The Tulsa premium sale was kind of a wreck due to a lot of different reasons.  The goats as a whole brought more on average than the other species, but it could have been better.  Tammy and I have consitently donated money, goats and time to help groups raise money to support the premium sales at OYE and Tulsa.  I don’t want to be the one gathering the money, so I am happy to give a goat and cash to the cause.  At times, I think that I could just do things on my own and buy a wether or two at the sales and call it good, but that is the wrong attitude.

     We have to work together to make this thing work.  We have to have the kids best interests at heart.  I understand and don’t necessarily disagree with the decision to not support non-member breeders at the same level as member breeders.  But, I don’t like that some kids feelings were hurt in order to try to get everybody on board.  That shouldn’t have to happen again.  If you are a breeder of show wethers and you sell any number of wethers for any amount of money to kids in Oklahoma, then you should be a member.  Period.  One, it is the right thing to do.  Two, it is tax deductible.  Three, I can piss away $350 on an average joyful event.  So can you.  This is money well spent.

     I don’t like the thought of having numerous groups trying to gather money for the same cause.  The old right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing kind of deal.  I understand if somebody has a personal opinion about individual(s) that raises money, but you have to put that aside and do the right thing.  I hear a lot of people say “I don’t write a check because of some person or some reason.”  That’s fine, but you still need to find a way to support the program.  I also notice that a lot of the people bitching have never donated money, time or goats to help the cause.  That isn’t fine. 

     As a breeder, it isn’t appropriate to wait to see if you have a wether make the sale before you write a check.  Do it up front and be done.  They had advertised since OYE what their intentions were.  To be honest, I knew about it, but I didn’t think about it until the sale was in process.  I’m still not sure if it was right or wrong.  But, I will still write a check for next year.  My showmen were covered. 

     Maybe, Tammy and I have a different mindset than most.  We don’t care if Duke brings $100 at a premium sale.  It won’t change what we show, how we show or where we show.  We don’t depend on a premium sale check to cash flow his operation.  It is what we do.  It isn’t about the money or the wins.  It is about the journey to get there, the thrill of the chase, and the time spent with family and friends. 

     Before you complain about some of these people that have worked to raise money, ask yourself “What have you done to help?”  Whether you are a fan of John Haffner or Lecil Church does not matter.  You have to respect the fact that they have spent several years, time, effort and their own money to make these fundraisers work.  Sometimes, we just need to say thanks, write a check, bid on the silent auction, whatever and go on.  Trust me.  I can be very vocal when I don’t like something.  I understand if you have a complaint, but check the mirror first and remember why we do this.  Kids. 

     I haven’t always understood how these fundraisers have worked, but I don’t question where the money is spent.  It has always ended up in the hands of kids.  I would also bet that they have used some of their own money to make things work.   They will also admit that some things could have been done different and some people have gotten pissed, but Oh Well, I’ve been known to piss people off myself.  I don’t always understand why John and Lecil work so hard at trying to make these things work.  But I do appreciate their efforts.  I remember when Tulsa only sold 10 wethers and OYE sold 15.  As a direct result of their efforts, these sales sell a lot more goats, which in turns means more money is needed to support the kids.

     I do think that the fundraising efforts need to be more streamlined.  I do think John and Lecil need to stay involved.  They have earned that right.  I think we all need to work together to support this program.  Instead of bitching and complaining next time, just walk up and say “Thank You” to those two guys and any others that work on behalf of our kids.  And no matter what, kids better be writing Thank You cards to all people that buy them at any premium sale or put add-ons.  Those that donate do notice Thank You cards.  Have a good day. 

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