A regional Queensland town will in May become home to the first open meat goat show in Australia.
As part of the Springsure Show in late May, a meat and dairy goat show will be held over two days.
While there are other shows across Australia catering to dairy goats and including a Boer goat category, the Springsure Show will be the only show that welcomes both stud and commercial meat goats across all breeds, including crossbreds.
Goat steward Glenda Henry said she and husband Colin Valler had previously displayed their goats at the Comet and Springsure shows and she was approached by the Springsure Show Society to organise a goat show.
"Because of our location we don't get to go the big shows, there are no regional shows for commercial breeders," she said.
"I spoke to a lot of people and I thought, why don't we run this just like a commercial cattle show and make it open?
"It doesn't matter if an exhibitor has a crossbred goat... if they think it carries a lot of meat, they can bring it to our show.
"Hybrid vigour can be really exceptional sometimes and you can have a fairly ordinary looking doe and as long as you put a good buck to it, you can actually come out with an exceptionally good kid."
Ms Henry said the response to the show had been exceptional, with interest from 76 breeders from across the state so far and enough support to form a goat group.
"Kylie Leahy from Kuttabul agreed to assist as a steward and we have goat breeders interested in coming from Far North Queensland, Bundaberg, Longreach, Isisford and right down to the NSW border, she said.
"We're going to have a knowledge tent with different guest speakers.
"We're keeping it quite informal because at the end of the day, this needs to be about networking.
"It doesn't matter if an animal doesn't win a class, we want people to bring their animals so they can advance by having someone else actually assessing them."
According to a 2021 report from the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, the Queensland meat goat sector produces about 200,000 slaughter goats a year with about 500 goat meat producers across the state.
Ms Henry said they had received a lot of support from businesses to help make the inaugural event a success, including earrings from Coolamon Sapphires as a prize for the grand champions.
"There's more and more goats being bred for regional Queensland, we just have to step up and promote the industry," she said.
"It's also wonderful to be working together with the dairy goat producers... Anglo-Nubian makes a wonderful cross with a Boer and if someone needs to get a better udder into their commercial herd to improve kid survivability, perhaps they need a dairy goat in there."
Ms Henry and Mr Valler's own foray into goats began about six years ago when she was told running camels would help control the sally wattle regrowth on their commercial Brahman property.
Rather than get camels, they chose to bring in some goats and soon realised their potential.
"They are browsing animals, they don't actually like grass so they're not competing with the cattle," Ms Henry said.
"You can add two head of goats for every beast you've got on the place and not actually compromise your property.
"Landcare is something that we're very passionate about and goats just fitted in perfectly.... they clean up suckers but we've still maintained the trees.
"They are a drought-proof land management tool that produces meat and produces income."
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