Educational Seminar Funding for the 2012 National Goat Expo
The 2012 National Goat Expo will be held October 7-11, 2012 at the state fairgrounds in Des Moines, Iowa. This exposition will bring together the best of the nation's goat producers and the best of the nation's dairy, meat and fiber goats. This event will be unique for a variety of reasons:
1) dairy, meat, and fiber goat producers from across the nation will come together under a single roof to interact with and learn from one another,
2) all breeds from within each goat type will be welcomed, and many breeds will hold their national meetings (as well as their national shows and sales) in conjunction with the National Goat Expo,
3) an extensive series of educational seminars will be an integral part of the National Goat Expo, distinguishing it from state fairs, breed shows, and other similar events,
4) demonstrations of various goat-related procedures will be given to supplement the educational seminars, and
5) vendors of goat-specific products will be available to sell supplies and equipment to goat producers to assist them with their goat production enterprises.
Final Report 2013
The 2012 National Goat Expo was held as originally proposed, and the educational seminar series was organized and conducted. The educational seminar series was a success!
This grant focused solely on the Educational Seminar Series at the 2012 National Goat Expo, and the principal investigator was aided greatly by members of the 2012 National Goat Expo Board of Directors in reserving the seminar rooms, arranging for a group discount at the hotel where invited speakers stayed (as well as complimentary transportation from the hotel to the state fairgrounds), printing of signage directing attendees to the seminar rooms, maintaining the 2012 National Goat Expo web site which listed the Educational Seminar Series speakers and titles, printing of admission tickets to the educational seminars, arranging for ticket takers at each seminar, press releases/advertising of the Educational Seminar Series, etc. The American Goat Federation was a bronze sponsor that provided $1,500 earmarked for the Educational Seminar Series. Although we were unable to confirm all of the speakers whom we had originally proposed to have speak at the 2012 National Goat Expo, we did arrange a very meaningful and well-received Educational Seminar Series. One of our invited speakers, unfortunately, was called to active duty shortly before the start of the 2012 National Goat Expo. Another scheduled speaker retired but did not notify anyone of that fact, and we did not have adequate time to identify a suitable replacement. One key decision that greatly aided in keeping down costs was to require all speakers who flew to the 2012 National Goat Expo to purchase their airplane ticket through a travel agency contracted through the principal investigator’s employer. Travel dates were closely controlled, and only economy class tickets were purchased. We charged $5 per seminar, or attendees could purchase an “all seminar pass” for $25. Some attendees complained that they had to pay to listen to the seminar speakers, but most attendees commented that this was one of the best educational bargains they’d ever experienced. Requiring tickets greatly increased the number of people who were needed, both to sell the tickets as well as to take tickets at the door. Some of the seminars were held at the same time as one or more of the breed shows, and attendees expressed frustration that two events were being held simultaneously. For many in attendance, showing was first priority, and attending seminars was second priority. A total of 11 speakers from 7 states gave 25 seminars as part of the formal Educational Seminar Series. Attendance at each educational seminar ranged from a low of 8 attendees (due to a time conflict with a major show) to a high of 53 attendees.