Goats bring home the green from the NEA Fair


From left, agri instructor Bruce Fires, Forrest Robertson, Houston Pendergrass and Caleb Bruce display their ribbons earned during the Northeast Arkansas District Fair.

LINDSAY RICE – Hoof Prints Staff

At the Northeast Arkansas District Fair the three goats acquired by the agriculture department, were shown. Showing the goats were Caleb Bruce, Houston Pendergrass, and Forrest Robertson.

Originally Heath Hawkins was supposed to show one, but due to a scheduling conflict with his college history class on the night of the judging, he asked Forrest Robertson to show for him. They competed against schools that have had animal programs for years such as Sloan Hendrix and Rector.

Competing meant that the goats had to be taught obedience, walk around their owner in a complete circle, and show off their figure for the judges. In this competition the school did very well, with the students winning $55 in prize money.

Caleb Bruce won second place, winning $22, Forrest Robertson won fifth place, receiving $18, and Houston Pendergrass placed sixth, winning $15. According to Mr. Bruce Fires, the agricultural director, and Caleb Bruce, Bruce’s goat was in first place up until the very last minute when the judges decided on another goat to take first.

Mr. Fires was pleased with the results of the judging. “They did great. They did as well as to be expected,” he said. “Caleb’s goat did better than the rest, reason being it was a better goat.”

Bruce has decided that he is going to show his goat at the Buffalo Island Livestock Show in March. “After I show her at Buffalo Island, I m going to sell her to Forrest so he can continue training her for fairs,” Bruce said.

Robertson went on to explain his reason for wanting Bruce’s goat by saying, “I am staring a breeding program for the school.” Heath Hawkins has already sold his goat to Robertson for this purpose.

Through this experience several people have thought that these boys have learned new skills and new things about themselves. The handlers of the goats have learned how to care for goats and train them for showing. Mr. Fires is already focused on improving the results the next time his students compete.

“I think they learned a little bit of responsibility,” Mr. Fires said. “Now they’ve seen what they can do and what can be won. I think they will work harder for the next show.”