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No butts about it, Bartlett generous with goats

August 20, 1997

By VANDANA SINHA

Staff Writer

FREDERICK, Md. - Leah Zufall felt her 4-month-old baby goat was getting kind of lonely. So when she found out U.S. Rep. Roscoe Bartlett donated about half of his dairy goats to the Frederick County 4-H Club, she wasted no time picking up a couple for herself.

"I already have one goat. I thought she needed company," the 14-year-old Frederick girl said.

She said she now plans to enter her two new goats, about the size of small ponies, in local and state agricultural shows - exactly what Bartlett, R-Md., had in mind for the animals when he gave them away, said his spokeswoman, Lisa Wright.

The congressman, also a 36-year veteran farmer in Frederick County, found himself with about 40 goats and 150 sheep, almost double the limit he tried to maintain after he got into politics, Wright said.

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To cut down on the surplus, Bartlett donated 18 goats and 89 sheep last month to the Frederick County 4-H Club, whose leaders then distributed them among club members, she said.

Exhibiting a brownish color despite their name, the black Corriedale sheep that Bartlett gave to the 4-H Club will be raised for their wool and be displayed in shows, Wright said.

"The teaching and educational aspect of the 4-H Club really appealed to him, because they learn by doing," she said. "It was a way for him to contribute to their learning."

But Bartlett also wanted to avoid the sale and slaughter of his animals for meat.

"(Bartlett) personally loves goats. He personally thinks they are the nicest farm animals," Wright said.

Zufall was one of about 13 youths between 8 and 16 years old to secure a new French Alpine dairy goat, said Pat Miller, leader of the Frederick County 4-H Goat Club.

In order to keep children interested and involved in 4-H, club officials narrowed down goat recipients to include only new, young members and required them to enter the animals in the next two Frederick County Agricultural Fairs, Miller said.

"I thought this was a wonderful thing, myself, because how many people do you know would do something like that?" she asked.

All but two goats that sported horns, forbidden in agricultural competitions, were snatched up by the adolescent animal raisers, Miller said. Those goats were transferred to a nearby auction to be sold for money that helped fill club coffers, she said.

Gary Cox of Emmitsburg, Md., said his three daughters each received a new dairy goat to learn how to turn milk into cheese as part of a 4-H Club project.

"We're very pleased and very thankful for the goats," he said. "It's been an extra fun summer for them."

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