Dairy Goats get NO respect !!

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I know that most folks don't really understand the differences between meat goats and recreational goats and diary breeds. I can understand that, but....

This year at our little county fair- the county extention folks lined up the Sheep judge to judge our dairy goats. I worried some when I heard this -but it was too late to do anything about it by fair time.

Sooooo, the goat showing classes began. The showmanship class was first. Everything seemsed to be okay- and my three children did a terrific job keeping the goats set up, keeping the goats between the judge and themselves, etc... When the judge came over to each child- he seemed to be measuring the goats with his hands, and only spoke momentariy with each child, then it was over. That was it! It took under 10 minutes for the whole showmanship class- granted there weren't too many children with goats to show, but the judge only asked ONE question to all the children. He never looked the goats over for proper trimming or cleaning. He did not ask any questions about goat anatomy parts, or different breeds, or ANYTHING! After the show I asked my children what it was he asked them each. They said: all he wanted to know was how much we feed them each day AARRGGHHH! Now, understand, my children won Grand Champ, Reserve Champ, and third place...so I am not a disgruntled parent about "ribbons, etc..." I am disgruntled because this "judge" did not ask a single thing related to dairyness, goat parts, milking, showmanship and how to work with a goat in the showring, etc... Things all the kids were to study hard and learn about -in relation to their DAIRY projects. He talked about muscles and well sprung ribs in his ending comments. There was no "Best of Show" class either...someone forgot. In the mixed breed class he chose a chunky/heavier boned, unclipped Boer mix over three other dainty, well groomed, smooth necked, nice toplined, diary does.... .

Understand too that our goat show was given a whopping 30 minutes total in the show ring... The Sheep show was directly following.

There was no photo taken for the local paper- all the other 4H livestock (make that... market) show received huge coverage. Our "Goat Show Results" column was less than 2 inches wide and three inches long- that's it.

The Dairy cow 4Hers received some nice gifts since (as the paper put it) these kids care for these projects for years and don't sell their animals. Our goat kids got nothing. At the end of week awards gathering our goat children were accidentally overlooked too. Dairy cow 4H kids, horse 4H kids, and all the market animal kids all were applauded. No one remembered to mention our children.

Sheesh! This is going to make getting the children ready for next years show a bit harder since no one remembers they exist!

Thanks, and any input is welcome. Monday I am going in to speak to the County Extention Agent. I want to be firm but not whiney. We came home with some big ribbons...but I really wished that this "Judge" had challenged my children so that they could feel that their multi year commitment/knowledge to these dairy projects was recognised because thses kids knowledge would have shone brightly.

-- Wendy Hannum SE Ohio (Wendy@skywardinternet.com), August 24, 2002


Sorry that the font went wonky in my post above ... It shows up huge on my computer screen about halfway through. I have no clue why it showed up that way. Maybe I hit a key on accident???

-- Wendy Hannum (wendy@skywardinternet.com), August 24, 2002.

Our county fair was the same way... Had I been showing there I'd have been mighty ticked!! IMHO, exhibitors deserve to know why doe A is placing above doe B, and the reasons should be valid. We saw the same baloney here, and it drove me mad just to see her place them according to size, or which doe had the biggest teats and was hence easiest to milk, etc. Can you tell I am still fuming over it.. We are hoping to get a real show with a real judge next year... Complain to the fair superintendents, get a seasoned goat breeder to judge next time if a real judge is not possible.

Also- how many goats were in the show? If there are just five, the fair managers are not going to take them seriously. You need numbers, and it helps if thgoat breeders themselves take their animals seriously. If it is a few nice animals and several more 'nannies' with drooping udders and shaggy coats it is hard to convince them that goats are a real type of livestock and not just smelly pets.

-- Rebekah (daniel1@itss.net), August 27, 2002.

Rebekah is right numbers draw attention. The more goats there the more they will be noticed. Is it the Fair Board or a single person in charge? How about being the new Goat Supervisor? ( Those jobs are realy easy to get and hard to get rid of. ) Just keep working with them it can get much better.

-- bergy (bbergbower@hotmail.com), September 03, 2002.

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