While many celebrate July 4th with cookouts and family vacations, Rodney Chandler, building maintenance technician, could be found at the Banks County Goat Show, an event he’s participated in for the past six years.
At an early age, Chandler learned about the importance of farming and livestock, and he has helped instill the same values in his own children.
When asked about the goat show in particular, Chandler said it started about 10 years ago when he arrived home one day, only to find a goat that his father-in-law had gotten his son. Since the families had shown livestock in past generations, this was a way to get the family back in the ring.
From the shows, they were introduced to the Northeast Georgia Goat Producers Association (NGGPA), and as Chandler says, “The rest is history as for his involvement with the organization.”
As with most activities our children are involved in, Chandler saw the need to take an active role in the annual event. “With these shows, we’re raising and teaching children that showing livestock teaches responsibility and sportsmanship,” he said.
Despite his dedication to the show, Chandler stresses that it isn’t about him. “It’s about the young people and the livestock since they’re the next generation,” he says. This event is unique because it showcases 135 goats shown by 88 youth, three to 12 years old, plus 10 pee wee exhibitors, children under six years of age.
Chandler hopes that sharing his story encourages others to get involved. “There’s a lot of livestock activities, and agriculture is a huge component of our economy. I like seeing the younger generations involved, just as my children are,” concludes Chandler.
The NGGPA is a non-profit corporation that brings together a diverse group of goat producers ranging from the backyard enthusiast to large scale commercial owners and breeders in Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina. Learn more at www.negagoats.org or www.facebook.com/NEGGPA.