Goats! Goats! Goats!

Moose Jaw hosts sum­mer goat ex­trav­a­ganza

Moose Jaw Times Herald - - FRONT PAGE - MAR­LON HEC­TOR

The Golden Mile Arena was a smelly place Fri­day af­ter­noon.

Goats and their own­ers have come from across Canada for the Saskatchewan Goat Breed­ers As­so­ci­a­tion’s (SGBA) Sum­mer Ex­trav­a­ganza.

“We want to grow this in­dus­try,” says Chelsea Stellek, sec­re­tary of the as­so­ci­a­tion. “There’s a great mar­ket for goat meat and goat dairy prod­ucts, es­pe­cially with the in­crease in our eth­nic com­mu­ni­ties.”

Arnie Steeves was fran­ti­cally as­sess­ing Stellek’s goat Fri­day af­ter­noon. He had a lot of goats to get to. Steeves knows goats.

He is a clas­si­fier with the Cana­dian Goat So­ci­ety and a judge at this week­end’s event.

“I make sure that all the goat parts are in the right place. Are the mam­mary glands well-at­tached? Does the goat have grace and style?” says Steeves.

The event will host about 225 an­i­mals — all goats — and about 25 pro­duc­ers. One of those pro­duc­ers is Jaia Smith from Mer­ritt, B.C.

“I’ve had goats since I was nine years old. It was al­ways part of 4-H for me,” she said, while show­ing off a La­man­cha goat breed — iden­ti­fied by their small ears. “Some say milk from the La­man­cha breed is a lit­tle sweeter.”

The arena res­onated with the sound of goats bleat­ing as pro­duc­ers shuf­fled their goats to where they needed to be. Ernie Pen­ney, who sits on the board of SGBA, be­lieves this is a big deal for Moose Jaw.

“I would equate it to the Toronto Royal,” says Pen­ney.

In the fu­ture, Pen­ney has his sights set on en­ter­ing the Western Cana­dian Agri­bi­tion, the largest live­stock show in Canada.

Pres­i­dent of SGBA, Corbin St. John, agrees that the Friendly City is a per­fect lo­ca­tion.

“SGBA wanted this in Moose Jaw be­cause it’s the gate­way to south­ern Saskatchewan,” says St. John.

While goat meat is an ac­quired taste to many in Moose Jaw, for St. John, it’s a sta­ple in his diet.

“It’s all I eat. I like a good beef­steak but goat chops, goat roast, rack of goat ribs, goat burg­ers…. so good,” says St. John.

The ex­trav­a­ganza runs all week­end, end­ing with an auc­tion on Sun­day.

MAR­LON HEC­TOR/TIMES-HER­ALD

The Saskatchewan Goat Breed­ers As­so­ci­a­tion’s Sum­mer Ex­trav­a­ganza is on at the Golden Mile Area this week­end in Moose Jaw.

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