Michaela Fujita-Conrads/News-
Register##Elsie Duyn kisses her goat after moving on to the next round in the Yamhill County Fair 4H Pygmy Goat Showmanship Competition on July 29.
Michaela Fujita-Conrads/News- Register##Elsie Duyn kisses her goat after moving on to the next round in the Yamhill County Fair 4H Pygmy Goat Showmanship Competition on July 29.
By Emily Hoard • Staff Writer • 

Goats take the stage at county fair

They were competing in FFA goat showmanship at the Yamhill County Fair. And they came up big winners.

McKenzie not only claimed champion honors in the class, but also grand champion honors overall in the category. Meanwhile, Todd claimed class runner-up honors.

After the advanced class completed its round, the beginning and novice classes had their chance. Champions and runners-up were chosen in each, then a grand champion.

ALSO: County Fair continues through Saturday

The Hallemans have been showing goats for five years. This was McKenzie’s fifth year under the Newberg FFA banner. Todd was new to the club this year, but had competed previously under 4-H, open and youth jackpot auspices.

The siblings breed Boer goats for meat. They have 27 on hand right now, and plan to offer 16 for sale in Saturday afternoon’s livestock auction.

Their mother, Shelley, said they’re expecting a new set of kids in January.

“We bought our first three goats in 2010 to eat the blackberries on the property,” she said, “and that’s when we fell in love with goats. Before we got the goats, my daughter was taking violin and dance lessons. But once we got the goats, she found something she really loved.”

McKenzie, 19, will be entering her sophomore year at Colorado State University in the fall. She plans to major in animal science, which seems fitting.

“All my goats have names,” she said. Her champion goat goes by Classy when she’s being good and Ms. Grouchy when she isn’t.

“She’s not super sweet, but can be at times, depending on the day,” McKenzie said.

At a show in April, she said, it was a Ms. Grouchy day. The goat first bit her, then bit the judge.

Fortunately, she was having a Classy day Wednesday.

McKenzie said the trick is to keep her as calm as possible before the show. She said, “I pull her from the pen right before so she’s calmer and not handled a lot.”

McKenzie said showmanship involves setting up the goat.

“With meat goats, you want them to look big, so you set their legs perfectly straight down,” she said. She tries to keep its head up, because when its head is down, it has more leverage, and is better able to take off running.

Todd, 14, showed a goat named Beavis. Beavis and his brother, Butthead, were born in February.

Because Beavis is a meat goat, he showed off the goat’s rump. After all, that’s where the highest quality meat is located.

“Beavis will go through auction and probably go to the butcher next week,” Todd said.

He’s OK with that. “I’ve been doing this a while, so I’ve gotten used to it.”

Todd recalled an experience he had with a goat named Tater during his second year of showing.

“Tater dragged me and I got all bloody right before the show,” he said. “My sister saw me and was laughing.”

He said he and McKenzie will probably compete in the open class at the state fair.

The goat showmanship judge was Donna Semasko of Olympia, Washington, who’s been breeding goats for 30 years and judging them for 20.

She asked several contestants what they liked best about their goats and how their animals might show better. Along the way, she also makes sure the the animals have had their hooves trimmed and fleece cleaned.

“I try to educate as I judge,” Semasko said. “I teach as I go and say as many good things as I can.”

The goat show was just one of many staged at the fair this week.

Emily Sandberg, a district FFA officer, won grand champion honors in the 4-H Market Lamb Show. The 17-year-old, about to start her senior year at Newberg High, competes through the Lucky Clover 4-H club.

She has been showing animals since fourth grade. She also breeds and shows hogs.

“I want to go into the agriculture field, so I’d like to keep my breeding program going,” Emily said. She plans to major in agricultural science in college, and double minor in animal science and business.

Liberty Greenlund, a 17-year-old from Yamhill, is about to enter her senior year at Yamhill-Carlton High. Like Emily, she’s considering Eastern Oregon University in La Grande as a college possibility, because of its strong ag program.

She’s not only showing goats, but also Hereford market steers. In fact, she’ll be selling one at auction Saturday.

Liberty is not only serving as one of three county fair ambassadors, but also as a district FFA president. She has extensive experience in animal husbandry, her mother and grandmother both having showed animals at the county fair before her.

“I’ve been showing animals since I could walk,” she said.

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