Lessons from Livestock Camp

Whew! I’m back from Livestock Camp! Have you missed me?!

I realize there may be some folks who aren’t familiar with the term “livestock camp,” and I can’t say that I blame them because this is a new term for me as well.

So, for the tenderfoot in the room, a livestock camp is a multi-day retreat where you learn about your animal: nutrition, showing, health, etc. Our particular livestock camp was for goats, pigs, lamb, and steer.

Yes, there was a lot of poop.

For four days we have traveled from tent to stall to barn to arena as the kids were educated on best practices. Because we have market goats that was our area and we have learned so, so much!

Here are a few of my top takeaways from Livestock Camp:

  • Market goats should be considered to be body building athletes. Their diet is not normal any more than Arnold Schwarzenegger was a normal dude back in his pre-politics days.
  • There is far more than meets the eye in every arena of livestock. Consider this: we spend four days talking about GOATS. And there is still much, much more to learn. Every single animal has passionate people who can talk about their animal at great length. Livestock people are not limited.
  • The boy to girl ratio is skewed highly in favor of the girls. If I were a teenage boy, I’d be at every 4H meeting, livestock camp, and fair I could locomote my Wrangler-clad behind to attend.
  • The most comfortable boot brand I know of is Ariat. Justins are ok, but Ariat is better.
  • Bring a change of every item of clothing for every single day because it’s a guarantee your going to sop through everything you’re wearing with sweat.
  • Goat hair makes splinters when you shave the goat. It’s like the whiskers on a man’s chin.
  • There’s a lot of poop in the world. Much of it comes from animals. But a sizable amount also comes from humans… we just hide it better.

And finally,

Livestock Camp makes you grateful to be home!

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