By Robert Barron, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle
ENID, Okla. —
Abi John is pretty excited about the 79th annual Northwest District Junior Livestock Show at Chisholm Trail Expo Center.
Abi exhibited an animal Wednesday in the district show for the first time. At 10, she said she has been waiting to show an animal for a long time.
Abi is showing Buster, a wether goat she bought in April 2012. She bought the animal with the intention of showing it.
“I’m excited,” she said.
Buster the goat is kind of like a pet. She prepares him for the show ring and works with him regularly.
Abi walks the goat every day and practices “bracing,” the position he will take in the show ring. She feeds him and waters him, then plays with him for a while every day. That is part of the responsibility involved in owning an animal and preparing him for the show. Abi is a member of Chisholm 4-H.
“You feed and water him and do everything to get him to like me,” she said.
Showing animals is her favorite part of being a 4-H member.
Her father, Nick John, said Abi has been responsible with the goat. She is responsible for keeping him fed, watered and exercised. All of those are what 4-H teaches. The program also teaches its members respect. Contestants shake hands with the judge before they leave the ring.
“She has been anxious. She makes me get up out of bed every day and take her out there to work with the animal every day,” Nick John said. “Sometimes I don’t want to go if it’s cold.”
This year, there were 181 does and 144 wethers entered in the goat show. Livestock show superintendent Ashley Ewbank said that number is about the same as last year.
Goats were popular a few years ago when they first began to be shown. They started out as more inexpensive than other animals, but as their popularity grew, they became more expensive, Ewbank said.
The show started Wednesday with sheep and lambs. Cattle judging will take place today, followed by hogs Saturday and Sunday. There are 881 exhibitors showing 2,020 entries.
Rynn Day, of Greater Enid Chamber of Commerce, said the event brings several different sectors of the community together to focus on leadership for kids. It also raises a large amount of money for the kids through the annual premium auction, which is set for Monday.
Several sectors of the community — including agricultural, industrial and business — come together to help raise money during the premium sale. Last year more than $120,000 was raised at the premium auction. Students from more than 55 schools participate, coming to Enid for six days. Participants travel from Alfalfa, Blaine, Garfield, Grant, Kay, Kingfisher, Logan, Major and Noble counties.