Showing a goat at the Bartholomew County 4-H Fair comes with a need for plenty of advance preparation.
For 17-year-old Jack Rosenberger, that preparation translated into success after earning the title of grand champion and champion expert in showmanship for the second year in a row.
Rosenberger exhibited his 3½-year-old pygmy goat Lizzie to a crowd of more than 50 people at the fairgrounds pavilion Saturday morning.
The competition featured 150 to 200 animals ranging from pygmy, dairy and meat goats. Rosenberger, who will be a senior at Columbus East High School, said pure luck was also a factor in receiving top honors for the second straight year.
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“We just got lucky in the past with good goats,” he said.
Rosenberger was one of seven 4-Hers selected as expert showmen in eight respective categories during the 2016 fair. The pair of awards “kind of proves how hard you’ve worked,” he said. “It shows the work and everything you’ve put in,” he said.
Rosenberger’s father, Scott, was all smiles as he headed back to the livestock barn with his son and Lizzie with two large purple banners in his hand.
“It makes you feel pretty proud,” he said.
For 18-year-old Morgan Meier, getting ready to showcase her meat goat named Ginger began well before the fair and involved walking and grooming the brown and white animal.
“We’ve been working with her for months,” Meier said.
Meier, a nine-year 4-H’er with the 4-Leaf Lions 4-H Club, said she felt comfortable coming into the competition, although she noted that showing a goat is just one aspect. Having a goat to exhibit at the fair means knowing about the animals and how to feed them, something she studied in advance, she said.
That information was important since a panel of judges will often ask competitors questions about how much each 4-Hers know about the animals, said Meier, of Elizabethtown, who will be a senior at Columbus East.
“It’s a lot of how you present yourself, too,” she said. “Showmanship is important to me, so I want to present myself nicely. It’s a lot of fun to be out there.”
Meier’s father, Mark, said he enjoys coming to the fair and having his daughters compete in the 4-H show. His two other daughters, Peyton and Abby, were also showing their goats.
“I think one of the greatest things of 4-H is learning to be responsible,” he said.
The goat competition is the culmination of hard work for his entire family, who have a total of 12 goats, he said.
“We’ve been blessed to have success in the past,” he said. “It’s a cool family affair.”
Kaitlyn Conrad, a 4-H member with the Kiddin’ Around Goat Club, said there’s always a bit of nervousness entering the show arena, but the competition is a fun way to meet other exhibitors. She has been with 4-H for seven years and is also using this year’s fair to introduce her younger sister Kenna to what showing goats is all about.
Conrad also said she enjoys the atmosphere and camaraderie.
“It’s a good time,” Conrad said. “I think it’s fun to hang out and meet new people.”
That sentiment was also shared by 15-year-old Kennedy Engelau, who resides in Seymour. She was preparing to show off her goat Daisy Duke during the competition and said it didn’t matter how she placed in the end.
“I just like doing it in general,” Engelau said.
Her father, Troy, credited her involvement in 4-H in shaping her as an individual. “It really opened up her mindset and made her more sociable,” he said.
Being responsible is also another value he said his daughter has been able to take away from 4-H, adding that raising Daisy Duke has largely been the 4-Hers responsibility prior to the fair.
“It’s her goat, it’s what she wanted to do,” he said. “I just like seeing her out there having fun.”
SUNDAY, JULY 9 COLUMBUS & HOPE FFA DAY
8 a.m.: 4-H Horse & Pony English Halter & Performance Show, Contesting Show will be after 3 p.m.
12:30 p.m.: Lil’ Wrangler Rabbit Show, Pavilion
1 p.m.: 4-H Rabbit Show, Pavilion
1 p.m.: Baby Personality Contest, Farm Bureau Building
1 p.m.: Columbus FFA Antique Tractor Pull, Grandstand
2 p.m.: 4-H Community, Family Arts and Commercial Buildings Open
5 p.m.: Vesper Services, David Boll Theatre next to Community Building
5 p.m.: Midway opens: $23 wristbands
5 p.m.: Lil’ Hands on the Farm open
6:30 p.m.: Christian Contemporary music from Columbus area youth group, David Boll Theatre
6:30 p.m.: Bartholomew County Farm Stock Tractor Pull, Grandstand
MONDAY, JULY 10 BARTHOLOMEW COUNTY DEMOCRATIC PARTY DAY
1 p.m.: Lil’ Wrangler Swine Show, 4-H Gilt Show, as well as Open Carcass will follow
5 p.m.: Lil’ Hands on the Farm, 4-H Community Building, Family Arts and Commercial Buildings open
5 p.m.: Midway Opens – Dollar Day: $1 per ride
5:30 p.m.: Watermelon Seed Spitting Contest, Farm Bureau Building (registration at 5 p.m.)
7 p.m.: Columbus Clogging Company, Farm Bureau Building
7 p.m.: Columbus City Band, David Boll Theatre
7 p.m.: Truck Drags – Side by Side Dirt Drags, Grandstand