GOUVERNEUR Naomi A. Moon, 11, gently tugged Blossom into the sawdust ring as a judge in a straw hat looked on.
Blossom was one of the many goats presented in Tuesdays Goat Show at the Sheep Barn for the 161st edition of the Gouverneur & St. Lawrence County Fair.
The Goat Show has been a part of the fair every year since its origin in 1851, according to John A. Hunter, the judge who examined Blossom and the other competitors.
Goats of all ages were judged, including infant goats as young as 4 months, which caused the audience to gush. However, the younger goats had to be watched carefully by their guardians as one kid almost escaped before being caught by Naomis 16-year-old brother, Seth J. Moon.
Goats are easy to raise, but you have to make sure they dont hop around too much when theyre little, Naomi said as her goat Blossom stood still obediently.
Breeds presented in the show included Nubian goats, known for their floppy ears, and Toggenburg, which have less body fat. Since Naomis goat Blossom is classified as a Toggenburg, its low body fat makes it a healthier source of meat. However, it is the goats milk that interests Naomi.
When I was young, I couldnt drink cow milk. I had to drink goat milk instead, Naomi said, adding that her family started raising goats after they found out she was sensitive to cow milk.
Goat milk is easier to digest, which makes it a good alternative to cow milk, Larry R. Dowe, a representative of the St. Lawrence Valley Dairy Goat Association, said. Each year, the St. Lawrence Valley Dairy Goat Association donates money to breeders who have shown significant progress in raising their goats.
Mr. Dowes wife, Diane N. Dowe, is also a representative of the Dairy Goat Association and was one of the judges at the goat show.
We judge a goat on its conformation, Mrs. Dowe said.
According to Mrs. Dowe, conformation means good angularity, good width between the legs, neatly clipped hooves, as well as a healthy udder.