Wednesday, July 23, 2014

::fair 2014::

Champion junior pygmy wether
I don't make much secret about the fact that I love 4H.
I love the concept, the honest root of the whole idea.  

Learn stuff and grow every year.  
Be nice and play fair.
Hold yourself to a certain standard of behavior and self accountability.   
Work hard and get acknowledge for that work.  

Reality - I work with the goats more than I should.  I stress and fret about cakes that need decorated.  I constantly remind myself - let them do it!  Back off.  Even if they fail the failure is part of the learning experience.  

Two reasons I struggle to back off -
      1.  I want to win.  The competitive crazy person that lives in the part of brain that used to show horses comes out sometimes and wants a blue freaking ribbon.  It makes me talk myself into driving five hours to pick up a goat that is going to win.  It talks me into email breeders and begging them to sell me a winner.  It talks me into spending way too much money on the highest quality I can afford.  I have convinced myself that investing in quality stock is the way to go.  It costs the same to feed a piece of crap as it does to feed quality, but if we are being honest I buy quality because I want to win.   
     2.  I don't want them to fail.  I want them to be happy.  They like to win too!  Emma could not really give much of a rats ass about her goats most of the year.  She doesn't dislike them, but she worked with them less than 15 times total before fair.  She is just a busy teenager with other things to do.  I kept telling myself I wasn't going to pick up her slack.  If her projects where not ready then they just wouldn't be ready.  But I still went out and worked that dairy goat all the time.  I just couldn't let them fail.  I wanted Emma to be happy with her blue ribbon.  Which she was.  

We primarily show pygmy goats.  We always have.  I just love the short little fatties.  They are so cute.  Almost like cartoons - with all the round fatness.   This year we tried two different breeds of goats just to expand our knowledge. 

Lily showed a fainting goat.  You can see it here about peeing on her foot!  It didn't get her, but it cracked me up.  I like fainting goats.  They are hilarious!  They seriously faint - look it up on YouTube.  With all that said - our county does not have a division for fainting goats.  They show in the meat goat category with huge fat meat goats.  It's not a comparing apples to apples.  We will sell this doe this year and buy a wether for next year.  Something cute and hilarious that Lily can show for one year and can then come be a pet on the farm.  Just fainting away periodically to make me laugh. 

 Now here comes my little dairy goat.  Mine Mine Mine.  I pretend that she is Emma's but this is really my baby.  We have a class at our fair where they take the highest placing meat, dairy, and pygmy doe and wether and show them against each other to pick the Supreme Champion.  We have made it to this class one time with a wether we own.  Usually the class is won by a dairy goat or a meat goat.  Pygmy goats rarely win, but it has happened.  So last year Emma and I talked about what breed of dairy we might want to show to try and have a shot at Grand Supreme.   We decided on Nubian.  They are so graceful and elegant.  After lots of research I found a champion breeder that was willing to sell me a baby.  It's actually really difficult to get a doe bred this well.  Wait lists and deposits and long road trips.  Seriously.  I have problems - ok?  We already talked about that.  And this doe defines my crazy exactly.  But - isn't she gorgeous?  I love her.  I work with her all the time.  I groom her constantly.  I enjoy her company.  She is a wonderful little pet.  She and Emma took first in her class, then champion junior Nubian.  They didn't make Grand Champion (the step below supreme) this year, but I feel like this is our best chance in a long time.  And she is going to be providing milk for this family eventually :) 

Then Emma and Lily ended up showing against each other with their two junior pygmy does.  Lily got champion with her Delilah and Emma got reserve champion with Darcy.  Both does shows lots of potential and I am hoping we can keep both for next year.  

Lily showed her little Marshmallow Fluff.  This goat is so special to me.  She is the only pygmy goat I own that I bred and raised.  From a super fancy buck I owned for a few months and a doe my kids used to show.  She is a spoiled little brat from a year where five other babies died and one doe died.  It was such a tough farmer year that she got too much attention.  Thank the lord she is actually a really good looking little doe.  She gets to live out her life with me forever, but its nice that she wins too.  She was a blue ribbon in her class, which was wonderful since this is her yearling year which is usually not a great year for my goats.  They look like awkward teenagers that year. 

The theme was superhero's this year.  So Max had a cape he wore around the whole time.  My goats are used to dealing with his crazy, so they just went with it.  

Emma also showed her senior wether Bo.  He is a really high quality animal but I didn't let him in with the babies to eat himself into show weight in time.  He looked good but not good enough and got a fourth.  Next year he will be back and bringing the heat.   

A big storm rolled in causing the goat show to be delayed.  Max provided entertainment while we all waited in the barn for it to blow over.

Then it was time to show sheep.  Lily really loves to show sheep.  She loves her little sheep, Annabelle and together they are very focused in the ring.  

 And got rewarded for it!
They won first for yearling All Other Breeds.  But they where the only one.
Then they won Champion for All Other Breeds.  
Annabelle was the only babydoll sheep in the group.
Which is a shame.  I think she really does have wonderful confirmation and could give lots of other babydoll's something to compete against.  
I can't wait till the day comes that I have about 10 mama's just like her breeding in my field.  
But I had to give that up for grad school.
Annabelle will be going back to her breeder in the fall to have babies.
They can only show sheep for two years, so we traded Annabelle for a spring lamb.  
The breeder we got her from is so wonderful, she will be well cared for.
But I will miss her pretty face.  
We also traded her with an understanding that if the breeder ever sells her we get first refusals. 

For indoor projects Lily got all blues.
The indoor projects are different.  
If you do the project well you get a blue. 
If you mostly followed the rules but missed some stuff you get a red.
If you did the project better than well you get in Honor Group.  
If you did it the best in your age group you get Champion or Reserve Champion.
If you did it the best in the entire fair you get Grand Champion or Reserve Grand Champion.  
So - on sewing she got a blue on construction and on modeling. 
She made the skirt with my mother.  

This is the purse she made for her Recycling Project.   
It was really good and she put a lot of work into it.

This is the cake she made.
You ice a foam cake form with royal icing.  It dries like cement.  Then we take it to my dad and he sands it down with a belt sander to make it smooth.  
We traced the letters and owl on to the cake from clip art.
Then she filled it in with stars.  
She got blue and honor group with this cake. 

For woodworking she made this game with my father.  My Dad is a master woodworker and she loves learning from him about how to make these things.  He really makes her do the whole thing her self and I love the idea of the two of them working on this.  
She got a blue on it.  

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