2008 Pa Farm Show was a blast! Here is the scoop!
First things first….I entered my Goat Milk soaps into the Farm Show. You can bet the farm that I wasn’t expecting much. When my mother called to tell me that I had one 1st place and the blue ribbon, my response was…”No Shit!” I couldn’t believe it! There are so many wonderful soap crafters out there and I never would have imagined that I would have beaten them. I didn’t make anything particularly special either. The winning soaps were my Lavender scented and my Black Raspberry Vanilla scented. I was tickled to win. Yep…my soaps are award winning!
I gathered everything but the kitchen sink and loaded it into my truck and trailer along with 2 Nubian Jr. does and 2 Saanen Jr. does. Shadow and Dublin (Nubian does) and Sophia and Susie Q (Saanen does) were the lucky ones to get to go to the Pa Farm Show.
When we arrive, we get everything unloaded; the girls’ pens set up and bedded down. We hang our sign and try to get everything organized. My ladies are wondering what the heck is going on but are enjoying all the attention from the 1,000’s of people who attended the Farm Show everyday.
Our first evening consists of giving the girls a bath. I take the ladies out of the pen and walk them over to the shower area. I am standing their holding two at a time while Mikey & Katie bathe the other two. Every adult and child at the Farm Show comes up to have their picture taken with my ladies and give them hugs & kisses. The girls are loving it up. Lancaster Farming newspaper interviews me and takes a picture of my Susie Q for their paper.
The girls are bathed, dried, and brushed. Their ears are cleaned, backsides scrubbed, and hooves are trimmed. They get put into their pen, fed grain and hay. Mikey gets them fresh water. I treat them to an apple & banana. I send the kids to bed and say a little prayer that they do well tomorrow.
Bed consists of a cot and sleeping bag right beside the girls’ pen. Why you ask? I don’t leave my ladies. You just never know what someone will try and feed them. Not only for this reason but because if you leave Shadow and Dublin….blood curdling screams can be heard miles away. They have to have you in their sights. Yes, my girls are spoiled.
So we climb into our sleeping bags with bright lights shinning above our heads. I sleep very little because the girls periodically “check” on me throughout the night. I wake up every couple of hours to one of them giving me kisses or calling me. They won’t stop until I open my eyes and give a little pat on their heads. Everyone else’s goats seem to be calling each other…as if to say…tomorrow in the show ring…I am going to kick your butt.
We are bright eyed and bushy tailed by 6am. My girls get their breakfast and I send the kids to get showers. By 8am, the girls are brushed and beautified and ready of their Farm Show debut. Mikey makes me promise that I won’t beat the judge up if the girls don’t win. He knows how much I love my ladies J
The Youth Show goes pretty well. Our Nubians placed 3rd & 4th. Our Saanens placed 2nd & 3rd. Paul Kemp was the judge and I don’t think I will be attending any shows that he judges ever again. What a real jerk. He never touched any of the goats and didn’t give any reasons for his placings. How are the kids to learn if you don’t point out weaknesses and strengths of their animals? But Mr. Kemp did come alive when the TV cameras showed up. When the bright lights and chance of fame was in his face, he had all kinds of stuff to say. Another ADGA judge and several breeders had fore warned me about him. I guess he doesn’t have a very good reputation and I can see why.
The open show was the next day. There was a record 323 goats entered into the show. Our girls did very well. The Nubian and Saanen classes were the largest classes in the show. Now some people aren’t happy about being in large classes because they have more competition and have a better chance of losing. Not me, I like the large classes. This is better if you really want to see how your goats compare to others her age. My Nubians placed 4th and 8th. I was thrilled! The judge stated that my Dublin could have taken 1st if she would have had more size. Not bad getting a comment like that at your first state show. I was pleased! My Saanens didn’t do as well. They were placed 13th and 14th.
I was a little upset with their placing. I thought they should have been placed higher. Then I thought to myself that maybe I was just being a sore looser. I was told after the show that my girls were placed wrong by several breeders so at least I know that my opinion was correct. I didn’t know 90% of the people that came up to me either. Todd Biddle (ADGA judge and breeder of many champion Saanens) stated that my girls were over looked. He also stated that Sophia was “national quality” and far better than the other three girls I had there. I guess it just proves that beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
Todd liked Sophia so much that he used her in his Get of Sire entry. Sophia placed 2nd along side her sisters. Todd was so nice and let Mikey have the ribbon since he was so disappointed in his placings. Todd handed him the ribbon and asked him if he liked his girls. Mikey said, “Yep, I love them”! Todd said told him that is what matters most…that you like what you have in your barn. How true, I thought to myself.
We got something to eat and kicked back to relax a little. This was our last night there. I was so exhausted. Only sleeping very little the last two nights was taking a toll on me. Plus sleeping on a cot after just having back surgery wasn’t doing anything for me either. Mikey did a little wheeling and dealing with Todd and purchased himself a new Saanen herdsire. He was so excited about it. He used his 4H money to purchase him.
So I crawled into my sleeping bag and thought to myself that I should sleep well since I am so tired. As soon as I zip it up….I hear a goat grunting somewhere around me. I mention it to Mikey who proceeds to tell me that I am hearing things. My reply…”Mark my words. Someone is in labor near us”. About an hour later, I awake to a goat owner across from us hollering…”My goat is having babies”!!! I tell Mike, “I told you so”.
So all in all we had an excellent Farm Show experience. We learned a lot, our ladies did well, my Goat Milk Soaps won the blue ribbon and I can now say they are award winning, we purchased a new Saanen herdsire out of permanent champions, and were interviewed by two newspapers. We also met lots of people and handed out many business cards to interested customers for goat milk soaps, does, pet wethers, and stud service. And as Mikey likes to add….I didn’t beat up any judge and get myself arrested or embarrass him J I thought about it but didn’t do it…just kidding…ok, maybe only kidding a little!
Now I am trying to catch up on all the laundry and prepare for my oldest son’s (Joey) last visit before he leaves for boot camp. After that the does will begin freshening. I planned it this was so that I have something to look forward to when Joey leaves. I will be doing a lot of bawling when he goes. Nothing will help me more than to watch little babies bouncing around.
Now all I need are girls….Please God! Give me ewes instead of rams. Give me does instead of bucks…pretty please!!!!