This fall I have heard the worst stories about FFA livestock being vandalized. On October 15, 2013 the Chickasha, Oklahoma high school’s FFA chapter’s animals and barn were vandalized. Everything had been spray painted and the walls were painted with offensive messages and symbols. The Ag teacher spoke out and said that on the pigs the members had got most of the paint off of the hair, but that it had also soaked into the skin. So, the members would just have to keep washing the pigs as the paint slowly faded away. The sheep had been exposed to the hog feed and were basically poisoned due to the high copper levels. All the animals were let out of their pens, causing a dangerous situation. This story got shared across the country. So many former FFA members knew the care and expense that had been put into these animals. The sorrow for both the animals and the members who owned the animals had been felt not only by themselves but by many. What is unique about the FFA organization is that the members bond and form together. Everyone knows how it feels and how much work goes into a project and so when we hear news, such as this it makes our hearts heavy. Not only did this happen but later on between Friday night October 25 and Saturday Morning October 26, at the Paso Robles high school’s FFA livestock barn, a steer had been set on fire. In order to do this they had to break into school property. The owner of the steer had seen what happened when he went to feed the animal on Saturday morning. The steer was the only thing on the property to be hurt and had significant burns on his face. However, he was expected to live. It is just awful how anybody could do such things to helpless animals. There is no reason to break onto a piece of property and vandalize animals. If someone has a problem they need to man up and talk about it to the person like civilized human being. There does not need to be this much hurt involved. It is shameful and heart wrenching for all involved.
This past weekend I participated as C – D Ranch (Co-owned with my twin sister) at the Ozark Fall FarmFest that is held at the Ozark Empire fairgorunds in Springfield, Missouri. FarmFest has been held for over thirty years and runs Friday through Sunday from nine in the morning to five at night. Each year there are over seven hundred and fifty exhibits covering all kinds of farming and ranching needs (anything from livestock to equipment). What makes this event even better is that admission and parking is completely FREE! Nothing beats that these days (http://farmtalknewspaper.com/ozarkfallfarmfest/x546173799/Ozark-Fall-Farmfest?keyword=topstory).
I took Boer goats and a Nubian doe to FarmFest to be on exhibit and for sale. The first day, Friday (Oct. 4, 2013), it was warm and sunny out. I had several FFA visitors come through and we talked about the goats and discussed the industry. However, many just stopped by for candy and to look what to see was on display. I personally feel that the FFA is starting to dwindle in agriculture knowledge, as many walked around not knowing a clue about any of the animals. I feel like it’s important for these new agriculture teachers entering the teaching world to inform these kids on everything there is to know. I have so many friends going into this field and I hope that they start impacting the FFA students and making them more knowledgeable about the agriculture industry.
On Saturday (Oct. 5, 2013) it turned off rainy and cold. Although it was not a very pleasant day, I still had a good crowed come through. Towards the end of the day I even got a serious inquirer on one of our Fullblood doe. I hope to get a call later in the week. When Sunday (Oct. 6, 2013) rolled around the weather improved some, but it stayed fairly chilly outside. This did not seem to slow the crowds down though. We had several people come thorough and ask about our does. I feel like it was a successful FarmFest, even though the weather was not that great. It was a great time, I hope to make some sales from being there, and I look forward to being there next year!
Tags: Agriculture, Boer goat, Equipment, Fall, Farm, FarmFest, FFA, For Sale, Livestock, Missouri, Ozark, Ozark Empire Fair, Promoting Ag, Springfield Missouri