.
13–Did I mention that Duke is 12?
No matter your involvement in the livestock industry, fun should be a motivating factor. Why do it if you can’t have fun?
Help somebody to learn. Help them to learn to have fun. Help them to learn to win. Heck, help them to make some money while learning and having fun.