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Goat breeder has high hopes at Nationals

GOOD FORM: John and Angela Bolstad two of their boer goats that won ribbons at the show.
GOOD FORM: John and Angela Bolstad two of their boer goats that won ribbons at the show. Linda Mantova

BOUYED by his recent success at the North Coast Royal Show at Lismore, boer goat breeder, John Bolstad, is confident of a clean sweep at next year's Nationals in Sydney.

Mr Bolstad, and his wife, Angela, operate Bolstad Boer Goats at Leyburn, having relocated from Spring Creek, near Clifton, five months ago.

The Bolstad's run about 80 head of both red and standard boer goats on their 13 hectare block, as well as a nine hectare block at Nobby.

They literally scooped the pool at Lismore on October 19, winning multiple broad ribbons with their team of 20 goats.

Their prize haul included winning champion and reserve champion junior red buck, reserve champion junior red doe and reserve champion senior red doe.

In the standard breed, the Bolstad's won champion and reserve champion junior doe, and champion senior doe, with Bolstad Princess Illusion, who went on to take out grand champion doe, supreme standard, and then Best in Show.

"We also won the Champion and reserve champion senior standard buck, and grand champion standard buck with Bolstad Manu, who is a brother to Princess Illusion," Mr Bolstad said.

"Our junior champion red buck, Bolstad Crazy Horse, was also supreme red buck at this year's Brisbane Ekka."

Boer goat meat is the most health-smart red meat in the world, and the number of butchers selling goat meat is increasing, but the public is generally uneducated about goats.

And the broad ribbons didn't stop there for the Darling Downs stud.

"Bolstad Tank took out senior champion red buck, and came up against Crazy Horse for the supreme exhibit, which went to Crazy Horse," Mr Bolstad said.

"Tank has been junior, senior and reserve senior champion red buck at the Sydney Royal in recent years, so he is a well-performed red buck on the show circuit.

"We received many favourable comments from the judge, Col Murray, a well-respected boer goat breeder of 20 years.

"He said he would be proud to have any of our top winners in his stable anytime.

"He said our animals were well presented and had the required attributes, plus all the positive structural aspects of a champion."

Mrs Bolstad said there was a major show being held in Victoria later this month with huge prize money on offer, however logistically it was too big a trip, especially being right in the middle of kidding.

The Bolstad's are no strangers to the winner's circle, having won champion and reserve champion junior red buck at this year's Brisbane Royal Show, and junior champion red doe and reserve champion senior red buck at last year's National Boer Goat Championships held in Stanthorpe, however they have big plans for next year.

Having been breeding boer goats for the past 12 years, Mr Bolstad's aim at the National Boer Goat Championships in Sydney next April is to "clean sweep the reds".

"The Nationals will be held in conjunction with the Sydney Royal Show, and it is a big possibility with what we have on the ground at the moment," he said.

"I'm very confident that our girls and boys will do very well.

"If you know how to mix and match genetics you will get good quality animals, and we are producing elite animals at present."

Mr Bolstad said statistics showed that Australia provided 58% of the world's goat meat requirements, yet it was still an under-utilised meat here at home.

"Boer goat meat is the most health-smart red meat in the world, and the number of butchers selling goat meat is increasing, but the public is generally uneducated about goats," he said.

"People have this impression that they are horrible smelling things that eat everything, but their perception is right off the mark."

The Bolstad's represent the elite breeding end of the market, and have sent both does and bucks to Malaysia earlier this year.

"These live breeding animals have gone into a breeding program working with underprivileged villagers," Mr Bolstad said.

"I've also been selling goats to New Zealand for the past five years," he said.

"We sell most of our goats through the Boer Goat Breeders Association of Australia website, on Petstock or through word of mouth."

Their genetics are in demand, and good breeding stock is worth up to $2000 per head.

"We also sell to commercial breeders who want to improve their herd. We are climbing up the ladder, but marketing any animal is hard at the moment with the economy the way it is," Mr Bolstad said.

The couple has recently embarked on breeding Australian Stock Horses.

They also breed Maremma dogs who protect their herd from eagles and dogs, along with a pet alpaca.

Topics:  agricultural shows goats livestock rural shows