Boer Associations with the Wrong Focus
Before looking at our concerns with some of the focus the Boer Associations in US have, I need to summarize the weaknesses the Tennessee State University research study stated.
Approach to Summarizing Boer Associations Focus
I have had issues with many of the characteristic features I have come across in our 13 years of the being in the Boer industry. Because of my past life in business, I have strong beliefs in requiring financial justification for the major characteristics/features of any produce and that especially goes for meat goats. One easy way to really understand what characteristics/features are important to Boer associations is to read and listen watching for common themes of characteristics/features that they use as marketing or bragging rights. Once you have those buzz words categorized, you will start to see a common theme and that is "Looks and Beauty". That directly related to goat shows and awards/titles given to breeders.
The places I listen to or read for buzz words are:
Just to make a major point as an example, here is something I heard yesterday at a major production sale.
"Look at this doe's pedigree and you can see BEAUTY was bred into her"
Below are some buzz words I found on the internet and in production catalogs in just 15-20 minutes.
Head and Horns
Show wether look or producer
Breeder Focus on Winning at Shows
Not a Natural Look
Statements on Feed and supplements to enhance an animals look, weight and appearance
The above categories of buzz words certainly does not cover all of the features of the Boer goats that associations focus on in the show ring. However, we do believe we can match the categories above with weaknesses found in the Boer breed in the "meat goat" studies plus the issues we heard about Boers from the owner of a major meat goat processing plant that processed over 30,000 goats in 2009 with goals of processing over 50,000 in 2011. Our next article will combine these categories with the findings from the "meat goat" study and match specific categories to specific issues.