I’ve noticed among goat farmers that there are certain ideals that they all follow. I thought I’d mention a few just to see if you all are following them without even realizing it.
1) Neither rain nor sleet nor snow nor dark of night shall keep a goat farmer from their appointed tasks. - In other words, we had better have our rain gear, our snow gear, our rubber boots, and plenty of batteries for our flashlights, because we are in for it! Goat farming can occur on pretty sunny days, but you don’t seem to remember those. Goat farming always seems to occur in the worse of weather, in the darkest of nights, and when there is absolutely no way getting out of it.
2) A goat farmer is brave and true. - And, no truer words have ever been spoken. No one is braver then a goat farmer who leaves a nice warm bed to go out in the darkest of nights, while the winds are howling and the snow or rain is soaking you, just to go check on the goats. We only snivel and whine a little, but we stay true to our calling and bravely go where no normal person would even think about going.
3) A goat farmer is always prepared. - This is absolutely true. We are ready for anything when it comes to our goats. We have all the medicines on hand for about every disease we can think of that might even come close to hurting our goats. We have our hay in the barns for winter, our feed bins are always full, good shelter for the goats in bad weather. We are prepared. But, sometimes we do forget to get groceries for ourselves, to keep some Tylenol in the medicine cabinet for us, and how many of you even have a thermometer for yourself? Nope, but I have several for the goats. And, I do tend to forget to go buy another rain coat after shredding the last one while crawling over a fence, but that is what duct tape is for, so I am prepared there. And the duct tape patches my boots and it does hold my flashlight together after I’ve dropped it and accidentally ran over it with the truck. So, Yes! The goat farmer is always prepared, as long as they also keep the duct tape on hand.
4) A goat farmer is always courteous. - You always point out to customers the electric fence wire above the woven wire and across all gates by shouting, "Duck! Hot! Don‘t Touch!" And, when you take the feed bucket out to the field to call the goats in for the customer to see, you always hand the bucket to the customer and give them a head start when the goats come charging over the hill like a wild and hungry tidal wave.
5) A goat farmer is friendly. - You find yourself inviting people over to help with unloading hay and cleaning out the barn. You just can’t help yourself because a goat farmer is always friendly.
6) A goat farmer cares for his fellow man/woman. - When you walk visitors by the buck’s pen and the full aroma of that buck’s perfume hits them and their eyes start watering and they start coughing, you have tissues available to hand out.
7) A goat farmer is honest. - If a person points to your dog and asks if that is a goat, you tell them no. You do not sell a new person to goat breeding a starter herd package of wethers, unless they insist.
8) A goat farmer is clean. - We always insist on putting on the least dirty pair of jeans and shirts we can find in the clothes hamper. And, we always wash our hands before shaking on a deal, particularly if we have been handling a buck or assisting in a kidding.
9) A goat farmer is industrious. - Have you noticed we are always busy? No dull moments around here. We get particularly industrious when we forget and leave the gate open and the goats get into the neighbor’s garden.
10) A goat farmer stays true to his profession. - In other words, you don’t say more then ten or twelve times a day, "I’m going to be a stamp collector!" We know that goat farming is the life for us, this is our calling. Why, if we weren’t goat farming, we’d be clean, get regular sleep, wouldn’t be out in all kinds of weather, wouldn’t know what 6 below zero is like at two a.m., we wouldn’t be exercised properly by chasing goats, wouldn’t have people calling up at all hours wanting us to bring our entire sale herd to their place so they could possibly pick out one goat (when this happens, I tell them they have a wrong number), and the list goes on. What on earth would we do with ourselves?
So, remember, we are the few, the proud, the goat farmers. Stay true to the goat farmers creed.