MOUNT GILEAD — “Apple” is fairly well behaved for a goat.
“I have an emotional connection with animals,” said Heather Ball.
Goats have a reputation for being stubborn and misbehaved. But she refutes those claims.
“If you work with them, they aren’t stubborn. You just have to be a teammate with it.”
She has shown goats for three years and was among dozens of 4-H youngsters showing goats and rabbits Thursday during the opening day of the Morrow County Junior Fair.
The four-day Junior Fair ran Sept. 3-6 due to COVID-19 restrictions. Most exhibitors and their parents didn’t seem to mind.
Peggy Hall watched as her daughter Celia showed her pygmy goats.
“I just go out every day and work on them. I like how she listens to me when I tell her what to do. It calms me down and it’s my happy place,” Celia said.
Celia is a second-year exhibitor and is a member of Shawcreek Farmers.
“It’s been a really strange year dealing with everything,” Peggy said. “But everyone worked together to be able to participate.”
Judges offered words of encouragement to the youngsters, ranging from showmanship and how to present the animal in the show arenas to specific areas like udders and legs.
Ashlie Davis brought several children to show their animals as part of the Family 4Hers.
“We’ve tried to treat it the same as every other year. They walk them and do different all their normal stuff with them,” she said. “We knew it was going to be a little different not having a full-on fair; but they’re just kind of glad that they get to show.”
Hunter and Page Elswick showed a pair of rabbits in the underweight class.
“I like the experience of showing the rabbits and how the judges critique our breed,” Page said.
This is her fifth year coming to the fair and is a member of Country Guys and Gals.
“We wish that my oldest daughter Hunter, this is her last year of 4-H … and doesn’t get that opportunity to sell it and get back her money,” her mom said.
Other animals were shown Friday through Sunday.