XENIA — Prior to this year, Zoe, 10, and Shawn Evans, 15, of Cedarville, hadn’t been involved in 4-H. This past week, Zoe took home the reserve champion title for homegrown goat, and Shawn took home the champion and grand champion overall titles for homegrown goat. Not bad for their first year of showing at the fair.
It all came about when Grandpa Art moved in with their family. Zoe and Shawn’s family had a rich history of 4-H involvement – Art’s parents were advisors of a 4-H club, Art was in 4-H for nine years, Art’s children were in 4-H – but Zoe and Shawn had just never picked it up.
With a little prodding from their grandpa, they were soon members of the Cedarville Hot Shots 4-H club – the third generation of their family to be in that club – and were off learning the ways of showing goats.
“This was a treat that I had thought that we as a family could work on together,” Art said.
It wasn’t always smooth sailing on the way to those high honors though. Art said teaching the goats to lead can be frustrating because the animals can be stubborn.
“My granddaughter wanted to quit several times, but we kept encouraging,” Art said. “It’s like team sports in school. There’s a lot of practice. There’s a lot of learning. It isn’t just walking in the gate at show day. There’s a lot of effort that is put in long prior to that.”
All that effort paid off when Zoe and Shawn took home those honors.
“I was so full of pride that they were successful and so happy that they stuck with it,” Art said. “Both of them have said, ‘Well, we’re going to do it again next year.’ ”
Music to Art’s ears.
Nathan Pilling is a reporter who covers Greene County agencies and organizations. You can find him on Twitter at @XDGNatePilling or you can call him at 937-372-4444 ext. 130.