LA GARITA — Just around the bend on a dusty dirt road, John and Jeri Trujillo are doing what they first started out to do on their wedding day — caring for kids of both the human and the animal kind.
At their La Garita ranch, Rancho de Animales, the Trujillo’s raise three breeds of purebred goats: Alpine, La Mancha and Nubians. “It is a job that goes for 365 days a year,” Jeri, a longtime teacher at Mountain Valley and Center Schools said.
“We received two goats as a wedding present almost 32 years ago. From that we have approximately 50 at the present time.”
Thirty years ago, the Trujillo’s daughter, Sarah, joined 4-H and continued through the age of 18, when she aged out of 4-H. Her sons continued the tradition.
Mason later aged out of 4-H as well and went off to college. Their second grandson, Johnnie Torr, has carried on the tradition and “is continuing with our love of the goats,” Trujillo commented. As their farm manager, Johnnie helps milk and care for the goats as well as oversees their showings for competitions.
“Johnnie manages our breeding program and has a third of the say in the management of our ranch,” Trujillo explained. “He shows goats all over Colorado and Wyoming.” Torr’s most recent dairy goat show was held through 4-H at the San Luis Valley Fair in Monte Vista Sunday, where he won many ribbons.
On the ranch, the Trujillos work approximately 365 days a year, feeding, watering, milking and generally taking care of the goats. The milking goats take a breather from mid-December until February when they kid out (have their babies) again.
Jeri, after retiring from teaching, decided to make use of all of the goat milk and started a business making goat milk lotion and soap as well as goat milk fudge (including a low-sugar variety for diabetics). They sell their wares at the farmers markets in Monte Vista and Alamosa and also at the many festivals held in the Valley throughout the year.
Jeri also offers handmade jewelry for sale along with her goat products.
Senior placings in the Aug. 4 dairy goat competition
The following Saguache County 4-H members, senior division, placed in the dairy goat show Sunday Aug. 4 in Monte Vista.
Senior winners: Alyssa Tipsword, Grand Champion; Johnnie Torr, Reserve Champion
Alpine milking — 1 under 2: Goat Daisy, Alyssa Tipsword, first
Alpine Milking — 2 under 3: Johnnie Torr, first with goat Dusty, third with goat Zaz; Alyssa Tipsword, second with goat Apache and Westlea Tipsword, fourth with goat Izzy.
Alpine Milking — 3 Under 5: Johnnie Torr, first, goat Sangria
Alpine Milking — 5 and Older: Johnnie Torr, first, goat Bijoux
Alpine Milkers — Best of Breed: Johnnie Torr, Grand Champion, goats Bijoux and Dusty
Nigerian Dwarf Milkers — 3 Under 5 (and) Best of Breed: Alyssa Tipsword, goat Zodiac, Grand Champion
Nubian Milkers — 2 and 3: Johnnie Torr, first place, goat Snowflake; second place goat Francois
Nubian Milkers — 3 under 5: Alyssa Tipsword, goat Rumor, first
Nubian Milkers, Best of Breed: Johnnie Torr, goat Snowflake, Grand Champion; Alyssa Tipsword, goat Rumor, Reserve Champion
Grade Milkers — 1 under 2: Alyssa Tipsword, goat Ying, first; Addison Mondragon, goat Dutch, second
Grade Milkers — 2 under 3: Alyssa Tipsword, first place, goat Dawn
Grade Milkers — 3 under 5: Alyssa Tipsword, goats Caramel and Milkshake, first and second place; Gabriel Tipsword, goat Swiss Cheese, third place
Grade Milkers - Best of Breed: Alyssa Tipsword, goats Caramel and Milkshake, Grand and Reserve Champions
Best Senior Goat of Show – 1st and 2nd: Johnnie Torr, goats Snowflake and Bijoux, Grand and Reserve Champions
Best Udder Overall: Alyssa Tipsword, goat Ying, first place; Johnnie Torr, goat Snowflake, second place
Dam and Daughter: Alyssa Tipsword, goats Caramel and Milkshake, first place
Dairy Herd: Johnnie Torr, goat Alpine, first place
Milking Competition: Johnnie Torr, goat Bijoux, Grand Champion; Westlea Tipsword, goat Izzy, Reserve Champion; Alyssa Tipsword, goat Milkshake, third place
(Junior goat show winners will be listed next week).