Goats galore at fair

Published 12:56 pm Thursday, August 14, 2003

By By BEN RAYMOND LODE / Niles Daily Star
NILES -- Usually dogs are supposed to be man's best friend, right?
But for Madie Rodts of Niles, who showed her Nubian goat at the Berrien County Youth Fair on Wednesday, goats may be just as friendly.
The 11-year-old, who lives on a farm in Niles, has shown goats since she was five years old.
A member of the Red Bud Country Goat Club, she spends a lot of time with other members of that club in preparation for the Fair.
That includes walking the goats and doing different activities that get them ready for the Fair competitions.
Rodts, however, also shows chickens turkeys and ducks.
On Wednesday, she placed fourth in the goat showmanship competition and received and A for her chicken.
Rodts said there is a lot of work involved with showing goats, perhaps because of their naturally gay attitude.
But, she said her two brothers lend a helping hand whenever she needs it.
Like so many other youngsters who show their animals at the Fair, Rodts arrives early and stays late.
Spending that amount of time at the Fair, it would almost be difficult not to make new friends.
Rodts said she has already made several new friends, in addition to getting a chance to meet up with all the ones she has befriended at previous Fairs.
She likes the atmosphere of the Fair.
With so many things to do, such as watching the showmanship competitions, eating yummy junk-food, watching people and taking rides, there seems to be very few dull moments at the Fair.
She also agrees the Fair is an easy place to make friends.
Roberts, who usually shows pigs, was a little late signing up to show her pig this year and was therefore unable to compete in the pig showmanship competition.
But, she did make a quilt and received the reserve champion price for it in the Home Economics section. In addition to that, she also showed a duck.