Brooke Slipke of rural Netawaka is shown in the photo above with two of her Nubian dairy goats. June is Dairy Month. (Photo by Brian Sanders)

Slipke enjoys work with dairy goats for 4-H

The 4-H experience is a learning experience, and in the eight years that Brooke Slipke has been involved in raising dairy goats, she has learned a lot.

Slipke, a nine-year member of the North Jackson Jets 4-H club and the daughter of Alan and Phyllis Slipke of Netawaka, has built up a herd of 22 dairy goats, primarily of the Nubian and Saanen breeds, along with a significant amount of knowledge about goat’s milk and the things that can be made with it.

“People with lactose intolerance can drink goat’s milk, if they can’t drink cow’s milk,” she said. “And you can make a lot of things out of it, like soaps and lotions that are really good for your skin.”

But with her busy schedule as a 4-H member and her involvement in other things, whether it’s preparing for the upcoming Jackson County Fair or getting ready for her junior year at Jackson Heights High School, she prefers to leave the milk to the younger goats in the herd — for now. Dairy production, she says, is “definitely” something she wants to do in the future.

“I’m just not sure how far in the future it’s going to be,” Slipke said. “Dairy is a big-time commitment. As every dairy farmer knows, it’s hard to find time to do everything, and with everything else that I’m doing, it’s hard because I don’t want to put the burden of having to milk them onto my family… It’s hard when you’re not at home all the time.”

However, some of the male or “billy” goats that she’s helped bring into the world may be sold to other dairy goat farmers for breeding purposes, and in doing so, she makes her own contribution to the world of dairy goat milk production.

“Every goat matters, because it helps with the industry,” Slipke said. “I feel like I can still contribute to dairy production that way.”

After her first year of working with bucket calves in 4-H, Slipke got involved with dairy goats after noticing the work that older 4-H members were doing with them.

“It just kind of got my interest sparked,” she said. “I started off with two dairy goats, and then I bought two more, and they were both boys, so we bred the girls and I had my first babies.”

For more on this and other stories, please log in to your account and select “June 19, 2024” under “E-Editions.”

The Holton Recorder

109 W. Fourth St.
Holton, KS 66436
Phone: 785-364-3141


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