Young goat breeders make their mark

Levens Peebles, 11, and big brother Rance, 15, enjoy hanging out with the goats that they are raising on their own. 

As the excitement of a new year comes to fruition, so does the anticipation and enthusiasm for a long-cherished tradition for Rance and Levens Peebles.

Rance, 15, and Levens, 11, are making a mark in the livestock world with their goat breeding business. The Peebles family lives and ranches on the Kokernot o6 Ranch located between Alpine and Fort Davis, and the boys started raising their goats five years ago.

The boys started with three goats, and now their herd has increased to 25. Rance and Levens call their endeavor Sunset Show Goats, and each will show four goats that they raised.

Proud mother Kyle credits people like Sally Roberts and Andy Prude as instrumental in helping the boys along the way. Kyle said Marathon resident Roberts, who also raises goats, took the boys under her wing and instilled in them the value of a good work ethic, along with the breeding aspect.

The boys have three goats registered with the American Boer Goat Association. A registered goat means the animal must have certain physical characteristics and must be able to breed to a certain standard. The foundation of an animal is studied, and various criteria such as an animal’s foundation, proper toning, and even feet placement count toward the goat’s suitability.

Rance explained, “At the county show, they go by weight, but when you go to larger shows such as San Antonio, Houston, or Fort Worth, they go by weight and breed characteristics.”

Kyle is especially appreciative that her sons get to help other kids who are not able to afford goats, and this comes alive for the Peebles boys who “pay it forward,” and instill the exemplary value of a good work ethic to other youngsters.

Besides the Big Bend Livestock Association Show, the boys have competed in the San Antonio Stock Show. Next year, Rance, who will be a high school senior, plans to show a registered doe, and Levens will have a registered billy that he raised by himself this year.

“The goats do really well out here, so it made it easier for us to raise them,” said Rance. “It’s part of our lives, and something that we enjoy doing. We are grateful to be in the livestock show, and I like to help others and help our goats perform, even if our goats don’t win.”

Kyle credits God and friends, saying, “The boys are not in it for the money. They are here to pay it forward. It’s been rewarding to see how these young people work together, and they have fellowship with other kids.”

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