calm before the storm???

Whoever came up with that ‘observation’, hardly exists in my current situation!! …and I’m not talking about the weather! Let me explain.

It’s less than 10-days before our local Armada Fair…ready or not, here we come! It’s THE BIG EVENT for all our 4-H livestock project kids – such as GOATS – (and including dogs and cats, pocket pets, etc) and many various ‘CRAFT’ projects. The FAIR is the ultimate show ‘n tell for both 4-H and Open Class (the public at large) with premiums and ribbons and bragging rights! whosh!!

We, my daughter and I, have been working with our 4-H goat project kids – a mix of both market goats and dairy goats since January. We focus on goat knowledge during the winter months and later in Spring/Summer, we work with our goats on showmanship skills, hands-on projects ****and MORE goat knowledge.****  The kids are also required to ‘make’ a Goat Project Book – a compilation of info about their goat AND a vet science project (also about goats)…in order to actually ‘compete’ (a prerequisite) in the show ring. We have goats to shave/fit for show and complete our Club display board for the goat barn too!

The 4-H’rs are also expected to help/volunteer to clean and re-clean the fairgrounds in preparation for Fair including this year, re-painting the 4-H barn, set-up displays, decorate various livestock barns, etc.

This year, I’ve accepted/volunteered to be the 4-H Goat Superintendent. Simply collecting Goat Project Books – on time – has been a challenge to say the least! No exceptions…why do THEY say that when it ain’t true? There’s always an exception! Yesterday I delivered my Goat Project Books to my judge(s) to afford them the time/courtesy to review the project books [which the kids work on so diligently – well, most of the kids] before the actual sit-down interview with the judge. …and I was STILL missing ONE project book! Oh well.

The Fair also encourages goat FUN classes: costume and agility. YES, I’ve been making agility obstacles (out-of-pocket expense) for Fair. Now, that should be fun to watch the goaties and kids!!

BUT, the greatest challenge for me has been/will be administrative/regulatory SCRAPIE ID & health inspection [ie  check-in] for the 4-H goat exhibitors…each and every goat! While nothing new (after all, it IS required by law), it appears WE haven’t been diligent in performing our duties – and now it’s a really big deal! Goat folks are scurrying to get Scrapie tags, tattoos, paperwork in order to be allowed to show their goats… YIKES! Kill me now!!!

Is it over yet????

Meet me at the Fair…

Come on out to the 140th Annual Armada Fair August 13 – 19, 2012! It’s a true country fair overflowing with fun family activities! Visit the livestock barns & 4-H livestock sale, tour the hand crafts & exhibit barn, 4-H displays and projects, carnival and food food food concession stands… just to name a few!


Visit the Armada Fair website for a schedule of daily events at   http: //

You can find me with the dairy goats and fiber sheep!! Be sure to say ‘hello’! Have a great week!


Visit a local agricultural fair!

I hope you have the opportunity ~ with the remaining days of Summer ~ to visit one or more agricultural fairs in your nearby home town! Michigan has a strong, diverse agricultural heritage producing more than 200 commodities…and you can share in this proud heritage by attending the agricultural fair in your county. 

Our local Armada Fair was established in 1872 and runs August 15 – 21, 2011 ~~ a fun-filled family affair ~~ city folk…c’mon down! Exhibitors thoroughly enjoy sharing info, fun facts & personal experience about their fair projects…especially anything to do with animal husbandry!! It’s my most favorite part about fair, sharing my goat/fiber passion with the public ~ adults and kids! You wouldn’t believe how many people thought Brutus was a sheep instead of a fiber GOAT! You can find more info and a schedule of Armada Fair events at 

This year, I’ve been invited to judge the 4-H Goat Project Books. I’m enjoying ‘previewing’ the 4-H youth candidates’ project book documenting their relationship with their goat(s) during this past year! I’ll be following-up the judging process with personal (one-on-one) interviews tomorrow, Sunday. 

Cloversprouts, 4-H youth between ages 5 – 8 are awarded ‘participation’ ribbons at our fair (ie they aren’t awarded premiums). These youngsters did an outstanding job ~ more so than the older and more experienced kids! So, I made the only two Cloversprout goat project participants something special…for a prize!

A goat tag…necklace sort-of.

I tried to make them similar to their own goat kids, from the photos they included in their project books. They both own a Nubian doeling and Nubian/Boar wether. S.W.E.E.T.

I fashioned them from clay, painted them w/metallic acrylic paint, sealed them with polyurethane and added a waxed linen twine. Or, you could attach a pin-back too!

I hope this is the beginning of a lifelong love affair with lovely goats!

Good luck to all you Fair folks and project kids!