Dairy goat shows are common throughout the country, but the annual Pride of the Plains show at Hillsboro is unique because it is geared toward youth.
The 2009 show was Saturday in Hillsboro. According to co-coordinator Jennifer Stultz of Hillsboro, the show was established five years ago, but this is the first year it was officially sanctioned by the National Dairy Goat Association (NDGA). She said it is the only sanctioned youth show in Kansas.
Stultz said she helped organize the event after the McPherson dairy goat show discontinued. Dairy goat owners around Hillsboro, Goessel, and other areas of central Kansas were looking for a place to show their animals, she said.
The Stultzes have had dairy goats for 20 years.
“All our children grew up with goats,” she said. “They’ve learned responsibility. They are naturally shy, and showing goats has helped them get out in front of people.”
There were 94 entries in Saturday’s show. Participants came from Dodge City, Great Bend, Canton, Valley Center, Goessel, and other small towns.
Of the nine showmanship classes, seven were sanctioned by ADGA: Alpine, LaMancha, Nigerian Dwarf, Nubian, Toggenberg, Oberhasli, and Recorded Grade. Sable and Saanen goats also were shown.
The 21 exhibitors ranged in age from 7-or-younger to 18. Many are members of 4-H clubs, and some compete at state and national levels.
Other activities at the show included a judging contest, management and tool identification contest, doeling (young doe) drawing, and a sealed bid buckling (young buck) auction.
Tickets were available for numerous items awarded through drawings at the end of the show.
Stultz emphasized that, although the event is a youth show, it is a family affair.
“When you see kids with goats, you know there’s a family behind them,” she said.
Stultz is editor of “Dairy Goat Journal,” a bimonthly magazine published in Wisconsin by Countryside Publications, Ltd.
Dairy goat facts
- A female dairy goat is a doe.
- A male dairy goat is a buck.
- Young dairy goats are kids.
- A castrated male is a wether.
- The lifespan of a dairy goat is 8-12 years.
- The gestation period for a kid is five months.
- Kids drink milk for two or three months but begin to eat grass or hay at two weeks old.
- Young does can be bred at 7-10 months of age if they are of good size and condition.
- Goat milk is naturally homogenized.
- Milking goats average three to four quarts in their prime.
- Goat milk has many uses including drinking, cooking, baking, cheese, butter, ice cream, yogurt, candy, soap, and other body products.
- Goat products get their distinctive flavor from three fatty acids: capric, caprylic, and caprioc.