Show goats

Versatile, useful critters, goats are among the many exhibits at the annual event.
BAZETTA -- The day Shaun Rowbottom had been looking forward to all year had finally come, and there he was, scrubbing a goat.
No goats like water, the 9-year-old Mecca boy said as he worked over his 6-month-old charge. But cat-sized Mimi presented a particular problem, bleating her displeasure and pushing under a fence rail.
"Pygmies have an attitude," Shaun said.
Although this is the fist time he will be showing them at the fair, Shaun knows his way around goats.
His sister, Meagan, has shown goats for three years and has won an armful of trophies. One of them, two years ago, was for best in fair, among all different kinds of animals, in the dress-up contest. In matching capri pants, flannel shirt and straw hats, Meagan, 12, and her goat Bre went as farmers.
Last year, Meagan's plans to add a second goat to the act and go as the three blind mice didn't pan out.
"Their ears wouldn't stick up," she said.
Here's the scene: As the Trumbull County Fair opening ceremonies ended, children in the 4-H barns were washing animals, pitching hay and readying themselves for a week at the fair.
Health checks and weigh-ins began today. Animal judging, showmanship competitions and market sales continue until the fair comes to a close Sunday.
In between, the children have fun, make friends and perhaps even earn some money. At the livestock auction, a champion goat can fetch more than $3 a pound, said Darlene Brooks, adviser to Meagan and Shaun's Kidsman Kids Club.
Advantages: And why would anyone raise goats?
"They are lovable, they are fun, they are easy for kids to lead and they are versatile," she said.
How versatile are they? Goats can pull carts, carry loads, eat weeds and provide milk and meat.
For Meagan, Shaun and many of the other 18 goat 4-H'ers, the animals are primarily pets.
"You can pet them and it is pretty fun," Meagan said.

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