• Last modified 328 days ago (July 20, 2023)


Fair really gets her goat - in a good way

Staff writer

Happy Hustlers 4-H member Rylee Thomas, 13, has high hopes for performance of her two goats in this year’s Marion County Fair.

Cletus and Norman will be shown the first time at this year’s fair, although she also showed them at the Tri-County Fair.

She also showed horses there, but a schedule conflict prevented her from showing horsemanship at this week’s Marion County Fair.

“I have a bunch of friends who show goats,” Rylee said. “Showing goats is fun for me, so I decided to get some and try it.”

The biggest challenge was trying to get the goats to eat, Rylee said.

To please the picky eaters, Rylee had to add tempting ingredients such as oil. She eventually found a food brand the goats liked. Cletus weighs 96 pounds. Norman, two months younger, weighs 62 pounds.

In preparation for the fair, Rylee went to the home of Jamie Peters to clip the goats so they look their best.

A six-year 4-H member, Rylee plans to continue showing goats.

“I’ve had a lot of success,” she said.

During judging, members hold goats in a “brace” position, with the goat pushed against the members’ fronts and flex the goat’s muscles. Judges feel along their backs and hindquarters to judge how developed their loin and back sides are.

Typically, a judge will ask owners to profile the goats, walking around the show ring.

Rylee’s mother, Megan Thomas, said her children kept record books on their fair entries, although books no longer are required under 4-H rules.

Being involved with the fair and showing off hard work she has done is the best thing about being in 4-H, Rylee said.

But that’s not the only benefit of 4-H. She and her brother, Clayton, 10, enjoy friendships they make, meeting new people, and going to camp.

Now that she’s older, she helps younger 4-Hers with their own projects. She also is treasurer of the county 4-H council.

Last modified July 20, 2023