RUMINATE, continued from Page 28 beauty and individuality. I still didn’t attend any of the education sessions but I knew that Josh and Amelia were soaking it all up! We attended the auction and watched in awe as goat after goat drew bid after bid until the gavel sounded “Sold”. Although we considered leaving Kevin behind so that we could take a goat home from the auction, we didn’t bid on anything and Kevin made it home! And at that point I had to admit, the road trip turned into a learning event for all of us! Over the next months, I began to admit that goats were becoming a regular part of our life and that I was going to be involved whether I liked it or not.

The 2018 and 2019 Cream of the Crop Sales were much

different for me, even helping Josh and Amelia scout each animal to decide which ones we would be bidding on. But in the beginning it was all about the road trip!

Josh’s Perspective: As my wife pointed out, in the beginning, it was largely about

a road trip. As our fourth go at the Cream of the Crop Kiko Sale approaches, it is evident that this trip has become so much more. This year has been different for just about everyone, whether you have been sick, lost loved ones, lost your job,or put on furlough, don’t buy into the hype or have had Covid just be disruptive, it has definitely caused havoc in a number of ways.

For me, as October approaches, I am hoping that it will not affect attending my favorite Kiko goat auction of the year, Cream of the Crop Kiko Sale put on by Terry Hankins (editor of this magazine and owner of Egypt Creek Ranch).

Some might say, favorite? Aren’t all

auctions made the same. No, they definitely are not. It’s more than just the sale for me — this is an opportunity to reconnect with producers, meet new producers, attend the Corn Country Meat Goat Conference and check out and bid on approximately 100 of the top Kikos from around the region.

Attending the auction is also a chance to

spend a long weekend with my family as we trek from Maine to Indiana and back to Maine again, over a four-day period. I also have the opportunity to visit with my friend from back in my days in the Navy who lives in Indiana.

And go see my cousin and his family in Ohio. We haven’t been able to convince either of them to take the plunge into goating quite yet but each year is a new opportunity to work on getting them up and running.

Back to the sale barn and goats. Whether you are looking for white Kiko goats, which some say put weight on like college freshmen, or you are looking for color, new genetics to infuse into your herd, increased parasite resistance, minimal hoof trimming, excellent maternal instincts, ease of birthing or looking to increase weight gain, there is something at the Cream of the Crop sale for everyone.

Of course, often we go saying I don’t need any more goats. I have all that I need. But there is this factor of want, that really ends up making you fill the back of the truck to make the most out of the trip. I am even working to reduce my herd total now so that I have a bit of a buffer when I bring back a few unanticipated, spontaneous purchases.

36 Goat Rancher | September 2020

Amelia’s Perspective:

Driving from Maine to south- ern Indiana just to look at goats.

As my dad noted, Covid-19 has surely turned the first half of the year upside down. I was finishing my last semester at the University of Maine when the call was made that all studies would be completed at home for the remainder of the semester. While many of my classmates went a little crazy at home, it gave me a chance to be more involved (than I already was) on the farm at home, with the goats and a number of other projects. Our goats ended up being a great brain relaxer after completing hours of coursework in front of the computer. One of my favorite parts of goat ranching is going to auctions and bringing home new does from all around the country to help broaden the genetics up in our neck of the woods. While I love bringing home new goats, traveling is my favorite thing to do. As noted above, we are professional road trippers. When we need something fun to do, we plan a road trip. In May, one of our favorite auctions was canceled due to the virus. That meant we couldn’t go on a road trip, a much needed break from work and school. For months I have been going a little stir crazy at home. As states and borders have been reopening and closing again over the last couple of months, this question has been in the back of my mind, “Will we get to go on a road trip to the Cream of the Crop Kiko Sale this year in October?” We just got word, early August, that as of right now the sale will still be happening...can you say road trip!! To say I am looking forward to the sale and the 19-hour drive is an understatement. Most people balk when they hear we drive that far just to get goats. What can I say, we love it! We love the drive, the people, connecting with other ranchers, the barn smell...bringing new Kiko goats home! We are still a couple months away, but we are crossing our fingers that nothing changes and we can return to one of our favorite goat auctions! The Crise Crew needs another road trip under our belts ASAP!

End Perspectives:

It was initially just about a long weekend trip, something fun to do, where we could visit our friends and family and enjoy learning about goats along the way. Our goating adventure has become so much more. Each one of us look forward to this auction every year now, perhaps each for a different reason. Josh enjoys being able to open our genetic bottleneck up in Maine by making purchases at the sale. Amelia enjoys scrutinizing each goat and color coding in her catalog to help aid us with deciding which goats to purchase during the sale. Kathy enjoys chatting up everyone at the sale, talking about everything under the sun. There is truly something there for everyone. While the road trip is still just as important to us, the experience of the goat sale itself has played a pivotal role in shaping our business and operation. The people at this auction are one of a kind, remarkable, knowledgeable and kind. We thank you for imparting your knowledge and know-how to us. Here’s to hoping we meet new ranchers, reconnect with old (I use that figuratively, not literally) faces and learn more about the amazing Kiko breed in 2020!

(Josh and Kathy Crise, and their grown children, Amelia and Kevin, operate Marble Creek Acres in Lee, Maine. They can be reached at 207-619-3758, e-mail or website

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