Celebrating Goats, Food, Fashion and Fun!
OUR GOAT FEST WAS A GREAT SUCCESS!!!!!!!
We held our very successful Goat Fest on the 10th of June 2017 – the Queen’s Birthday Long weekend, which was a plus in some ways but also a minus in others. Some businesses wouldn’t come because staff didn’t want to come on the Long weekend – there were also several special sporting events on, involving children so the parents weren’t able to come. On the plus side we had over 850 adults through the door plus lots of children and it was rather crowded in many areas at times! Unfortunately our photos were mostly taken in the afternoon when numbers had reduced considerably!
We had some great DGSA members assist in our promotion of the Dairy Goat industry on the day. Over the day our Diary Goat stand was manned by Bendigo Goat Club members Rachel Wood, Eve Douglas & Doone Robertson. We also had Kaye Marett from Yea & Vic Branch Committee member Derek Taylor from Scotts Creek. Murray Grills spoke on ‘why a goat’s conformation is important’ and demonstrated on goats afterwards, with lots of interest and questions from the public.
Our Special Guest was Sandra Baxendell, a specialist Goat Vet from Queensland, who gave two talks – one on ‘Feeding Goats not Worms’ and ‘Making sure the Goats you buy don’t have Hidden Diseases’ and she was keenly sought throughout the day for follow up information.
Gail milking her Toggenburg
Alex Serrurier had a great display of British Alpines and did a milking demonstration in the morning and afternoon. Gail Ryan brought along Toggenburgs and also did a milking demonstration. Jodie Finnigan had Anglo Nubians and Goat’s Milk Soap for sale and also gave a talk on Cheese making.
Jodie and her sister with her soaps
Wendy Barber had her Miniature Goats on display, but with her Anglo Nubian goat’s milk, did two demonstrations making Goats Milk Soap which were very popular. Wendy also did ‘bottle feeding’ of kids involving several children from the public, which was a great hit
. Wendy demonstrating Soap making
Kate Serrurier took on the mammoth task of providing gourmet Goat Meat Sausages and Goat Cheese Platters to the public as well as a range of Baked Ricotta cakes and preserves from their Cremona Hillside mixed farming Airbnb property.
Kate in the kitchen
Kate had some of her wethers slaughtered and made into the sausages beforehand, the cheese was supplied by ‘Farm House Cheese’ with some donated by ‘Meredith’, and she also gave a talk on Cheese making. Kate also organized the ‘One Goat Wine’, and we also had ‘Mountain Goat Beer’ and ‘Ginger Kid Ginger Beer’ – all for a bit of fun, in keeping with promoting everything ‘GOAT’!
The Bendigo ‘FoodO’Clock’ Indian Restaurant was also there with a variety of Goat Meat meals served with Rice
We also had a Goat Fest committee member and Boer goat breeder Debra McMahon giving cheese tastings and sales of Meredith Marinated Goat Fetta, along with the Ginger Kid Ginger Beer and the Mountain Goat beer. She also did tastings of goat’s milk – with all who tasted surprised at how ‘sweet’ it tasted.
The Woodvale Fire Brigade provided tea coffee and bottled drinks and were available for First Aid if any was required – fortunately there wasn’t! Doone Robertson of the Australian School of Emergency Management had provided an Emergency Management Plan for us and it fortunately wasn’t required either!
We also had Boer Goat Australia, with members available to talk to the public with goats on display – cuddling a kid was very popular.
The Boer Goat Association of Australia also had Boer goats and members available to talk to the public. Dean Smith from Kerang spoke about the Boer Goat Association with a large crowd listening with great interest.
Kirk making sausages
Kirk Brennan had a goat carcass generously donated by Boer Goat breeder Gary Freemantle of Lockwood. Kirk demonstrated cutting up the carcass then proceeded to bone it out and make sausages, meat balls and steaks – he then cooked them and gave tasting to the public which was a huge success with lots of favourable comments.
The Angora Mohair Industry was also on display with a magnificent display of Mohair Garments loaned by long time Angora breeder, Margaret Piccoli. One was a coat made from Angora Goat Skins which was modelled on the day. We also had beautiful mohair crafts from as far afield as Gippsland and South Australia, with several ladies for the Mohair industry on hand to promote and sell the products.
Tim shearing an Angora Goat
Tim Ferguson from Edenhope brought Angora Goats for display and sale and gave a talk about the Angora Mohair Industry. He followed this up with shearing two of the Angora Goats Ken Stent brought along for the shearing and husbandry demonstrations, with Ron Leech assisting. In the afternoon Tim did another shearing demonstration on two more of Ken’s goats followed by husbandry activities – drenching, foot trimming, lice treatment and inoculation.
Ken also brought along another Angora goat that wasn’t very well, to be used for a Necropsy, which was performed by Victoria’s Goat Vet, Berwyn Squires. There were several problems Berwyn was able to show and explain – so a great learning experience.
There was also a children’s activity area where children could listen to Goat stories and poems – make a Goat – watch funny Goat videos – colour in pictures of Goats and act out the story of the ‘Three Billy Goats Gruff’.
There was one child who dressed up as an ‘Anglo Nubian Kid’, with long ears and a tail, who at times mingled with the crowds delighting them with her ‘kid’ antics, when not busy in the children’s activity area!
Paul Hamilton was there with his imported ‘Pygmy’ and ‘Tennessee’ goats which delighted people all day clamouring up and down the ‘mountain’ Paul made for them with hay bales.
Children were also given the opportunity to ‘cuddle a kid’
The other talks not mentioned above were – Julie Petty from Meat & Livestock Australia, AI and Overseas Genetics by Paul Hamilton and he also talked about Miniature Goats. Isis Jordan, Lydia & Catlin, intern vets from Holy Goat Organic Dairy Goat Farm, spoke about the ‘Obsalim’ system for Goat health. Sarah Schnider spoke about setting up a small commercial Goat dairy and vet Berwyn Squires enlightened us on the new laws of bio security.
Ken Stent was busy most of the day on the microphone announcing talks and demonstrations, and telling people to follow the helium balloons! We had three lots of these colourful balloons which we moved around to where things were happening so people could find the activities in amongst the crowds!
Before the Goat Fest I had a phone call from an Eric Williams who heard about our Goat Fest and contacted me about his experiences as the ex-owner of an Abattoir. He explained how he used to ‘slaughter Goats with skin on’ which was done on the end of a pig line, then exported them overseas, which was a very profitable enterprise. So he was invited to our Goat Fest and spoke about what he used to do with Goats before he sold his Abattoir and there were only ‘Feral’ goats to slaughter!
Photographs taken by ‘Justin Stent’ in the afternoon – when many of the public had left!
Bev Stent – President: Bendigo Goat Fest Committee * President: Bendigo District Dairy Goat Club * Secretary: North Central Region of Mohair Australia * Member and Country Publicity Officer – Vic Branch of the Dairy Goat Society of Australia.