Ray and Larna Hoyt retired from the state of Nevada and have lived here in the Johnson Lane area for almost 17 years. Shortly into their retirement they went up to Washoe Valley responding to an ad in the newspaper for pygmy goats for sale. Larna said she didn't know what they were but fell in love with the little guys as soon as she saw them.
The Hoyts have been raising and showing pygmy goats for a little over 15 years now. In June they packed up the horse trailer to head to Auburn, Calif., for the National Pygmy Goat Association Convention, which is only held in the Northern California area every eight years. The Hoyts entered two of their Permanent Grand Champion Pygmy goats and a qualifying wether (neutered male) in the national champion challenge. This is different than a regular goat show because the does and bucks entered have to be permanent grand champions and the wethers have to be bronze certificate holders.
I know this sounds a little complicated but here is what the goat has to do to be able to enter this challenge: A buck has to win four grand championships, a doe has to win three grand championships and a wether has to have at least three best wether wins in their previous show history. Then they qualify to be entered in the challenge at the nationals. Sounds to me like it would be a difficult accomplishment unless you wanted to travel across the country to other states for the nationals.
The Hoyts brought three of their goats to the show. Foster was in the wether category, Bailey in the doe category and T.C., short for Total Confidence, in the buck category. They didn't win this year, but there's always a chance in eight more years. Remember, they still are winners as permanent grand champions.
The Silver State Pygmy Goat Association in the only pygmy goat association in Nevada. It has almost 100 members nationwide. Membership is $10 per year and includes an informative monthly newsletter. Membership is open to all owners or potential goat owners of all breeds of goats. It is a good investment for information on medical and maintenance of your goats whether you have backyard or show goats. All goats need the same care - shots, worming, powdering and hoof trimming. For more information you can look up their Web page online at www.sspga.org.
-- Lisa Welch is a Johnson Lane resident and can be reached at 267-9350.