No kidding, Goat fest is back

GOAT Fest is one of Tasmania’s most popular livestock events and this year it is back bigger and better than ever. Goat Fest will be held on Sunday, January 29, at the Longford Showgrounds from 10am until 3pm.

Entry will be by donation and there will be food and drinks available throughout the day.

While the goats are the most popular attractions at Goat Fest, publicity coordinator Anna Shepheard said this year will see an expansion in the number of commercial exhibitors.

“We’ve got more things for people to come and have a look at in relation to the goat industry as a whole and products for goats and about goats,” she said.

“It is getting bigger and we’re covering more areas I suppose, so we’re presenting more information to people so there’s something new every year.”

Goat Fest started in 2009 and the event now attracts a crowd of 1000 or more each year. “We get a lot of goat enthusiasts or people who are looking to get into goats,” Mrs Shepheard said. “Then we also get a lot of people who live in town and don’t get to see goats very often and make the most of the opportunity.”

The Goat Fest committee is made up of representatives from the the four different goat breed associations which include the miniature goats, dairy goats, angora goats and the Boer goat breeders. At the event there will be a number of different individual breeds and some goats being offered for sale. Mrs Shepheard has the Jiel Anglo Nubian Goat Stud, which was originally started by her parents.

The herd of 29 goats are run on her property at Merseylea and 10 are currently being milked for personal use and to help raise the kids. The milk is used to make ice cream, cheese and other products like soap.

Mrs Shepheard said more people are now keeping dairy goats to become self-sufficient and produce their own food.

On top of that Mrs Shepheard said goats are just lovely animals to have around. “They are very people oriented,” she said. “Goats in general are very intelligent and very social.”

Committee chairman and Saanen goat breeder Steve Baldock said they were expecting a large number of goats to the event this year. He said some breeders will also be offering goats for sale or taking orders.

“The other thing is it’s not breeding season yet but coming up to breeding season. If people want to place orders and various things that’s a good way to go too,” he said.

Goat Fest will also include some online competitions with the prizes to be collected by winners at the event.

Find out more on the Goat Fest Tasmania Facebook page.