Thursday, December 7, 2023

Ribbon haul for Dean

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SZBRT2283 Grand Champion Red Boer; Grand Champion Doe SZBFS2113; Grand Champion Boer Goat SZBFT2201.
Photos: The Koondrook and Barham Bridge Newspaper

Kirstin Nicholson, The Koondrook and Barham Bridge Newspaper

Cohuna’s Dean Smith has just returned from the Royal Adelaide Show with a haul of Grand Champion ribbons. Dean and his family own Strzboer Goat Stud and breed Fullblood Boer Goats, the fullblood meaning that there is traceability with genetics back to South Africa.

With 10 years of showing experience at Sydney Royal Easter Show and numerous local and interstate shows, Adelaide had been beckoning.

“We have been aiming to go across to Adelaide for the last few years to support their local breeders and promote the Boer goats. Covid-19 has got in the way for the past two years and it was great to see what happens over there,” said Dean.

“I also went over to see how we could encourage some local schools into the Led Wether competition which is growing significantly with schools competing. This year, there were approximately 160 goats entered.”

The trip was worthwhile, with the stud returning with a swag of ribbons including Grand Champion Doe, Grand Champion Buck, Grand Champion Red Doe and Grand Champion Red Buck.

“It was great to have our four animals in the ring all as Grand Champions,” said Dean. The stud also won Best Boer and Best Red Boer.  

Dean said they are fortunate that at this time of year, the stud is in its main pasture growing phase so there has been minimal supplementation required to prepare the animals. They did, however, need to get accustomed to feed for the four days they would be off pasture during transit and showing.

“The Thursday before, we had a massive washing and clipping session and were aiming to leave at 10pm to travel, but with all the rain, we delayed the journey to the Friday morning. The main preparation is really getting all the supplies together and ensuring that the animals can show themselves off.”

With the nights still cold, Dean prefers to trim just the head and tail.

“Meat goats are going through significant growth at the moment,” Dean says. “Their role in producing quality goat meat for predominantly the international market is quite significant and we can’t meet the demand. The lack of supply in the domestic market is because of the drain of supply to the export markets. Due to Covid-19, the export markets through Asia have decreased but the demand locally is very encouraging. Our markets are to supply Bucks into the rangeland production system and breed stock into the Stud market also.”    

To cap things off, I asked Dean, who is a secondary school teacher, if he preferred working with human kids or animal kids.

“Goats are great animals. At the start of the weekend, they were quite active due to the preparation time and 10 of the 12 animals hadn’t been to a show before. By the end, they all walked calmly onto the trailer without argument and sat down for the long journey home.”

The show season is set to kick off in October at Seymour, Shepparton and Kyabram agricultural shows. “With the local shows happening in Victoria soon, please come and have a look, and we are more than happy to discuss goats.”

The Koondrook and Barham Bridge Newspaper 15 September 2022

This article appeared in The Koondrook and Barham Bridge Newspaper, 15 September 2022.


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