Friday, July 16, 2010

Junior Livestock Show: Dairy Goat Wrap Up

By: Erin Crissman, Curator

I know about dairy goats! Frankly, I would have never guessed that dairy goats would ever occupy even a small part of my brain. However, I am so happy to have spent two days in the dairy goat ring at The Farmers' Museum's 63rd Annual Junior Livestock Show.  The kids and their animals were so impressive.  It was a pleasure and a privlidge to pass out ribbons to all of the participants.  After two days, I felt like a parent proudly watching their children at the Parade of Champions at the end of the show.  I updated Facebook fans with some pictures along the way.  Here are some more pictures of me handing out ribbons, as well as some of the kids with their goats.

The very first class of the show is Novice Showman. These are kids who have never shown an animal before. Judge Carri Batt was wonderful. She helped the participants learn about how to show their animals, always put the animal between you and the judge, smile, make sure you look at the judge, and never cross behind your animal - always in front!

Here is novice showman Jasmine Wheatley with her Nubian named Caramel.

Each class for Showmanship (based on age) and for each breed received a Grand Champion and a Reserve Grand Champion.

Here's me handing out ribbons. At first I was very confused about who got what ribbon. By the end of the two days, my ribbon partner Sarah and I had it all figured out. This goat is called a LaMancha.  They don't really have ears.  They are also the only American breed of dairy goat. (See, I learned some stuff!)

When the kids and their animals entered the ring, they walked their animals around so that the judge could see them.  She would eventually tell them to stop and each kid would "set" their animal so that its legs and head were positioned appropriately.

The whole show was very educational for me and good for my soul. I saw kids helping each other and showing pride in their animals and in their work in breeding and raising them. It was amazing. 

Secretly, this was the best part. Who cares about all of the dairy goat breed details when you can see this?

Here is Evy Crumb of Nobarn Farm with her Nigerian Dwarf:

And Judge Carri Batt attempting to evaluate the animal. It was the only one in its class, so automatically received the grand champion. She (the goat, not the judge) was very feisty and would not stand still for evaluation, so Carri just picked her up. Later, on the microphone, she described why this little Nigerian was deserving of a ribbon and added "superior snugability" at the end of her comments.

I agree that this goat does, indeed, have "superior snugability."

I can't wait for next year!

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