Blind date leads to the goat life for Jasper County couple

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Jeremy and Becky Boothe stand with their children, Baylee, 12, and Jonathan, 10, among their 62 goats. Rebecca Haines / CNO

What’s a love story without baby goats?

For the Boothe family, they’re a huge part of life and excellent way to teach hard work, dedication and love to the kids … Their two human kids.

Jeremy and Becky Boothe will celebrate 17 years of marriage this summer, and are planning on another great year helping Baylee, 12, and Jonathan, 10, at the Jasper County Youth Fair with their goat and chicken exhibits. Jeremy says they are “first-generation goat herders,” and have learned a lot since 2019 when the family started with one goat – who had triplets. The Boothes now have 62 goats of Boer and Kiko breeds – many with distinguished personalities.

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“We love people playing with them,” Becky said, particularly with the babies. “They’ll gather around you, jump on you, nibble on you – they’re fun.”

“Except when they try to eat your hair,” Baylee chimed in.

It’s a team effort – and quite the balancing act – between the farm, two kids and two working parents who love each other … a marriage they say has been enriched with time and experiences.

“We make date nights happen, but what I love most about him is that he’s an amazing dad,” Becky said of her husband. “It just makes him a million times more attractive – but I love everything about him.”

Jeremy and Becky, pictured here in 2003, met on a blind date in high school. They’ve been together ever since – this year, celebrating their 17th anniversary. Photo Provided

He kills the spiders, and she keeps everything organized. Even when it’s below zero outside, and the goats need tending to.

“I wouldn’t want to suffer with anyone else,” Jeremy said with a smirk. “Sometimes I just watch her with the kids – she doesn’t know I’m looking. She’s genuine at everything.”

In a season of Valentines, the two paused to remember it all started with a blind date in high school. Jeremy – raised in Carthage – had a mutual friend of Becky, who was raised in Joplin and the two saw a movie together Nov. 3, 2000. Yes, Becky remembers the exact day. She graduated from Galena High School in 2002, and Jeremy graduated from Joplin the same year.

Date after date, the two never saw anyone else. Both were obtaining their college degrees, and everything seemed just about perfect. But after Becky had wisdom teeth surgery, she became septic and battled for her life in a St. Louis hospital. For over a month, Jeremy rarely left her side – he temporarily dropped his classes.

“It’s definably a God thing that I’m here,” Becky said. “We were always happy but that experience brought us closer.”

After Becky recovered, both of them obtained their degrees and were married in 2007. [It was a three-year engagement.] Today, Jeremy works at Dyno and Becky is a medical lab scientist at Mercy Carthage.

It’s a busy season of life, but the Boothes are happily looking to a future full of more memories together.

“We want to better the herd,” Becky said, pausing to laugh and clarify, “for the show goats – set the kids up to succeed at the fair. Some day, get the kids in college so they’ll have a great future.”

Jeremy concluded, “and eventually we’ll retire together.”

In the loving meantime, it’s the goat life for the Boothe family.

The Boothe family welcomes baby goats this time of year on their farm. Rebecca Haines / CNO
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