4-Hers take educational trip to Arkansas, Missouri

Photo provided by JESSIE HOOVER -- Madelyne Easley, left, and Sophie Fletcher, show off their shoe guards during a recent visit to a goat farm.
Photo provided by JESSIE HOOVER -- Madelyne Easley, left, and Sophie Fletcher, show off their shoe guards during a recent visit to a goat farm.

Two 4-H and FFA exhibitors from Livingston Parish took part in the eighth 4-H Goat Educational Trip on July 20-25 in Arkansas and Missouri.

Sophie Fletcher and Madelyne Easley earned the trip after they placed in the Premier Exhibitor competition at the 2014 AgCenter 4-H and FFA Livestock Show in Gonzales.

The trip was designed to teach youth about the goat industry. “The youth are introduced to different goat farms and research facilities and hopefully gain some knowledge that they will bring back and apply to their projects,” said Rodney Johnson, LSU AgCenter sheep and goat superintendent from Rapides Parish.

The members visited the Stacey Stone family in Gurdon, Arkansas, where they learned about selection, nutrition, health care and exercise programs for 4-H market goats.

They visited the Gary Clements farm in Damascus, Arkansas, and learned about a 300-day grazing project.

At the Lincoln University Research Station, the youths observed the goat herd on a wooded browse pasture, where they are doing research on parasite resistance and desired vegetation for goats. They also visited research projects at Lincoln University on blueberries and composting, and visited the aquaculture center.

The students visited the Dale Bumpers Small Ruminant Research Center, where they viewed demonstrations on the use of guard dogs for herd protections, determining internal parasite levels and proper hoof trimming.

In addition, the youths toured the Bass Pro Shop in Springfield, Missouri, and the Buffalo River Outdoor Center, where they stayed in cabins and went kayaking on the Buffalo River. Fletcher and Easley also visited the Duck Commander Warehouse in West Monroe.