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Goat judge impressed by Putnam County

Monday, July 21, 2008

Goat judge Shelly Young, right, asks 4-H'er Elizabeth Wiley a question during the senior goat showmanship competition at the Putnam County 4-H Fair on Saturday. Miller took senior showman championship honors.

Saturday's goat show at the Putnam County 4-H Fair was the largest Shelly Young had ever done in her five years of judging.

The show, which goat barn superintendent Deborah Miller said featured 274 animals, took nearly 12 hours.

"That's the biggest show I ever judged," Young said. "The showmanship classes really get me. They had four different types of showmanship, and that really makes a difference."

When she judges showmanship, Young likes to test the knowledge of the competitors.

"I don't ask too many questions in the younger classes, but by the time they're intermediates or seniors they know the maneuvers and they know about their breeds," Young said. "The kids in Putnam County had a lot of knowledge. They were hard classes to judge, because they were all really good. That's just all there was to it."

As far as standards go, there are different ones for different types of goats.

"In general, you're looking for conformation ... animals that are level and smoothly blended," Young explained. "In dairy goats, you're looking for dairy character. In boers you're looking for muscling, especially at the withers. Pygmies should be level, but wide throughout ... they're kind of like a box. They need to be wide everywhere, especially at the withers, where dairy goats should be sharper at the withers."

Young has already judged shows in Jennings, Howard, Shelby and Ohio counties this summer. She still has shows to judge in Daviess and Ripley counties.

"I was very impressed with the kids in Putnam County," she said. "They were very polite ... everything I asked them it was 'yes, ma'am' and 'no, ma'am.' The youth exhibitors were fantastic, and so were their parents."

Young owns Double Y Farms in Hope, where she raises Alpine dairy goats.

Young truly enjoys goat judging.

"The best thing is I get to work with the youth," she said.

Young has a deep love for goats as well.

"They are very personable animals," she said. "We've had goats that liked to ride in the truck with us. We started out with one of the kids asking us for one goat ... at one point we had 81 head. It's a 4-H project that got out of hand is what it is."

Her family also has deep 4-H roots. She and her husband have seven children, four of whom were 10-year 4-H members, and the remaining three of whom are working toward that goal. She was a 4-H'er herself, and was a 4-H leader for 12 years.

"I did cattle," she said which a chuckle. "If my dad knew I had goats on this farm, he'd probably roll over in his grave."

Young's son Anthony, 18, was the Supreme Goat Showman at last year's Indiana State Fair. He travels all over the United States showing goats, and will be showing in Nebraska, Texas, Oklahoma and Tennessee in the near future.

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The picture is correct for senior goat showmanship competition at the Putnam County 4-H Fair on Saturday. However, the showman in the picture with Judge Shelly Young is that of the senior showman, Elizabeth Wiley. "Wiley took senior showman championship honors for Boer goats", which you have shown, would be correct. Miller, with this picture and particular competition is incorrect.

Thank you for the very nice article about the judge and Putnam County 4-H Fair youth. They are a knowledgeable, good group.

Ann Wiley

800 Lewisville Road

Quincy, IN 47456

-- Posted by awiley on Mon, Jul 21, 2008, at 7:12 AM

Olivia Miller earned Over-All Goat Showmanship honors.

-- Posted by awiley on Mon, Jul 21, 2008, at 7:24 AM

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