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Youngsters showcase their best goats at Washington County Ag Expo and Fair

July 25, 2013
  • Caleb Froelich, 14, took home the award for reserve grand champion Toggenberg goat at Thursday's 4-H/FFA and Open Class Dairy Goat Show.
Photo by Karen Mawdsley

Forty or so faces lined the arena on Thursday at the Washington County Ag Expo and Fair as onlookers watched eager youngsters showcase their best goats at the 4-H/FFA and Open Class Dairy Goat Show.
Caleb Froelich, 14, took home the award for reserve grand champion Toggenberg goat, coming in second to his older sister, Rose.

He said he likes competing against his sister, though.

“I don’t care if she wins, because I beat her last year,” Caleb said.

Caleb, who is homeschooled, will start ninth grade in the fall.

He has been with 4-H since he was 9 years old, he said.

This year he had four goats at the expo.

At his Boonsboro residence, which he called a “farmette,” his family has goats and llamas.

His favorite part of the ag expo is the showmanship portion, which he called “really fun.”

•••

Sixteen-year-old Rose Froelich, Caleb’s sister, said she enjoys working with the animals best.

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“They have their unique characteristics,” said Rose, who has been involved in 4-H for six or seven years.

She brought five goats to this year’s expo, which helped her sweep the competition.

The 10th-grader was named best senior showman and grand champion overall showman. Rose also received the award for best senior doe in show, which she said essentially means her doe had the best udder.

Like her younger brother, Rose is homeschooled and is the daughter of Richard and Robin Froelich.

“This afternoon, I’ll compete to see who’s the best overall showman” of all the events, Rose said after the dairy goat competition Thursday morning.

Rose said she would have to show other people’s animals and compete against the best overall showmen from the other contests, such as the dairy cattle and swine shows.

She said she would have to show sheep, dairy and beef cattle, pigs and meat and dairy goats, all of which require different showing techniques that she would have to quickly learn.

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At 9 years old and with two years of showing experience under her belt, Addison Snyder won the award for her best junior doe in show.

Addison will start fourth grade at Grace Academy in Hagerstown this fall.

While she brought two goats to the fair, she only showed one, which she called Blue-Ridge Esther.

Addison’s doe also won grand champion for its breed category, Oberhasli. And Addison herself came in first in the junior showmanship category for ages 8 to 10.

But she’s not in it for the prizes.

“I like just hanging out with my animals,” Addison said.

She said the hardest part is right before she goes into the ring because she gets nervous.

Addison plans to come back next year.

After all, dairy goat judge Paul Krempe said she has “a great future handling animals.”

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Paul Kempe, 71, served as the judge for Thursday’s dairy goat competition.

The Hedgesville, W.Va., resident said he has been judging dairy goats for close to 30 years.

He judges the animals based on standards set by the American Dairy Goat Association, using a scorecard and categories such as general appearance and dairy character.

“I just look for the ones that most meet the criteria of the category,” Krempe said.

That often translates to a straight back, the most attachment in the udder, and a doe that walks with width in its rear legs, he said.

— Karen Mawdsley

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