Tahlequah Daily Press

Local News

May 15, 2013

Bragging rights

TAHLEQUAH — Small-acreage farming is gaining popularity on the local level, and area residents had an opportunity to visit with experienced smallholders and learn more about raising small herds of animals Saturday.

The Rural Smallholders Association in Cherokee County held its annual spring sale and seminar Saturday, featuring the members’ goat and sheep show. The RSA  is a diverse group of farmers and ranchers who earn less than $250,000 annually. The organization’s goal is to provide opportunities for education about small farming and ranching enterprises.

As the event ramped up, RSA member Carol Gonzales and her two granddaughters – Carleigh, 13, and Kaylin, 10 – were setting up a table of refreshments for attendees.

“The girls helped us get the animals ready for the show today,” said Carol. “We’re showing goats and sheep.”

The girls attend Shady Grove School and are members of 4-H.

“I like just being with the animals,” said Carleigh.

The girls have learned a lot about raising and caring for sheep and goats.

“They’ve gotten smart about getting attached to the animals; they only pick the girls, now, because they know we sell the boys,” said Gonzales.

Dorma Day, of Wagoner, herded her goats in early, talking to them as if they were children. One reluctant participant chose to hide out under the trailer, forcing several of RSA members to drop to their bellies on the blacktop and reach under the rig to coax “Coat of Many Colors” into the chute.

Natasha James, daughter-in-law of Ben James, all of Okay, enlisted the help of her children – Teagan, 5 and Tayte, not quite 2 – with her entry.

“We’re showing one set of sheep, a mom and her babies,” said Natasha.

Teagan was excited about the show.

“I got to pick the little white goat for grandpa to show,” said Teagan.

According to Ben, the Rural Smallholders Association bylaws promise the organization will provide classes to inform the public about raising small herds of animals.

“That’s how the sheep show started,” said Ben. “It’s a competition among members, and we’ll have speakers talk to folks about caring for sheep and goats.”

Ben raises the animals and sells them for meat, and has customers from as far south as Texas.

“It’s something anyone can do, even an old man like me,” said Ben. “And people can raise these animals on small acreages. I know  Cherokees over here in these parts like to raise sheep and goats because sometimes their property is rocky or on a hill, which is hard for farming or raising cattle, but perfect for sheep and goats.”

Randy Hutchins, RSA vice president, said the organization formed about seven years ago, and membership has waxed and waned in that time.

On Saturday, every animal was for sale.

“But by private treaty, only,” said Hutchins. “That means the sale is strictly between the animal owner and the buyer.”

Hutchins said they find experienced smallholders to conduct the classes at the event, some of whom are often members of the association. Saturday’s speakers included Bud Scott, Dr. Ann Wells and Dr. David Sparks, who covered topics like managing animal health problems, shelter, protection from predators and marketing techniques.

The competition was for RSA members only, and was divided into six classes, three for sheep and three for goats. The three classes included a set of three youth, a female and two babies, or a breeding pair and a baby.

“The paid members are the judges, and each one gets a vote,” said Hutchins. “The six winners get $50 each, and go on to judge and determine the grand prize winner.”

 

To see the complete version of this article, subscribe to the Daily Press e-edition by following the link below.

Click here to get the entire Tahlequah Daily Press delivered every day to your home or office.

Click here to get a free trial or to subscribe to the Tahlequah Daily Press electronic edition. It's the ENTIRE newspaper (without the paper) for your computer, iPad or e-reader.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • ts-NSU-MAIN.jpg Fledgling RiverHawks arrive

    Over 200 incoming freshmen took part in orientation class at Northeastern State University

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • svw-TCP-jump.jpg Tahlequah Community Playhouse revving up for new season

    Tahlequah Community Playhouse is kicking of its 41st season with a nod to friendship and aging.
    TCP finished auditions for its first play of the season, “The Dixie Swim Club,” on Tuesday.

    July 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • Infant mortality dropping in county

    When a mom-to-be is expecting a healthy, happy baby, every week of pregnancy is crucial.
    Short gestation, or premature births, is a leading cause of infant mortality. Any child born before reaching 37 weeks of gestation is considered premature.

    July 23, 2014

  • Board considers combining tourism, chamber positions

    Members of the Tahlequah Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and the local Tourism Council are discussing the possibility of combining two jobs into one.
    Chamber President Steve Turner encouraged board members Tuesday morning to be prepared next month to decide how it will begin a search for a new executive director.

    July 23, 2014

  • New chamber board members nominated

    Three new board members will likely be installed during the regular August meeting of the Tahlequah Area Chamber of Commerce.

    July 23, 2014

  • ts-camp-cherokee-main.jpg Camp Cherokee

    About 500 area youth attending popular camp for tribal citizens.

    In reality, two camps are taking place at the Camp Heart ‘o the Hills: a day camp for children in first through sixth grades, and a residential camp for those in middle and high school.

    July 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • leatherman-chad.jpg Man gets 20 years for robbing local Walgreens store

    A Tahlequah man accused of robbing a local Walgreens this year has received a 20-year sentence.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • svw-orphan-train.jpg ‘Orphan Train’ authors visit Tahlequah

    Imagine, for a moment, being a child whose parents could not care for him, and the only alternative was to ride the rails across the country, hoping to find a new family and home.
    For local resident Peggy Kaney’s grandfather, this scenario was a reality.
    Alison Moore and Phil Lancaster shared the stories of over 200,000 children taken from New York City and then given away to families in western states from 1854 to 1929, at the Tahlequah Public Library on July 17.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • City council gives family deadline to rehab property

    Tahlequah’s city council is giving a family with local ties a little more than a month to develop and submit rehabilitation plans for two pieces of property containing six dilapidated structures in the 400 block of Lee Street.
    Members of the city’s abatement board recommended the homes be demolished, according to Tahlequah Building Inspector Mark Secratt. City officials then sent a certified notice as required by law, but the letter was returned.

    July 22, 2014

  • Man ‘howling like dog,’ arrested for APC

    When a Kentucky man pulled into an area convenience store over the weekend and began “barking and howling like a dog,” sheriff’s deputies checked on him and eventually hauled him to jail on alcohol-related charges, an arrest report shows.

    July 22, 2014

Poll

Do you believe school administrators and college presidents in Oklahoma are paid too much?

Strongly agree.
Somewhat agree.
Somewhat disagree.
Strongly disagree.
Undecided.
     View Results
Tahlequah Daily Press Twitter
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Ariz. Inmate Dies 2 Hours After Execution Began Crash Kills Teen Pilot Seeking World Record LeBron James Sends Apology Treat to Neighbors Raw: Funeral for Man Who Died in NYPD Custody Migrants Back in Honduras After US Deports Israeli American Reservist Torn Over Return Raw: ISS Cargo Ship Launches in Kazakhstan Six Indicted in StubHub Hacking Scheme Former NTSB Official: FAA Ban 'prudent' EPA Gets Hip With Kardashian Tweet Bodies of MH17 Victims Arrive in the Netherlands Biden Decries Voting Restrictions in NAACP Talk Broncos Owner Steps Down Due to Alzheimer's US, UN Push Shuttle Diplomacy in Mideast Trump: DC Hotel Will Be Among World's Best Plane Crashes in Taiwan, Dozens Feared Dead Republicans Hold a Hearing on IRS Lost Emails Raw: Mourners Gather As MH17 Bodies Transported Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-free Travel Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament
Stocks