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Kids get an early taste of the fair

Arianna Broyles, 4, shows her goat named Dot, a LaMancha, to judge Marie Layman during a Peewee Showmanship event during the Island County Fair Wednesday. - Spencer Webster
Arianna Broyles, 4, shows her goat named Dot, a LaMancha, to judge Marie Layman during a Peewee Showmanship event during the Island County Fair Wednesday.
— image credit: Spencer Webster

Dairy goats and their owners from Kidding Around 4-H Club and others got an early taste of the Island County Fair when they presented their animals for judging Wednesday.

One goat owner, Arianna Broyles, 4, of Clinton, brought Dot, her LaMancha. Arianna entered Dot in the Peewee Showmanship class, where kids under 8 get to show their animals.

“She is very excited,” said the girl’s mother, Linda, who owns Octagon Acres in Clinton.

The fit is natural for Broyles, who moved her family back to Whidbey Island from Colorado so she could buy her father’s goat farm.

“For me it is a dream to work with goats. I came back home six years ago because I wanted the farm life for my kids,” she said.

“We have been raising show-quality LaManchas for 25 years. I am buying the farm from my dad. We do have milk and I am going to be learning how to make cheese,” she said.

In recent years, roughly 230 youth have participated in 4-H events at the Island County Fair.

Broyles, who assists the dairy goat superintendent during the fair, enjoyed 4-H when she was young, and now her kids are, too.

“Last year was my kids’ first year in 4-H,” she said. “I grew up here on the island and was in 4-H since I was 5. 4-H teaches them responsibility, to be able to work with their animals.”

There were 22 classes of goats for show Wednesday afternoon.

On Thursday, several goats, at the urging of their owners, participated in an obstacle course.

Upcoming 4-H livestock events at the fair this weekend include the 4-H livestock sale at the Livestock Arena at noon today; tomorrow at 10 a.m. in the Main Arena, visitors can see all the winning goats in the 4-H Parade of Champions.

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