June 2007
Featured Articles

Derrick Scott Raises Boer Goats for Relaxation

 
  Derrick Scott with Boer kids in Billy Goat Gruff Creep Feeder by Tarter Gate.
By Don Linker

Life long resident of Franklin County, Derrick Scott doesn’t fish or hunt, but he does have an escape from the stresses of everyday life. Scott’s answer to relaxation is his herd of Boer goats.

Derrick, Lorie, his wife, and three-year-old daughter, Chloe, live on a small farm in the East Franklin community. Lorie is a kindergarten teacher in Decatur, while Derrick is the recreational coordinator for the City Program of Franklin County. They are members of Pleasant Hill Church in East Franklin where they are active in all church activities.

Scott credits his late grandfather Rex Morgan and parents, Sylvester and Anita Scott, for instilling his work ethic and the love and value of family, good neighbors and friends.

The goat herd on the Scott farm began four years ago, after a passion for Quarter Horses faded, with Boer-influenced goats purchased in two local sellouts.

With meat goats in mind, these were culled and new purchases added resulting in a herd of percentage and full-blooded Boer goats. Twenty does are bred once a year in October and November for kids to be born in March and April. Some breeders prefer to breed for three sets of kids in two years, but Scott likes the slower pace of breeding for one set of kids a year because of time constraints and longevity of his does.

 
Boer doe with triplets.  
Scott’s pride and joy is his buck, Homer, who is 100 percent South African, a double-bred Pipeline and came from Fern Hollow Farm in Georgia. For those with the show ring in mind, Homer is also available for outside breeding to select does by private treaty.

Scott would like to see the inception of a Franklin County 4-H Goat Club to give children an affordable livestock enterprise in which to become involved, especially as Chloe gets older and is more involved in the goat operation. Children are the future and involvement with agriculture of any form will only benefit them and us in the future.

When asked about the future of goat production, Scott replied that it is bright due to the influx of ethnic groups, goat promotion and the ability to produce goats on small acreage. One lacking key ingredient is a packing plant that utilizes all classes of goats and is close enough to keep transportation costs low. Although most of Scott’s sales are on the farm, he supports the monthly goat sale at Northwest Alabama Livestock Auction and sees this as a valuable addition to goat promotion in northern Alabama.

Scott is quick to add that goat production is something that you have to love and have a passion for, but the rewards are there if you are willing to learn and work for them. One of the rewards the Scott’s love is being able to sit on their deck in the spring and watch the young kids across the pond as they play.

 
  Homer with outside does to be bred.
Goals for the future include improving the goat herd using production records and other modern management techniques such as artificial insemination, as well as continuing to promote goat production in northwest Alabama.

Scott is a loyal customer at Franklin County Cooperative and promotes it every chance he gets. He adds that Manager Karen Linker and her crew go the extra mile to take care of their customers and encourages fellow livestock producers to shop their local Co-op for all their livestock supplies and information.

Derrick is always ready to talk goats and can be reached at 256-332-7180.

Don Linker is an outside salesman for AFC.