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July 11, 2012

Contest a tradition for Royal Center family

LOGANSPORT — Eight-year-old Ryan Adams, dressed all in white, helped keep four of his family’s goats in check as his big brother, 10-year-old Nathan, showed a fifth goat in the Cass County 4-H Fair goat show Tuesday morning.

But that wasn’t Ryan’s only job. He was one of 10 Mini 4-H members to join about four dozen older children in the goat show. After leading one of his brother Nathan’s goats into the ring, Ryan kept the goat’s head facing the judge — a skill he’s learned that will come in handy next year, when he graduates into  the full-fledged 4-H program.

Cass County’s Mini 4-H’ers are not allowed to enter their own goats in the goat show until they reach regular 4-H age at 9 years old.

However, fair rules allow them to show other people’s goats.

Taking advantage of the opportunity, Ryan showed some of the family’s Nubian breed goats both this year and last.

“I thought it would be nice to do and see how it would work out,” Ryan said.

Nathan, the oldest of the Royal Center family’s four boys, started showing goats last year, too, keeping up a family tradition. The boys’

grandmother, Brenda Rusk, is heavily involved in the county 4-H program, and their mother, Diana Adams, also showed goats as a child.

When he finally got to raise and show goats, Nathan learned the distinctive characteristics of the Nubian breed — “the Roman nose and floppy ears.”

This year, the Adams boys raised seven registered Nubians descended from a family line that their grandmother started. Nathan and Ryan took care of feeding and milking the goats each morning and evening in the weeks leading up to the county fair, Diana said.

Then at Tuesday’s goat show, Nathan won reserve champion for a milking doe named Orchestra, or “Orky” for short. Most of the family’s other Nubians share musical names — like Jazz, Singing Sue and Symphony — in a tradition that Rusk started along with the family line.

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