Kid-ding around: Goat club hosts fun events at county fair



The weeks leading up to the Jackson County Fair can be stressful for 4-H’ers who have projects and various commitments.

Then there is the fast-paced week of the fair, when all of the shows take place and time is spent preparing and showing the animals.

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That’s why one club at the fair has a way to loosen up and have some fun in the middle of the week.

On Wednesday, the Mighty Meat Goats 4-H Club staged a goat variety show and goat milk relay that featured club members and local law enforcement.

“I think these events brings the club together and in a way where we’re not being competitive,” said Jessica Sons, who organizes the group and its events. “It brings us all together, and we can relax and have fun.”

The variety show drew several spectators and laughs as goats and their handlers were dressed in themes and made their way around the show arena.

Annabelle Mathena’s goat was dressed as President Donald Trump with a “Make Goats Great Again” gown draped over it.

Vivienne Siefker was dressed as a tourist along with her goat, Agnes, and together, they were “tourists taking selfies.” Siefker wore a grass skirt, a hat, a Hawaiian shirt and sunglasses. Agnes was dressed in similar clothing, had her own sunglasses and a cutout iPhone around her head to show her taking a selfie.

The two won the event.

Hayley Thomas, 17, of Norman brought her goat, Avril, and two small goats for the contest.

Avril literally brought her grand-kids, Apple and Azalia, to the fair in a stroller. Robbie Winks helped push the stroller throughout the arena.

“They really are her grandchildren,” she said. “I really don’t know why I chose this, but it’s something that came to me this morning that was fun.”

The idea is that Avril was bringing her grand-kids for a day at the Jackson County Fair.

Avril even wore a nice blouse, and Apple and Azalia were properly seated in a stroller as they made their way around the arena.

It was a scene many are familiar with at the Jackson County Fair, just with goats.

Thomas has participated in the event a few times and said it is a fun way to enjoy an event at the fair.

“It’s just fun and it gets the group together in a way different than showing,” said Thomas, who shows boer and dairy goats throughout the week at the fair.

She took note of the other goats’ costumes, too, which featured Mary Poppins and other displays.

“The other goats are really cute,” she said.

The goat milk relay also was a hit.

Sons reached out to Jackson County Sheriff’s Department officers Rick Meyer, Adam Nicholson and Dustin Steward to participate. Jackson County 4-H youth development educator Heather VonDielingen also participated.

Each officer was assigned to a group of club members.

Each group took turns milking a goat and collecting the milk in a miniature cup. When they filled the cup, the person sprinted to the other end of the arena and dumped it into a larger plastic cup.

After dumping the milk in, the club member traded places with the one holding the larger cup.

The previous holder of the large cup sprinted back down and repeated the process while continuously rotating places with team members.

Once the large cup was full, the member who last filled it had to drink it all.

The winner was determined by which team completed the process first.

Steward gulped down the milk as soon as it was full.

“I’ve never milked a goat before, and I’ve never tasted goat’s milk,” he said while standing in the arena with a fresh goat milk mustache. “It actually tasted like regular milk, but I honestly drank it too quickly to really think about it.”

Meyer said he had never milked a goat or tasted the milk, either.

Nicholson, stuck in traffic, showed up as the contest ended, to much heckling from Meyer and Steward.

Steward said it was a fun way for officers to spend time around those they serve.

“It really makes it great to get the department involved in the community,” he said. “I didn’t realize I’d be drinking goat milk, though.”

The club hosted the relay last year, but it only involved 4-H members. Sons said she wanted to get law enforcement involved for a little fun and friendly competition.

“I think more people pay attention when officers are involved,” she said. “My husband, Jeremy, was a reserve officer for a long time, and we thought it would be fun.”

Sons said the club members were at a major advantage because they can milk the goats much faster.

“They milk them every day,” she said.

That was evident as the club members quickly zipped through the process.

Goat milk can be consumed or made into soaps and lotions and has other uses. One benefit is that the milk does not contain lactate, so people who are lactose intolerant do not experience difficulties after consuming it, Sons said.

Even though the group aims to have a little fun during fair week to ease the stress, they meet monthly for fun throughout the year.

“Our club likes to do things together,” she said, noting the club takes field trips, visits different farms and does other activities. “We’re pretty active.”

The fair also is a time to educate the public about goats.

“It’s always entertaining, and it’s educational because not a lot of people do it,” she said. “When we will milk here each night, you see people that are amazed by it and that it doesn’t come from Walmart.”

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