BRITT – College student Rebekah Larson exhibited her goats for the fourth year at the Hancock County District Fair.
Larson was this year’s reserve showmanship champion, placing behind fair queen Liliana Hill, who was awarded grand champion for showmanship. During the advanced showmanship competition. Larson showed her 5-year-old Boar Goat Mitsy.
Larson, 21, a graduate of Garner-Hayfield-Ventura High School, transfer from North Iowa Area Community College (NIACC) to SMSU, where she plans to pursue a degree in agricultural education.
“The hardest thing is getting them to cooperate,” said Larson, as she rubbed Mitsy’s head. The only goat in her class without horns, Mitsy had torn them when she was little and they had to be removed, Larson said.
In addition to goats, Larson exhibited sheep and swine, though she said she considers the goats to be the toughest for a variety of reasons, one of which being their stubbornness.
“Working with goats has taught patience is important,” Larson said. “You have to be patient with them and they need to gain trust in you in order to make working with them easier.
“They are the most difficult of the animals I’ve worked with. If they don’t want to do something, they won’t. If you don’t have that rapport with them, then it will be even more difficult to get them to work with you. You can’t just walk up to a goat, put a collar on it and expect it to go where you want it to go.”
A member of the Iowa River FFA, Larson said the FFA experiences and the skills she picked up along the way are what have led her to choose agricultural education as her major. Larson said she hopes to use her knowledge and degree to work for the agricultural extension offices and pass that wealth of education on to other young people. In addition, Larson plans to study taxidermy, in order to display wildlife.
“FFA was a good experience,” Larson said. “I did it for six years and I would really recommend it for other young people. It’s a good time, it is fun and a great experience overall. You get to learn a lot.”