Nicolas Binebrink, 13, names all of his goats for Disney characters.
Lilo and Stitch will go to the Shenandoah County Fair this year, along with older goat Pepper, who got his name from the film “One Hundred and One Dalmatians.”
Nani, who was in the same January litter as Lilo and Stitch, will stay home from the fair to breed for next year, said Nicolas, who hopes to sell the other two.
He started showing goats five years ago and will join other area 4-H members and FFA students at the fair, scheduled for Aug. 26-31 at the fairgrounds in Woodstock, 300 Fairground Road.
“My parents bought me my first goats, and I just went on from there,” he said. “They’re very interesting animals.”
Nicolas, an eighth-grader at Signal Knob Middle School, said he mainly shows goats but has also shown rabbits and chickens.
At his family’s Strasburg home, he’s raising Netherland dwarf rabbits, one of the smallest breeds. He also has a leghorn chicken named Bigfoot and a buff Orpington chicken named Ethel.
“I like getting to learn more about the animals themselves and what to do for them and how to take care of them,” said Nicolas, who was planning to take an agriculture leadership class at school this year.
“It’s just really fun to learn more and mess around with these animals, because they will really mess around with you.”
Lindsey Rigby, 15, of Woodstock, said her mom was the impetus to her joining 4-H.
“I think she in a way kind of encouraged me to join,” Lindsey said. “She always thought it was a good idea.”
Lindsey started by joining a 4-H goat club and showing goats and later moved onto sheep and cows.
“I got interested after going to the fair each year,” she said. “After the goat show, I would go to sheep shows.”
After that, she said, “I really just liked the idea of showing cattle.”
Now starting her fourth year, Lindsey praised 4-H for building children’s leadership skills.
A sophomore at Central High School, she’s in multiple 4-H clubs (Goat Club, Livestock Club, Exchange Club and Honor Club) and is the recorder of her school’s FFA club.
She’s also on the county fair’s board for the 4-H and FFA Show and Sale.
“So I’m a huge representative for that,” she said.
As a board member, she said she handles pen assignments and coordinates workshops the week of the fair. She also helps with buying assignments and ultrasounds for sheep, hogs and steers.
At home, she also has rabbits, chickens and “one really big old pig.”
This year, she will be showing two market goats and a market steer.
Local school FFA clubs are part of the National FFA Organization, described at the website www.ffa.org as “an intracurricular student organization for those interested in agriculture and leadership.”
FFA used to stand for the Future Farmers of America, but now encompasses many types of career paths that students of science and agriculture might pursue.
“I’ve really thought about being an ag teacher,” Lindsey said. “I really want to go into the agricultural field. That’s one thing that I know I would like to do.”
One of her favorite parts of the fair is helping novice exhibitors.
“Everyone who shows at the fair will always be there for you if you need anything," she said.