Weld County Fair Goat Show highlights rising popularity of goat-showing
For more Weld County Fair activities
For more information and to see a schedule of events for this year’s Weld County Fair, go to http://www.weldcountyfair.com/
Karsyn Fetzer is the only fourth-grader at Platte Valley Elementary School in Kersey who shows goats.
Her four-legged protégés are a hit at sleepovers, and a few friends have come along for shows in the past, but Karsyn’s hobby is very different from those of most 9-year-olds.
“It’s cool doing something so different,” Karsyn said Sunday before the Weld County Fair Boer Goat Show at the Island Grove Regional Park Event Center.
Though goat-showing is a unique hobby around her friends, Karsyn’s two older siblings also show goats, and her mother, Jennifer Fetzer, is on the board of the Weld County Meat Goat Breeders.
Fetzer was an integral part of starting the “show series” of goat shows this year. The show series involves more showmanship opportunities, explained Donald Johnston, president of the Weld County Meat Goat Breeders and superintendent of goats for the Weld County Fair.
Johnston and Fetzer worked to make this season more diverse than the past, offering shows for market, breeding and show goats.
Johnston started working with goats in Weld County in 1993, when he said goats started gaining popularity in livestock shows.
This year’s show season started in April and will end Wednesday, culminating in prizes awarded to goat showmen who have competed all summer long.
First place wins a goat stand, show box, blower and clippers to keep their prize-winning goat in show-shape.
Johnston said goat showing became a promising new frontier in the livestock world by the early 2000s.
“Dairy goats have been around for years and years. But the market part of it and the showing meant a new world for goat raising,” Johnston said. “Anybody had a chance to win.”
Johnston said before goat showing became popular, meat goats were sold for $10. Now, goats can range from $75 to $1,000 at high-end breeding goat prices. Even with current market prices, however, raising a goat is more economical than raising cattle or other show animals.
“They are a little less expensive to raise, but what has made them so popular is they’re personal,” Johnston said. “Sometimes you can turn a goat into a dog. People love the personalities.”
Karsyn said her two goats Hershey and Shilo have distinct personalities. “Shilo is a friendly goat. Hershey is a wacko.”
Karsyn walks the goats every day on their collars and lead ropes, but Hershey’s orneriness makes him more difficult to show.
Sunday, Karsyn adjusted a restless 3-month-old Hershey nearly constantly during his showing. Then after wrestling with Hershey, Karsyn sped back to the goat holding pen to present her 7-month-old Shilo.
Both goats earned fifth place in their respective divisions: back-to-back victories for a smiling Karsyn.
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