“Slug Bug!” Those very words are always followed by a swift punch to the arm or slap to the shoulder. It’s a game that my Papa, brother, and I all play on every goat run or lamb trip. Without that game though, it just wouldn’t be the same. My Grandfather, Papa, makes all my projects go round. Without our humorous conversations in the front seat of his Chevy pickup truck about why I should grow my hair out (so girls can run their fingers through it), or how we are going to tell mom how much we spent, none of my animals would ever make it home. My Papa has made a tremendous impact on me growing up and I would not have gotten where I am today without his enthusiasm or encouragement.
“Slug bug green!” From the get-go, Papa has been there as a helping hand for me and my brother. He’s the asking the questions we didn’t, calling the breeders, or sometimes even writing the checks. Papa gets us started. Like the beginning of every goat run, we have to load that shiny, silver cage on the back of his truck in order to hit the road. Ten minutes into it, my brother is usually knocked out in the back seat sawing logs leaving us two to talk. If there is one thing my Papa likes to do is talk! No matter what he says, I listen because I know that without his knowledge from 30 years of being a County Extension Agent and raising his own daughters as competitive 4-Hers will come in handy in the long run. We talk about changing trends, good feeds, and what type of goat we are looking for for this show. We could talk for days just because we care about the same things and he knows pretty much all the answers to my millions of goat and lamb questions.
“Slug bug yellow!” When we get to the sale it’s all business. Sorting through all those goats, writing down numbers; just part of the routine. But Papa does what I really take for granted. He asks me “Now what don’t you like about him?” Now that may sound a bit plain to those who read it, but to me, it means the world. The fact that, even with all his knowledge, he asks me what I think, just tickles me. He cares about what I have to say and actually listens! That right there, separates him from the rest of the herd.
“Slug bug red!” After the months of hard work and countless fights at the barn, my