It was last winter, when the Northeast Georgia Goat Producers decided to boldly go where no other Field Day
has gone--at least until now. You wouldnít believe the roller coaster ride that we found ourselves on, as we
delved into the nitty gritty, the joys and frustrations of trying to plan an event. The NeGGP Members pitched
in, solved problems, worked hard and made it happen.
Crisp and clear, dawn broke too soon, with a promise to develop into a hot and perfect day that second
Saturday in May. Eagerness and anticipation had left little room for sleep the night before. There was no time
for breakfast. A cup of coffee, pack a few more things, and off we go to see if anyone would come to the
Taking our queue from numerous, excellent Field Days that had been held before, including the Washington
County Meat Goat Associationís Goat-A-Rama and the South Carolina Meat Goat Association Field Day and
Show, a multitude of speakers, booths, demonstrations and exhibitions were lined up to delight the goat
lover in anyone.
Educational Seminars began with Dr. Lisa Williamson DVM, MS, UGA College of Veterinary Medicine
discussing Herd Management and General Health Concerns. Dr. Marie Garlo DVM presented information
about Kidding Problems.
Dr. Rosemarie Szostak, Ph.D. talked on Predator Control, Selection and Training of Livestock Guardian
Dogs and the different Breeds of LGDs. Dr. Szostak also gave information on the Livestock Guard Dog
rescue program. Barbara Saxton with the Georgia Healthy Farmers Program (DHR) talked on Farm Safety.
Dr. Jaima Youngblood Ph.D. topic was Practical Small Farmerís guide to Parasite Recognition with "marker"
animals, life cycle of worms and treatment options. Ginny Skinner, President of the Georgia Meat Goat
Association, demonstrated a "Beginnerís Guide to doing your own fecal", making the fecal flotation solution, sample collection and recognition of worms and eggs.
Hoof Trimming, Tattooing, Herd Dog Work, Fecal Flotation, Grooming and Showing, and Hand Spinning
demonstrations took place throughout the day. Vendors brought sizeable selections of feeds, seeds,
minerals, health supplies, herd management and transporting equipment, crafts and other items of interest.
Hands on milking, cheese making, and the cart goats were the favorite activities of the children. Adults
gathered armfuls of information from the representatives of the NeGGP, GMGA. IBGA, ABGA, and AKGA
associations and carefully went over every vendorís offerings and samples. Everyone had fun as we learned
more about goats.
Preparing barbeque chevon lunches for 200 people seemed like a safe estimate, but it grew to 300 the week
before the Field Day was scheduled. I could not have predicted the incredible number of over 545
chevon lunch plates that were finally served! Door prizes donated by vendors such as Custom Milling,
Batten Supply, Register Supply, and "The Goat Rancher" were given away during lunch.
Interest and participation were astounding. From Rome, Dahlonega, and even as far away as Macon,
Georgia, people made their way to Chicopee Woods Agriculture Center in Gainesville, Georgia. We even had
people come from the surrounding states. This event provided an opportunity for individuals to learn about
goats, sell and/or swap goats or Livestock Guard Dogs and to visit with fellow goat people.
A few pearls of wisdom that we wished someone else had told us when we were embarking on our journey to
a Field Day. When planning any event the facts are often more gray than black and white. The Main chapter
in anyoneís Field Day Survival Guide should be, "PREPARE!" If a plan fails...be flexible, adaptable, and
inventive. This goes a long way in making things work smoothly before and during the event.
Thanks to all that attended and participated. Join us in 2001. We plan on the next Northeast Georgia Goat
Producers Field Day being even bigger and better. For information contact: Patricia Parson,
Secretary/Treasurer, 706-693-2496 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or Judy Stepp, President, 770-869-7268,
Northeast Georgia Goat Producers/
If it involves goats, they will come!
Pendergrass, Ga 30567
Member ABGA, IBGA
% & Fullblood Boers, Registered Fire Ants
email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org