Goat show returns for fourth year
September 23, 2021
For the fourth year, the Black Hills Dairy Goat Association (BHDGA) welcomed hundreds of goats and their owners to the Crook County Fairgrounds this weekend for competitions both serious and silly.
The event kicked off with the fun and laughter of the costume show on Friday night before transitioning into contests sanctioned by the American Dairy Goat Association (ADGA).
"It went really smoothly, people had a lot of fun," says Tanja Miller, who organizes the show in partnership with Frances Loehr, BHDGA. "People still really love to come to the show – they love the area, they love the people."
As well as 26 entrants into the showmanship, the show welcomed 40 exhibitors and 260 goats. States represented included Minnesota, Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Montana, Colorado and, of course, Wyoming.
Those are impressive numbers for an event that didn't exist five years ago.
"This is one of the biggest shows north of Cheyenne," Miller says. "There's one in North Dakota, but in a five- or six-hour radius, this is it."
The association is lucky to have numerous volunteers willing to help make the show a possibility, Miller says. For example, Sundance Bearlodge FFA erected and took down all the pens under the leadership of Brian Kennah.
"The kids work really hard on it and they do a good job," she says.
Local businesses sponsor the show, while Ken Karey, Fair Maintenance, and Carolyn Fowler, Fair Secretary, provide all kinds of assistance, Miller says.
Numbers were a little down this year due to the ongoing renovations at the fairgrounds, says Miller. The lack of steer stalls made it impossible to hold the buck show or the artificial insemination clinic.
"We lost revenue because of that," she says. "We are working with the fair board to resolve the issue for the next show and they're really helpful."
Revenue is important, Miller explains, because of the various costs associated with hosting a sanctioned show. The ADGA judges must be flown in and the rules followed to ensure the show is sanctioned.
"All that costs, and it doesn't matter if we have ten goats or 200," she says. "We usually make that money on the entries and, even if we have less entries, we still have the same costs."
Miller would like to encourage more of the county's youth to consider dairy goats for their livestock projects and says the annual show is the perfect time to come see what's involved.
"If there are any 4-H or FFA kids who are in any way interested in showing dairy goats, this is a wonderful opportunity to get inspired, to meet people, to see pretty much all the major dairy breeds represented," she says.
"It really is a great opportunity for anyone who wants to get into goats to come and see us. I even think that if I would have done that first, if I could have seen this show and talked to all these people and seen what a quality dairy goat looks like, my breeding program would probably be three or four years ahead."
Miller is also available to offer guidance as to goat opportunities during fair. Contact her any time during the year at [email protected]