MOUNT GILEAD — Walker-White Boer Goats was well represented as dozens of 4-H animals and their owners occupied the barns Monday, opening the eight-day Morrow County Fair.
Matt and Angie White, along with their son Sebastian, daughter Bella and nieces Bentley and Haylee Walker, prepared the pens that house their 15 goats.
“The hard part is over; moving them in today,” Angie said. She is a former 4-H member and an advisor.
Large buckets of water and thick straw bedding were placed in each pen as temperatures reached the mid-80s.
“Goats are clean animals. They’re a companion animal. Our job is learning what all goes into raising them and keeping them healthy,” she said.
Deuce and Poppie shared a pen. “She thinks Poppie is her baby.”
The Whites said raising animals to show “is a good experience for the kids. They walk them and help feed and water them at home.”
In a nearby barn the Pfaff family got their market hogs ready.
Riley, Kayden and Emma assisted their mother, Stephanie.
“This is our third year. This teaches them responsibility as they learn to take care of them.”
Regarding the heat, Stephanie replied, “We just spray ’em off a lot.”
Lillian Burton, who turns 9 on Wednesday, also kept her two market hogs, Benny and Denny, cooled off.
“Hogs is her love,” her mom Jillian said. “Ever since she was two years old she’s wanted to show pigs at the fair.”
Belonging to 4-H is a family tradition as Jillian showed lambs “20-plus years ago.” Her son Clayton, 7, has two lambs.
“These are adorable animals,” Clayton said. They are members of the Johnsville Jolly Farmers and Farmerettes 4-H Club.
Turkeys, chickens and rabbits also occupied cages and stalls inside the barns.
Weston Cast has three market rabbits. A member of Dreamchasers 4-H Club, the project “helps him socialize,” according to his mom, Fethar Cast.
“It’s work, but I love ’em,” Weston said as he went to get the animals water.
Judging is held throughout the week.