Sara Drake column: At the Dairy Goat Show
This is the fourth year that the Rowan County Fair has hosted an American Dairy Goat Association (ADGA) sanctioned Dairy Goat show. With over 160 entries, the showmanship contest was held on Friday evening, with the show on Saturday.
Jackson Noble from J&M Hideaway Farm has been raising Nubian dairy goats and showing them since 2011. His passion for helping others learn about the dairy industry has inspired him to one day become a sanctioned dairy goat judge.
To become a judge, one must attend a week-long training camp. During this week, you must judge multiple classes and breeds of dairy goats that have been pre-placed. You must also give written and oral reasons and take a test. Once you have successfully completed this process, you can apprentice judge, which means that you can judge shows with less than 200 entries. Judges must be recertified every two years.
Noble served as the judge for the dairy goat showmanship competition. There is a dairy goat scorecard for judging showmanship. The judge evaluates the showman’s skill inside the ring (50 percent of the score), the appearance of the animal (40 percent of the score), and then appearance of the exhibitor (10 percent of the score).
During the showmanship competition, youth were divided into four age categories: Peewee (8 and under), Junior (ages 9-12), Intermediate (ages 13-15), and Senior (ages 16-19). There were 12 participants in the peewee division. Placing first through fifth were Grayce Moore, Mia Baysinger, Austin Seitz, Sam Scoggins and Lucy Moore, respectively. In the junior division, there were six participants. Madison Seitz, Amelia Baysinger, J.D.Baysinger, Kaitlyn Seitz and Zane McKinney placed first through fifth, respectively. In the intermediate division, Madison Noble placed first, followed by Casey Bright, Maggie Arnold and Caleb Arnold.
Saturday began with the Junior Dairy Goat Show, followed by the Senior Dairy Goat Show, and then the Dairy Goat Dress-up. Both shows were divided by breed. There are eight different dairy goat breeds — Alpine, LaMancha, Nigerian Dwarf, Nubian, Oberhasli, Saanen, Sable and Toggenburg. Six of the eight breeds were represented at the show.
A recorded grade is also recognized. A dairy goat showing in this category is any goat with only one registered parent or a goat with parents who are both registered, but are of different breeds. Based on numbers at the national level, the most popular breeds are Nigerian Dwarf and Nubian.
The judge for the dairy goat show was Cullen Owen from Marshall. His farm, Spinning Spider Creamery, raises Alpines and Saanens. Owen has been judging since 2009 and judged Rowan County’s first dairy goat show four years ago. While judging the classes, he used the dairy goat score card and evaluated each goat based on its mammary system (35 percent of score), general appearance (35 percent of score), dairy strength (20 percent of score), and body capacity (10 percent of score).
The Junior Doe of Show was exhibited by Cool Springs Farm. The Best Doe in Show was exhibited by Sunrise Farm.
After the show, Owen commented that the Rowan County Dairy Goat Show was a “lovely show, with a great group of exhibitors and animals. This is what you want a county fair to be.”
The Dairy Goat Dress-Up had seven entries and was judged by audience applause. Grayce and Kaitlin Moore’s theme of “Save the Udders” in honor of their grandmom and nanny placed first, followed by the Goat Minions of J&M Hideaway Farm in second, and Laney and Lucy Moore with their Lil’ Mountain Monsters in third.
Sara Drake is an Extension Agent, 4-H Youth Development, in Rowan County. Call 704-216-8970.