Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened. --Anatole France

I am an animal lover.  Yes, life would be “easier” daily if I wasn’t so smitten, but I can not imagine a life without a furry friend.  Dogs were my first creature of choice, cats a close second and about 7 years ago I was introduced to a new four-legged friend, the African Boer Goat.  A relative mentioned to my daughter that she needed to get a couple to show at the fair.  My son already had a flock of sheep as his 4H project.  I had been raised on a cattle farm, but cows are big, and we wanted to have something that was smaller and easier for our daughter and younger son to handle.  If you’ve ever been around a Boer goat, you learn quickly that each one has its own personality, much like a dog or cat.  They can easily become a pet.

So began my relationship with goats.  We now own 39 head of Boer Goats, 28 of them will kid this winter and I am planning to increase our herd.  My family is becoming more involved in the industry all the time.  I am a member of the Iowa Meat Goat Association board of directors.   My husband and I are both on our county fair board, he is the goat superintendent and our kids are members of the Iowa Junior Meat Goat Association.  We spend a lot of our time looking at goats to buy, either in person or online, going to and participating in shows, having goats laparoscopic artificially inseminated, figuring out how to breed them, and caring for our herd. 

This is a hobby for my family that I truly enjoy.  It is a lot of work at times, but I think it is a wonderful way to spend family time together, caring and learning about an animal, while teaching my children responsibility and compassion for another being.  

Anytime you want to talk about goats, look me up!

By: Rachel Smith 


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