Each January, I take time to look back at the previous year, and set my goals for the coming year. It’s a time of reflection and enthusiasm for me.
2013 brought big changes for the farm, most notably in the form of a move from Fort Collins to Kiowa. The place we purchased had no shelter and no fences, so it took a lot of building just to get the place ready.
The move was stressful and in the beginning of February when I had fairly new babies, but it all worked out in the end, and by now the livestock are completely settled and the layout works.
This summer I spent a lot of time showing Boer and dairy goats, and this fall I attended almost every county fair that I had livestock in. It’s my favorite time of year when I get to see kids’ projects come to fruition and all of their hard work pay off.
This next year is exciting to me because I finally feel that I am in a place in my business where I am established. I have four sows that will be farrowing, five Boer does for wethers, four Boer does for seedstock and eight dairy goats that will be freshening this year. We confirmed the dairy goats using the BioPRYN test right before Christmas.
It will be the biggest crop of offspring that I’ve ever had and been able to sell. I’m finally to the point where I have built up my herd and can start selling more, and that’s a very good feeling.
One goal that I have this year is to continue to expand the seedstock side of the Boer goat operation. Seedstock animals are pricey, and it takes time to save up for the good ones.
I had the opportunity right after Christmas to purchase a bred purebred doe out of Oregon, and she’s bred to a great buck. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that she has a buck kid that I can keep, but if she only has doe kids, that’s OK too.
I want to expand the species that I sell as well. I am hoping that in the next year I can add a few Suffolk ewes and a ram, and maybe a few bred Shorthorn heifers. It may be a lofty goal, but I really want to break into the other youth livestock markets in addition to goats and hogs.
This livestock business has been a dream of mine since my senior year in high school, and it has taken a lot of time and dedication to get to where I am today. To have the resources to continue to build my business is important to its’ success.
One of those resources that I have needed is a barn. The next few weeks are going to be very exciting, as we are finally accomplishing this goal. It will be so nice to have my own facilities that I will be able to use without renting or making a garage work. I will be able to farrow and kid in the barn, and use it for show animals for bathing, clipping and keeping them clean before shows.
It will also help me market my young show animals, as I can keep them in a temperature controlled environment, which will help them grow better and will allow me to keep them in better shape for viewing.
A barn is something that I’ve looked forward to since I started raising livestock and now that I will finally have one, it’s a dream come true. I can’t wait to see the finished product.
The last main goal that I have for this year is to update my website and keep it up-to-date. In the last week I’ve redesigned the site and updated it, and am very excited with the end result. Please feel free to take a look by visiting www.ChampionLivestock.com.
I think that goals are good because it keeps you moving forward and striving to be better. I’m looking forward to growth this next year, and the development of my herd. I’m sure this year will bring new challenges, but I’m confident I can get through them. ❖