Anna the Goat Joins Penny with Her Thoughts

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Penny Jo Barr shows her goat and best friend Anna to Linda Myers, Program Technician, Pueblo County Colorado FSA.

Pueblo County Colorado FSA Office Greets Precocious Guests

By Brenda Carlson, Public Affairs Specialist, FSA Office of External Affairs

Penny Barr recently brought Anna to the FSA County Office.  Anna (pronounced ah-nuh after Penny’s favorite character from the movie Frozen) is a goat.  Penny Barr is three and a half and her other “buddies” are the employees at the local FSA office.

“Penny got her goat as a Christmas gift and it was just recently broke to lead and she wanted in the worst way to bring it to town and show the gals at FSA,” said Justin Barr, Penny’s father. “I asked her if she wanted to come with me to FSA and she said yes, ‘can we take Anna?’”

According to Megan Toney, Pueblo County FSA Program Technician, Penny and her younger sister often accompany their dad to the office when he conducts FSA business related to his livestock and row crop operation.

“Penny is quite popular here at the office,” said Toney. “It was a pleasant surprise when she brought her goat in to see us. The goat rode the elevator up and then roamed the halls of FSA and NRCS with Penny in tow.”

Penny is no stranger to agriculture. Her grandpa raises club lambs and in addition to Anna the goat, Penny has a ewe that just recently had lambs.  Apparently, the ewe and her lambs are next on the list of guests that Penny would like to take to visit FSA. Penny can’t wait until she’s big enough to show off her companions at a county fair.

“Seeing Penny so excited about her animals brings back a lot of memories for me,” said Justin. “We didn’t care about how much the animals cost, they were our best friends and that’s what I want to pass along to Penny–do it because you like it not for money or anything else.”

When asked what she likes best about Anna, Penny quickly replies, “playing with her.” And when asked about her visit to FSA, she said, “it was good;” she liked to see the “FSA ladies.”

As long-standing observers of agriculture in the U.S., FSA employees see many things unique about rural life. They also see that agriculture is big business with all of the trials and tribulations of an industry mired in factors beyond their control, like weather and market fluctuations.  It’s also labor and capital intensive.  So, when life bogs down in the business end of things, it’s good to have a Penny with her thoughts… and her best friend Anna… to put things back into perspective.  It takes a Penny to remind us that the really important things in production agriculture–family, tradition, quality of life and of course… the next generation of farmers and ranchers – are the real values we cherish.

It would be fortunate for every FSA County Office to find a Penny as a constant reminder.

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