With a passion for agriculture and people, Alan Wrasman, continues to learn something new every day to make his operation more efficient and successful for his family and his customers. Although he grew up raising and showing cattle and hogs in Ohio, more than 12 years ago he decided to venture into the goat business and started raising Boer goats. Today, Wrasman Family Show Goats, Ottawa, Ohio, is owned and operated by Alan, his wife, Julie and their children, Ty, Landry and Kassandra.
Wrasman said his primary focus is to produce show market wethers and does for young exhibitors for local county fairs in his area – northwest Ohio. He is happy with the success his customers have achieved over the years and continues to strive to produce the best stock available to them through his herd of goats, which currently includes 65 does. About four years ago, he started investing in some embryos and with the work of veterinarian Rachael Weiss of Applied Reproductive Concepts in Pennsylvania, started putting embryos into some of his does.
During his first year of embryo transfer and A.I. breeding on part of his herd, he only reached about 50% conception. That’s when Wrasman started seeking some outside nutrition advice. He appreciates his local feed dealer Steve Herbert with Herbert Show Feeds in Fort Jennings, Ohio for steering in him in the right direction.
“My feed dealer does an excellent job. He recommends good products and always answers questions about feed ingredients and products,” Wrasman said.
One of those products that Wrasman started using in his herd that has made a significant difference is DuraFerm® Goat Concept•Aid®. Since he started feeding the free-choice vitamin and mineral supplement three years ago, his conception rates have increased. He has noticed the biggest boost in the conception rates in those that he uses advanced reproductive technologies on.
“In our natural breeding, and especially with our E.T. program, we’ve seen higher conception rates by using the DuraFerm Goat Concept•Aid. We’ve seen our embryo conception rates go up at least 25%,” Wrasman said.
DuraFerm Goat Concept•Aid, made by BioZyme® Inc., provides the balanced levels of vitamin and minerals required for growth, breeding and kidding while supporting the immune system for maintaining herd health. It contains organic zinc, copper and manganese, selenium yeast and high levels of vitamin E to support maximum reproduction and health. Another key ingredient is the precision prebiotic Amaferm®, designed to enhance digestibility by amplifying nutrient supply for maximum performance. It is research-proven to increase the energy available to the animal resulting in more milk production as well as the ability to initiate and maintain pregnancy and fertility.
Wrasman said he makes sure his does have access to DuraFerm Goat Concept•Aid year-round, to support their overall health and help with their fertility. He’s also discovered another BioZyme product to aid their kids at weaning time. Vita Charge® Liquid Boost® is a liquid supplement for all species that supports digestive health and promotes feed and water intake during times of stress and recovery. It contains Amaferm, but also contains MOS to trap bad bacteria limiting their ability to do harm.
“Liquid Boost helps alleviate signs of stress associated with weaning. It helps transition the kids off of nursing their mothers and onto their own feed. I feel like it helps the stress factor a lot,” he said.
With oldest son, Ty, showing his first market goats this year, the family also found Liquid Boost to be a valuable supplement when preparing animals to show. Increased exercise regimens about 10 days before each show adds stress to the does and wethers Ty showed, and using Liquid Boost during that time helped with that added stress.
“We’re running and walking them pretty hard the 10 days before the show. If we want them to act like an athlete, we’ve got to treat them like one, too,” Wrasman said about giving the show goats the Liquid Boost.
Regardless if he’s improving his herd genetics or helping customers or his son with their show prospects, Wrasman continues to cultivate relationships and learn on a daily basis. It’s part of the passion he has for the livestock and the customers he sells to through his spring sale each year. It’s part of the reason he’s found a mineral program that helps increase his conception rates and keep his herd healthy.
“Twelve years in, and I’m still learning,” he said.
That’s an important lesson for everyone with a passion for our industry. Continue to learn. Continue to grow. Continue to thrive.