Sisters hope to reap rewards
JACKSON – Raising goats is a family affair for the Roye family, but it wasn’t until they started showing that the youngest Royes became actively involved in the farming operation.
When they enter the ring on Tuesday, June 13 for the Hertford-Northampton 4-H Livestock Show and Sale, Allie and Hannah Roye will be exhibiting animals that were born and raised on their family farm, Allihan Farm.
Participants can choose to raise sheep, goats, hogs, steers or heifers.
Goats were a natural choice because &uot;I live on a goat farm&uot; said eleven-year-old Hannah.
While this will be Hannah’s second show, her older sister Allie, 16, will be entering the ring for the first time.
&uot;(Last year) I wasn’t familiar with the show and then I learned about it.
I learned its fun to work with animals,&uot; explained Allie.
The Royes started their livestock project in March after the girls each picked out a kid, or young goat, from the herd.
Hannah said the goat she chose stood out because he would let her pet him.
She also used her &uot;meat vision&uot; to recognize the goat &uot;looked like a good cut of meat.&uot;
Allie’s goat, Smooch, stood out because she &uot;was the cutest and had the most energy.&uot;
According to Allie that energy turned to stubbornness when it was time to halter break her goat.
&uot;My mom (Kelly) encourages me to stay at it no matter how stubborn the goat gets,&uot; said Allie.
&uot;My goat won’t walk when we practice at home, but will show off at the arena during showmanship clinics.
She’s a people goat.&uot;
Unlike Smooch, Hannah’s goat, Roger, is easy to work with at home.
&uot;He’s friendly and doesn’t get really jealous if I start playing with the other goats.
&uot;When I do practice with him he cooperates with me,&uot; added Hannah.
Working, or practicing, with their goats is an important part of raising animals for the livestock show.
&uot;You want your goat to walk with you and know you,&uot; explained Hannah.
&uot;Daddy has helped us practice with the animals.
He’ll be the judge,&uot; continued Hannah.
Participants in the show not only have to lead their animal, but they must keep their eye on the judge so he always has the best view of the animal.
During the showmanship competition the judge looks at how well the 4-Hers work with their animal, how quickly the animal is set up so it’s feet are square and if the youth maintains eye contact.
He will also ask showmen questions about their animal and the livestock industry.
The Royes and their goats will also compete in the market class.
In this class the judge is looking to see how heavily muscled the goat is and if it is finished to its ideal market weight.
Allie and Hannah both want to produce good quality meat goats, but they differ on which aspect of the competition is most important.
Hannah feels the market class is most important.
&uot;It tells how good you’ve been feeding your goat to get muscle and not much fat on them.&uot;
In her first year of competition Allie is placing her emphasis on showmanship.
&uot;I want to show that I can do it as well as someone in their second or third year.&uot;
The Royes do more than just work with their goats.
They are responsible for giving their goats feed which helps the animals gain weight to get in show condition.
According to Hannah, &uot;it’s like candy to them.&uot;
They also check on Roger and Smooch daily to make sure they stay healthy.
Allie and Hannah attended a meat quality assurance training in March where they learned to identify signs of illness and how to treat sick animals.
Hannah was also certified in FAMACHA, which is a method of identifying goats that need deworming.
She has incorporated what she learned into her livestock project by &uot;checking the eyelids a lot to make sure Roger’s not wormy.&uot;
The Royes have learned more than just how to raise quality market animals.
&uot;I’ve learned that something as little as a goat can take so much responsibility, but it’s worth it,&uot; said Allie.
&uot;You have to work hard with your goat.
You can’t work with it for two days and then not go work with it for a week.
You have to work with it every day and get it to trust you.&uot;
Their parents have seen the benefits of their daughters participating in the show.
&uot;I think it helps them with independence because they have to take care of an animal, said their father, Bobo Roye.
&uot;I’ve seen the girls want to do more on the farm and want to be included.
They don’t look at it so much as work anymore,&uot; Roye added.
When these showmen take the ring Tuesday, they will be the first generation of Royes to show, but the third generation to consider themselves goat producers.