Susquehanna County 4H member Ryan Wright and Bolt did very well in Monday’s Market Goat Showmanship division at the PA Farm Show, allowing them to advance to the Youth Livestock Auction the next day.
Story and photo by Rick Hiduk
(Originally published in the Susquehanna County Independent)
Ryan Wright has been showing animals with Elk Mountain Community 4-H Club since he was seven, starting with pigs for the first two years. Eleventh month-old Bolt, an 86-pound market goat, showed very well for him at the Pennsylvania Farm Show in Harrisburg on Monday, garnering 3rd in Class in the lightweight category and a 9th in Showmanship for handlers 15 to 16 years old.
Ryan felt that Bolt was his best chance out of 15 goats on the family farm, even though he describes the bovine as a “scaredy cat.”
“They all have different personalities,” Ryan remarked. He should know. His family breeds goats on the family farm outside of Factoryville. Ryan is the 16-year old son of Greg and Joanne Wright.
“He’s been very good about letting people pet him as he goes by,” his girlfriend Holly Harvatine, a junior at Mountain View High School. She has shown cows at the Farm Show, but took a break from that this year to serve as part of Ryan’s “support team” that included Joanne.
Ryan has also done well with his goats at the Harford Fair, most recently receiving awards for Champion Homebred and Reserve Champion.
Since Bolt finished in the top five, Ryan was prepared to say “goodbye” to his winner on January 10 when he would be shown for a final time at the Youth Livestock Auction. Nearly all of the animals sold at the popular event will go directly into a truck and on to a meat processor and on to a food bank to help residents of Susquehanna County in need. It is not unusual for those in the winners circle to fetch high prices from local businesses and corporations who want to reward the youths for their efforts and encourage them to continue their interests in agriculture.
Coterra Energy bought Ryan’s goat for $500.
Ryan considers farming to be in his blood and can certainly see himself continue raising animals with his family at Interstate Livestock.