Goat group looks for new home

A participant, Joe Row of Abilene, Texas, trims up one of his animals at last summer's boer goat show here. The event hosted in PV since 2010 is now leaving because of an apparant contract dispute over the rental of the county fairgrounds. (PV Democrat photo)

Just the mention of Pauls Valley has for the last few years been very familiar to a lot of folks active in the boer goat industry.

The reason for that is the multiple shows hosted in PV each year by the Oklahoma Boer Goat Association.

Those shows have become so big the ones held here at the Garvin County Fairgrounds since 2010 have risen to what Robin Graham of Pauls Valley describes as the sixth largest in all of America and tops here in Oklahoma.

As a result, Pauls Valley is now well known in the boer goat industry all over the country.

That looks to be changing, at least for now, as it appears a series of disagreements over the past few months have led to the association’s board members making the decision to leave PV as a mainstay venue for their boer goat shows.

Graham says whatever disputes have developed involve the rental of the local fairgrounds facility.

For her that’s tough to take since she’s a member of the Garvin County Fair Board and the vice president of the state’s boer goat association.

“I’m kind of caught in the middle of this,” Graham tells the PV Democrat. “It’s an embarrassment to me because I’m on the fair board.

“I think things should be done right. I don’t think one or two people should make a decision for the whole board.”

According to Graham, it all starts with the cost to rent the fairgrounds, which she says went from $750 up to $900 for last year’s spring show and then a jump to $3,000 in the summer.

Another big factor, she says, is the trust issue because of the changing “parameters” laid out in the rental contract.

“There are so many loopholes in the contract we can’t take the chance to rent the facility for 2019,” Graham said.

“Even at $900 for the show, which is more than anyone else was paying, we were willing to pay because it’s so centrally located.

“Pauls Valley was a good place for the show because of the location. Texas people came here in droves.

“Even at $3,000, it’s not the money. Cost is not the issue. It’s the contract that keeps changing all the time. Contracts and ease of renting made the difference.

“It’s a trust issue, more or less, the changing contracts.”

It’s this situation that’s led to the group moving its spring boar goat show to Guthrie, which Graham adds still has a $3,000 rental fee.

As for what the move means for Pauls Valley, Graham says it’s tough to see the event leave because its put this town on the map for the industry, while also bringing in solid tourism money with the shows here.

“Every national champion passes through Pauls Valley to get to nationals. That’s how big a show it’s become in Pauls Valley.

“The show also meant in excess of $50,000 in revenue was brought into Pauls Valley in a year.

“I don’t care if it’s hogs or sheep or cattle or goats, if it brings money into this town it’s great,” she adds.

This Week's Circulars