Goat Show more than competition, it’s an act of service

By Hannah White
PeeDeePost.com

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ELLERBE — Hard work, patience, responsibility, and sportsmanship; these were the values that shined through all of the 4-H’ers competing on Saturday in the Richmond County Goat Show.

Hannah White | PeeDeePost.com

Hannah White | PeeDeePost.com

Fifteen of the participants were members of the Richmond County 4-H Livestock Club, and it was evident that this group of young people was up to the challenge that the day brought. The event is one of the largest of its kind in North Carolina.

There are two forms of competitions in a goat show Laura Grier, Richmond County’s extension agent for 4-H youth development, explained.

“The first is the showmanship category where the competitors are judged on how the present their goat and how they present themselves to the judge. The second form is the livestock category where the goat itself is judged.”

In the senior showmanship class, Jordan Carroll of Ellerbe placed first, and in the intermediate showmanship class, Coleman Berry, also of Ellerbe, placed third.

Hannah White | PeeDeePost.com

Hannah White | PeeDeePost.com

The hard work that both of these young men put into preparing for this show paid off. Berry’s father, Lee, explained that the shows run on a point based system. First place gets 15 points, and each place drops by two points until fifth place. Everyone behind fifth place gets five points. Coleman has been very successful on the show circuit this year, leading the points race up until today. He has also been given a loan from the Farm Service Agency to help with his competition expenses.

Jessica Hamilton and Hattie Reep are the leaders of the Richmond County Livestock club.

“This is a healthy competition for the kids, it teaches them to lose” said Hamilton.

This is a summer long project that the kids work on, she also explained.  It takes a lot of time to prepare a goat for the show ring, and according to Hamilton “what you put in is what you get out.”

Photo by Tom MacCallum Ellerbe Mayor Lee Berry, left, fixes a sandwich from American Legion Post 147's concession stand Saturday at the 2014 Richmond County 4-H Goat Show at Dale DeWitt's farm off N.C. 73 East. DeWitt provides space for the show each year under his huge hay shed.

Photo by Tom MacCallum
Ellerbe Mayor Lee Berry, left, fixes a sandwich from American Legion Post 147’s concession stand Saturday at the 2014 Richmond County 4-H Goat Show at Dale DeWitt’s farm off N.C. 73 East. DeWitt provides space for the show each year under his huge hay shed.

After the showmanship competition ended a special competition called the Pee Wee segment took place. Older members of the Richmond County Livestock club came in and helped the youngsters there watching into the ring so that they could get a feel for goat showing. Under the watchful eyes of the older members these kids took the reins and paraded their goat around the ring. This is what 4-H is all about. Even on a competition day the members of the Livestock Club offered up their time to volunteer with the younger kids. 4-H is about service, and the members exemplified that.

Hannah White | PeeDeePost.com

Hannah White | PeeDeePost.com

The judge, John Barnes of Johnston County, commented on how inspiring it was to see kids so young in the ring. He encouraged them to watch their elder counterparts, so that they too could compete one day. The younger that kids are when they get involved the more they will get out of a program like 4-H.

The Richmond County Goat Show started in 2002 at the Hamlet fairgrounds, said John McInnis.  The show continued there until 2005, and then it was moved to Dale DeWitt’s farm just off of Highway 73 near Ellerbe. All of those involved in the show from the directors, to the competitors, to the parents were thankful to DeWitt for being a gracious host.

Anyone who wants to get involved in 4-H livestock is able to so. There are no requirements other than being an active member of a 4-H club and be between the ages of 5 and 18. 4-H teaches life skills to kids that will help prepare them for a bright future. The members of Richmond County’s Livestock Club represented themselves and their community in an outstanding manner, of which they can be proud.

Hannah White | PeeDeePost.com

Hannah White | PeeDeePost.com

Filed in: Farm & Ag, Featured News, Latest Headlines, News

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