Being a National Show Superintendent is all about giving back for ABGA member Matt Simmons.
“It makes me happy to be able to give back to the ABGA and my fellow breeders,” he said. “I enjoy and love being a member of the ABGA.”
Matt is also honored. Being a Superintendent was not his idea, he said. “I was contacted and told my name had been brought up and some people felt I would be a good fit,” Matt explained. “I was honored people felt that way.”
He is ready for the National Show and will bring experience to his new position. After 10 years of showing a variety of animals through the 4-H at his county fair, Matt said he joined the board.
“I helped run the fair for 16 years,” he said. “I was the youngest ever to be elected in our county for the fair board.”
4-H also played a role in Matt joining the ABGA. When his time with 4-H was over, he said he wasn’t ready to give up the animals. He went to the local sale barn and bought some sheep. But he quickly discovered sheep were not for him. After selling them, Matt said he bought some goats.
“My family thought I was a little crazy at first, as goats were not a thing in our area, and they were seen as the ‘tin can eating things’,” he explained. “Once the first kidding season happened, the rest of my family started to fall in love with them.”
In 2006, Matt and his brother formed Toby Creek Boers in honor of their late grandmother. After eight years, his brother stepped away, and Matt began the journey on his own.
“It was always a dream and goal of mine to help grow the Boer goats in Nebraska,” Matt added. In late 2015, he met his now wife Morgan, who had always wanted goats and had a close family friend who had raised dairy goats.
“In 2016, we started this wild and crazy journey together,” he said. “In all honesty, she is the biggest driving force with the goats.”
Since Matt also works in Juvenile Services for the Sarpy County Sheriff’s Department, Morgan runs the farm with their nephew Randy. He also goes to most of the shows with them.
“This has been a blessing, because it has allowed me to help out at the shows we go to - either with the check-in process or be in the ring,” Matt explained. “It has been amazing to see something I started in Toby Creek Boers grow into a huge family thing, and I look forward to going to shows.”
In 2018, Matt, Morgan, and family friend Leah TenBensel started the Platte Valley Boer-Nanza LLC. They held their first show a year later and have created a board of 12 members.
“They work hard to put on a weekend of four shows, a sale, and when able, try and host clinics to help grow the knowledge of the Boer goat in Nebraska,” Matt added.
Two years later, the Platte Valley Boer-Nanza along with Levi Dale and Jamie Fugate created the Big Red Buckle Points Series. Matt said it consists of the following shows: Boers on the Loup, MPC Red White and Black Bash, Midwest Producers Classic, and the Platte Valley Boer-Nanza.
Because of this, Matt said the goat show community he spends his time with is more than a community – it’s family. So much so, he and Morgan spent their honeymoon at a goat show in 2021.
“Morgan and I also enjoy helping out and giving back at the local level,” Matt added. His brother started a 4-H group for kids who are unable to have goats on their place. They also started the Toby Creek Clovers 4-H Club. “We are truly excited and blessed to share our love and excitement with others.”
This includes the National Show, which Matt calls a family trip. “We’re excited to see our goat family from across the country.”