According to Southern Pygmy Goat Club public relations assistant Linda Jensen, the club has been holding the pygmy goat show in Lebanon for almost 20 years now.
“These folks at what we’ve always knows as the James E. Ward Agricultural Center, these people have been just fantastic to work with,” said Jensen. “They have always gone out of their way to help us and I just can’t say enough good about them. They’re just fantastic folks.”
A pygmy goat is a breed of miniature domestic goat.
Jensen and her husband, Jerry, got into the pygmy goat show scene in 1995, when they became members of the Southern Pygmy Goat Club. Since then, Jerry served for a time as president of the club and Linda as head of public relations, a role she now assists with.
Though they no longer show pygmy goats, Linda says spending time with their pygmy goats can be very therapeutic for her.
“You get so attached to them,” she said. “People think you get attached to the dogs and cats and stuff, but you can get attached to any kind of animal, and these little goats really have a lot of personality. As a matter of fact, I would have a rough day of work and my husband would point to the barn and say, ‘just go,’ and I would go spend time in the doe barn or in the buck barn or whatever, just with some of our little goats and I’d come back down the hill and I’d be like a new person.”
Doe and buck are the terms for female and male pygmy goats respectively. Male goats who have been fixed are called wethers, and Linda said these make the best pets.
“You may wonder, why even keep them, but like I said their personality really comes through and they make really good pets,” she said.
At the show Saturday, the goats will be shown by sex, with does, bucks and wethers each getting their own categories. There will also be a Master Champion category, for goats that have won a designated amount of shows.
“That is just, even more the cream of the crop,” said Linda. “Once they achieve that status, they can keep competing until they just get so old that they’re not even in competing shape,” said Linda. “There’s not an age limit when it comes to these Master Champion classes.”
The show Saturday will also feature a “Parade of Pygmies” around mid-day in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day.
Admission to the event is free, and it will be held from 8:30 a.m. until around 4:30 p.m. at the Livestock Barn at the James E. Ward Agricultural Center. Two National Pygmy Goat Association sanctioned shows will be featured, with competitions for does, bucks, wethers, and master champions.
Linda says spectators are encouraged to come.
“All of us that have goats love to talk about them, so [visitors] can get lots of questions answered,” she said.
She also said that there will likely be pygmy goats for sale at the event, but buyers are usually encouraged to buy multiple goats
“They are herd animals, so they do better to not be alone,” she said. “They do need to have companionship, so usually you won’t find people that would sell just one. These are their babies and they want to make sure that they have good homes, so they’ll prefer that these people will have other goats for them to socialize with and be with.”
For more information, visit npga-pygmy.com.