Dyer County FFA in Newbern, Tenn. welcomed their eighth baby goat on Thursday, Jan. 28, 2021.
The FFA chapter began their kidding season on Jan. 22, and in only 10 days, they had eight baby goats to care for. In total, the chapter currently has 25 goats on their farm including six does, one buck and now eight kids. The herd of goats are housed in the on-campus barn at Dyer County High School. There is also an additional pasture that is utilized for goats at the old high school location which is now Northview Middle School. The chapter will have its second wave of kids in the middle of March.
Students have the access and opportunity to get the full experience with the chapter’s goat operation, through the showing process or through their agriculture courses. Students receive a hands-on learning experience with the kidding and birthing process, vaccinating, breeding, parasite maintenance and more.
“They (students) help do everything that is needed to maintain the goat herd and the farm,” said Brittany Leitherland, an agriculture instructor and FFA advisor at Dyer County High School.
Dyer County FFA is heavily involved when it comes to showing goats. After their kidding season in the early spring, the chapter hosts livestock meetings to find out which students are interested in showing that season. Those interested students are given two options of either purchasing or leasing a goat from their herd for the show season.
“The purpose is for students to have show animals that can be housed here on campus if they don’t have access to housing them or keeping them at home,” Leitherland explained.
The students then get to work with their chosen goat all summer long in order to prepare for the fall show season. They get to practice walking, halter breaking and other skills with their own quality goat that they are getting at an affordable price. Dyer County FFA even hosts livestock camps and mock livestock shows where they help students practice.
“They (the goats) provide an opportunity for kids to have their own project while being involved in our chapter,” shares Leitherland. “It definitely gives them a sense of responsibility and ownership in having something of their own to care for and work with and dedicate their time to.”
Dyer County FFA began their goat herd in 2008 when six commercial does were purchased to start the goat program and has continued to grow ever since.
LFN Team Blogger