Olga’s goat at the Benton County Fair

Olga and Dulcie's ribbons and Reserve Champion Showman trophy.
Olga and Dulcie’s ribbons and Reserve Champion Showman trophy.

This week is our county fair. It is also over 100 degrees today, which does not bode well for the animals, either here at the farm or in the livestock sheds at the fairgrounds. Thankfully, both locations have plenty of water and people looking out for signs of distress. This morning I couldn’t convince our sow, Littles, to sleep under the shade structure, so I covered her with wet bath towels. She seems happier for it.

Olga answers the judges questions during the 4-H Junior Showmanship class at the 2015 Benton County Fair.
Olga answers the judges questions during the 4-H Junior Showmanship class at the 2015 Benton County Fair.

Back at the fairgrounds, my oldest daughter Olga’s 4-H goat is doing well. I think she enjoys this life of luxury and attention. She is used to ¬†actually having to forage for her own dinner, so having it provided in a tidy little feeder is sort of like getting breakfast in bed all day long. A school group came through this morning to learn about the animals, and Olga taught them a bit about goats and brought Dulcie out for snuggles and scratches.

Olga and Dulcie compete in the Mature Doe class.
Olga and Dulcie compete in the Mature Doe class at the 2015 Benton County Fair.

The 4-H goat show was yesterday morning, and Olga did a great job as a first year exhibitor. 4-H divides kids into three age groups: Junior, Intermediate, and Senior. Olga is a Junior, and for Showmanship classes, kids only compete against kids in their own age group. Showmanship classes judge the child’s knowledge of their animal, husbandry, grooming of the animal, and show etiquette. Olga won Junior Reserve Champion Showman. The breed classes that followed judged the animals on their own physical merit. Because Olga had the only Mini LaMancha entered at the fair, she won by default, but the judge had some lovely things to say about Dulcie despite the lack of competition.

4-H Junior Showmanship Class
4-H Junior Showmanship Class

I also had a few entries of my own at the fair, but I’ll save that for another time.

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