Moving into Goat Rancher office full-time was an easy transition

It’s hard to remember when the Goat Rancher wasn’t a part of my life. I was 6 years old when Daddy started the magazine. I do re- member Daddy taking us to a neighbor’s house where they had Boer goats. The plan was to get a photo of my little sister, Hayley — who was three at the time — holding a goat. This would be the first cover photo for the new magazine. But Hayley didn’t like the baby goat because it kept hollering. So Dad handed the goat to me and said, “Smile!” And that’s how I — on the worst hair day ever for a 6-year-old — ended up on the first cover of Goat Rancher in May 1996.

From that day forward, everything revolved around goats. Hay- ley and I tagged along with Daddy to tons of goat shows and sales. We would play in the empty goat pens with the other kids at the sales — like the Ryals girls. We made several trips to Texas and stayed several times with John and Cathie Keblinger at 7A+ Ranch in Mountain Home. There’s a photo of me and Hayley playing in the water on one of those trips. Daddy told me later that was the Frio River — where George Strait learned to swim!

I’m looking forward to going on the road again and seeing old friends and making new ones.

In addition to the magazine, Daddy had all kinds of goats. Boers, Kikos, fainting goats, brush goats. I remember bottle feeding


babies and snuggling with them when they got cold. At one point we began flushing does and transplanting embryos. That was fun to try and explain to my friends at school. The most fun was when I got big enough to give the shots to knock them out. I got pretty good at hitting that vein! The only problem was we usually flushed in August when it was 100 degrees here! This idea about me taking over the Goat Rancher apparently had been bouncing around in Dad’s head for awhile. We had just never talked about it seriously. But this spring, like everyone else, our lives took a dramatic change. I had been working at a nearby ca- sino on the Mississippi River for several years. Of course when the virus hit, the casinos shut down and I was laid off. Dad and I started talking seriously then.

Dad turns 65 this month and wants to retire someday — not today! My home is here on the ranch — one-fourth mile from the Goat Rancher office — and this is where I plan to stay and raise my children. So now, with the arrangements that Dad and I made, I have a dream job, Daddy will have a retirement income with my purchase, and Goat Rancher will have a future.

I look forward to meeting and working with the many people who read, advertise and contribute articles to this publication. The Hankins family has been serving the meat goat industry for more than 24 years. We plan to be here for many more years to come. n

Trying for the perfect cover photo

Ditch the goat hook! Lindley, Oaklyn, 3, and Lane, 9. August 2020 | Goat Rancher 5

Crop the bloomers!

Photo bomb!

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