The Roosevelt County Fair goat shows are growing, and participants say it’s fun, hard work and a learning experience.
The fair features several goat shows, and Superintendent Rod Savage said entries were up a little compared to last year. With the goat project being only 6 or 7 years old in the county, he said, it’s taken time for people to learn about and acquire a taste for it.
Bryce Derrer, 10, who lives near Portales, showed for the first time this year. After placing third in the County-Bred Goat show, which aims to recognize Roosevelt County goat breeders, he said he thought good showmanship allowed him to win the ribbon.
Bryce said he was nervous before the show but felt good about how he did. Raising goats is “hard work, but it’s going to be fun,” he said.
Bryce’s mother, Victoria Derrer, said the family decided together to get goats and raised them from the time the animals were kids.
“I’m glad he’s having fun, and the most important thing is that he’s learning,” she said.
Derrer said her son learned responsibility and the process of raising goats from breeding to showing.
“It’s really been a wonderful family project, something we can all do and enjoy and learn at the same time,” she said.
Savage said goats are judged on confirmation, including muscle, fat covering and skeletal structure.
Roosevelt County has a good junior livestock program with youth who have a strong work ethic, high morals and courteous behavior, he said.
“It’s not about winning the trophy,” Savage said. “It’s about building character.”
Raising animals lets students practice independent thinking as they make management decisions and responsibility as they care for the animals every day, he said. Savage said youth also learn social skills and how to cooperate with others.
Another first-year goat show participant, 9-year-old Kaitlyn Kircher, won first place in both the First-Year Feeders Show, open to students showing goats for the first time, and the County-Bred Goat Show.
“I think I pushed hard, and I think I got some pretty good help,” she said of what allowed her to win.
Kaitlyn said she learned showing goats is a little difficult but can be fun.