See you at the Ayer's Cliff Fair !
It’s show time!
One of the highlights of the country fair is, without a doubt, the animal judging competitions. It can be entertaining and heartwarming to watch a serious six
year-old trying to get their goat or sheep to behave for the judges while the competitions for the more senior animal showmen (and women) can be exciting, with lots of prizes and pride on the line.
Learning how to choose the right calf or lamb to show and how to raise and train that animal usually starts at a young age for the prize winners, and usually within a 4H Club. 4H members, after competing at Rally and at Achievement Day with their animal ‘projects’, get a last chance to show what they and their show animal have learned over the summer at the country fairs, competing against their fellow 4Hers in front of a hushed crowd of family and friends.
At only sixteen years of age, Emily Young, of Ayer’s Cliff, is already in her tenth year with the Hatley 4H Club. “I’ll be showing a purebred Alpine dairy goat at the Fair, one of my own,” said Emily in an interview with the Stanstead Journal. “We always show female goats because the males can be rough and stinky. I started training ‘Nesquik’ about three weeks before Achievement Day. Goats can be trained fast and I have a lot of experience training them. This time I chose an older goat, she’s one year old. I used to choose younger goats but last year I was told that my goat was too small by one of the judges, and that was why I got second place.”
Emily has been doing well with her ‘older’ goat, winning Grand Champion Dairy Goat, Grand Champion Dairy Goat Showmanship and Grand Champion Overall Showman at the provincial Rally, held in Ormstown, as well as several prizes on Achievement Day. “Sometimes she leans to the left a little and tries to cuddle with me. It’s been hard to teach her not to do that! But she’s really good at placing her feet. For Showmanship she has to place her feet fast,” explained Emily.
“My sisters and I have our own farm, Maple Cliff Farm, with about ten goats. We’re learning about raising animals and about business. It can be expensive at times but it’s worth it; we’re not in it for the money,” Emily explained.
Wyatt Johnston is another keen 4Her, he has been with the Hatley 4H Club for twelve of his eighteen years, who raises his own Ayrshire dairy cattle. “I showed an Ayrshire calf that I raised myself at the 4H show on Friday and in the Open Show, on Saturday, at the Cookshire Fair,” said Wyatt in an interview last Sunday night. Wyatt finished third in class in the Open Show and second in class in the 4H competition. He’ll also show his calf at the Ayer’s Cliff Fair, next weekend, and the Richmond Fair later in September.
Shelby Drew, Morgane Passmore and Brittany Taillon (l. to r.) along with two woolly friends at the pro
Morgane Passmore and Kolbie Sutherland (left and middle) getting show tips from Shelby
Drew (right) at the provincial Rally.
Hatley 4H member Tonie
Sutherland showing beef cattle at the provincial rally in Ormstown.