When Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds stopped by the Mid-Summer Classic Open Goat Show
during the Van Buren County Fair, ABGA member Rachel Smith said it stopped the show.
“We respect Governor Reynolds, and we were honored,” said Rachel, whose family was hosting the Open Meat Goat Show for the second time. Rachel and her husband Blain Smith’s children were showing goats when the Governor stopped by. “My kids grasped the magnitude of this.”
As an Iowa Meat Goat Association board member, Rachel had heard the governor might stop by when she was making rounds at some agriculture events. When Rachel told her kids, her daughter Audrey commented, “She will want to see Pearl” (the goat she was showing).
Not only did Governor Reynolds see Pearl, she also held Audrey’s goat. She asked the Smith kids some questions too. “They are proud of their goats,” the proud mother added. “They feed their own goats, and they do their own caretaking.”
While Rachel and her husband help when needed, she said her kids know what to do. In fact, Audrey, who is 19 years old, is interested in agriculture. She is majoring in biochemistry at Central College in Pella, Iowa and plans to be veterinarian.
“Raising Boer goats gave me a purpose while growing up,” Audrey said. “Through showing I have learned many life lessons and met a great community of people. It was exciting to meet someone I look up to. Governor Reynolds talked about her family’s involvement in the agriculture industry.”
Audrey’s 15-year-old Zane agreed. “It was a privilege to meet the governor! She asked me about my animal and how I have been doing showing this summer. She was really nice, and I can’t believe our state governor showed up to a small-town county fair.”
Zane likes goats and showing them. So much so, he’s following in his mother’s footsteps. He is the reporter for the Junior Iowa Meat Goat Association.
The Smiths, who have been ABGA members for about 10 years, live in Keosauqua where they have 45 head. Goats mean quite a bit to their kids because they’re homeschooled.
“I like to show goats for the fun of it,” Zane said. “I don’t really do it for the competition.” This is music to his mother’s ears, because she believes this: winning is just a fun part of it.