The Bergman and Kragt cousins, the grandchildren of Charlotte and Billy Bergman, are among the next generation of Bergman Boar Goat showmen, coming up the ranks within the Delaware County Free Fair system.

The Bergmans sold their goat herd, only to start a new herd for the next generation 

In December, Charlotte Bergman thought her days of raising goats were coming to an end when she sold off more than 40 head. 

Her children were grown and married. Retired from working full-time at Grove [Oklahoma] Public Schools, Charlotte and her husband Billy were considering the next phase of their farm. 

Then their grandchildren spoke. With daughter Jennie moving back to the farm with her small family, and their son Zach’s daughters expressing an interest, the Bergmans operation will now extend into a third generation.

How it began

Charlotte and Billy Bergman married 37 years ago. She was from Southwest City, Mo., he was born and raised on the farm located near Grove High School. 

While their sons, Nick and Garrett, focused other aspects of agriculture, Jennie grew interested in raising and showing goats.

When Jennie faced selling her first show goat at market, the family made the decision to start a breeding operation. 

Thus Bergman Boer Goats was established in 2008. Originally from Africa, Boer goats are raised to produce meat, rather than milk. The Bergmans raise primarily non-registered does and bucks which are geared toward 4-H and FFA show goats. 

They work with genetic partners in southeast Kansas, friends who helped them get established initially and helps them continue to grow.

The Bergmans have a few Lamancha dairy goats, which serve as surrogate mothers when they have a multiple birth. 

Charlotte credits Shane Johnson, a former ag teacher at Grove High School, for helping Jennie get established in the goat business. The youngest of the three, Jennie would often go along with her mother and brothers on their ag trips. Goats were an animal she could handle as a young showman.

“He took Jennie to get her first goat as a Starr 4-H member,” Charlotte recalled. “Anywhere Shane would go, that 4-H kids could go, we would tag along and Jennie would show.”

Charlotte likes goats as a project for students, because anyone can raise a goat – pending city ordinances – regardless of living in a town or in the country. 

In Grove, students are able to contract with ag department to keep their goats, sheep and pigs at the school farm.

Last year, at the age of 2, granddaughter K.K. took part in her first show –  the Delaware County Free Fair. Charlotte joked she led her goat around “like a puppy.” 

In addition to providing goats for her granddaughters, Charlotte also sells her stock to area 4-H and FFA members looking for show animals. She likes helping launch their show careers.

She runs two breeding cycles – winter breeding for December – born and spring breeding for March – born kids. They always try to keep does back, so if something happens they always have something to show. 

The family offers one-on-one show trainings as needed, and in the past have conducted camps for potential showmen. 

The Bergmans feed a “good sweet feed” consisting of 16 percent protein and 4 percent fat. They include Monensin Sodium|Decoquinate, which protects against coccidiosis. They also include a worm regiment, alternating wormers at different times.

The Bergman’s farm consists of 185 acres, and they run black commercial cattle along with the goats. They also grow and raise their own hay and prairie hay. 

“To have goats you have to be dedicated to taking care of it,” Bergman said. “You can’t just buy it, put it in a pen, and not feed it or take care of it and expect to win,” Charlotte said. 

Looking ahead, Charlotte and Jennie are making plans to build up the herd with improved genetics. Charlotte said they will keep going, as long as her grandchildren express an interest in showing. 

“If they love it as much as Jennie, then I’ll do what I can,” Charlotte said. “We’ll keep following the trend to see what they are looking for in the show ring. What worked for a boar goat five years ago, is not what will win now.”

Jennie and Zack Kragt have two daughters Kimberlyn “K.K.” is 3, and Oklynn is 2. Nick and Megan Bergman three children: Riley, 7, Peyton, 4, and Coy who was born in mid May. 

Garrett and Shelby Bergman joke they are raising the next generation of ag students through his job as one of the FFA advisers at Adair County High School.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here