Gorham sisters Emily (left) and Sarah (right) flank mentor and Borderline Livestock and Community 4-H Club adviser Jill Kutz after their wins at the Pennsylvania Farm Show. Above, Tristan Rozelle of South Montrose shows Kiara.
Story by Rick Hiduk / Submitted photos
(Originally published in the Susquehanna County Independent)
Borderline Livestock and Community 4-H Club adviser Jill Kutz escorted five youths and 11 goats to the Pennsylvania Farm Show this year. All of them enjoyed success in the ring, even if it was just the opportunity to be in front of an audience and judges with livestock and learn from the experience. Additionally, they had some extra time to explore the largest farm show in America and volunteer in an educational booth called Promote the Goat.
Participants included Emily and Sarah Gorham, daughters of Luke and Ann Gorham, who are sophomores at Blue Ridge High School and have been showing goats with 4-H for many years. Tristan Rozelle is a junior at Montrose High School, the son of Mark and Stephanie Rozelle of South Montrose, and a first-year shower at the Farm Show. Caitlan Demerest is the daughter of Missy and Stephen Demerest, Jr. and a third-grader at Choconut Elementary School. It was her second time at the Farm Show, having showed in the open class in 2023, but her first year bringing her younger sister, Kylie, into the fold. Four-year-old Kylie participated as an honorary Cloverbud showing in the open class.
Sarah expressed confidence as she and the others did some last minute finishing on their goats that their combination of previous showmanship and knowledge of the animals they were prepping would work in their favor. “The judges we have encountered so far are very nice,” Emily added. “Their main goal is to help us and make sure we have a good time and that the show runs smoothly.”
The appearance of the goat is always important to the judges, of course, but the way the youths present themselves is equally significant, especially in the showmanship contests where Emily and Sarah clinched the top spots, garnering first- and second-place, respectively in the Intermediate II class. Prizes are awarded in various ways by class, division, age-group, etc. A loss by a few points in one category can easily be followed by a win in another. The goats were primarily Lamanchas and Toggenburghs, the former known for their long faces and gopher- or elf-like ears, and the latter familiar for their robust, wedge-shaped bodies.
On their first day at the Farm Show, Emily was showing a two-year-old Lamancha named Ellen, and Sarah was showing a Lamancha named Lena, an 18-month-old.
“She’s experienced in the ring, so that helps,” Emily said of Ellen. “She is also a very long goat which is good in this type of class.
As the oldest of the bunch at 18, Tristan was showing a 12-year-old Lamancha named Kiara in the senior division. “She’s calm and well-behaved,” he said of Kiara. “She has beautiful color and pattern and soft fir.”
Jill sat with Caitlan as Tristan entered the ring to help her better understand what the judges were looking for. Caitlan, in turn, gave her little sister advice on how to posture her goat in the ring. Kutz noted that the national-level judges take each youth aside to ask questions to see what they know about their goats, such as their birth dates, their diets, and their lactation cycle.
Tristan finished fifth in his first round of showmanship and fourth for his second time in the ring, and Kiara took a second place for him in her class. Tristan suggested that she could have been first had she not been dry. “It was definitely fun,” he said of his time in the ring. “I’d like to learn from it and do better next time.”
Caitlan showed Stripie, a two-year-old alpine. “Sometimes she can be a little snooty,” Caitlan said of the goat. “But I like how she sets up and how wide she is.” Caitlan finished fourth in showmanship in the junior 4-H class, and Stripie was fifth out of seven in the under 2 years milking class.
Kutz noted that they had more dry than milking goats with them this year because heavy wet snow the morning that they were preparing for the Farm Show prevented them from using their larger trailer. “We couldn’t bring the milkers because we couldn’t bring their babies,” she related.
Kutz, the youths and several of their family members spent the better part of two days in the Small Arena and the adjacent pen area. Their wins were too numerous to list in one story, but some of the other highlights included: Lamancha Lena (shown by Sarah) taking a first in the under 2 milking class; Lamancha Gin (shown by Sarah) garnering Reserve Jr. Champion in the Lamancha 4-H show; and Stripie, Waddles and Toggie (all shown by Caitlan) earning firsts in various rounds. With assistance from the older girls, Kylie placed ninth out of 15 in showmanship, leading does Bella and Brenda around the ring.
Lineage plays a role in the competitions as well, with mothers, daughters and cousins from Kutz’s herd winning in various combinations. Kutz showed in the open classes and took first with Evanka in the over 5 year class, as well as Reserve Sr. Champion of the Recorded Breed. In the special dairy goat classes, Evanka was second out of 16 in the Best Doe Breed owned by the exhibitor. Evanka and daughter, Everdeen, also took second of 13 pairs in the dam and daughter class.
Kutz commented that some new techniques that the youths had learned over the summer had certainly paid off for them. Readers with an interest in dairy goats and/or participation in 4-H are welcome to contact Jill Kutz at 607-237-6053. The Borderline 4-H Livestock & Community Club meets monthly throughout the year in Montrose.
Borderline 4-H Livestock & Community Club members work together in the Promote the Goat pen after finishing their own goat showing.