Name: Irish Farrow
Family: Parents, Jimmy and Wendy Royce, brothers, Bobby and Justin
4-H Group and School: Caprine Kids 4-H Goat Club, 7th grader at Harrison Junior High School
How are you involved in agriculture?
Irish is an old hand at raising and showing Boer goats. Since age 8 when she saw Boer goats at the Ozark Empire Fair in Springfield, Mo., Irish knew she wanted to do the same.
“My mom said, ‘You want to do what?’” Irish remembered. “ I had to convince her that I would be responsible for the goats in every way.”
At the North Arkansas Meat Goat Association’s wethers and kids sale, Irish bought Oreo, Blue Bell and Star. Big Creek Boer Goats, as Irish calls the business, now has a herd of 15 to 20 does, kids, wethers and bucks, guarded by three Great Pyrenees on 20 acres near Burlington, Ark.
What show awards have you earned?
With Oreo, Blue Bell and Star, Irish walked away with division titles for all three goats. Irish bought her first registered goat, Sable, from Rocking M Goat Ranch and continued to win. She’ s proud of the 2007 Grand Champion Boone County Fair award, for example, but has many other prizes as well. Irish has more than 500 ribbons, four buckles, three trophies, two garment bags and two banners. Last year, she won every showmanship event; in those competitions, the judges rate her as much as her goat. Her grandpa, Ed Thomason, takes her to many of the shows.
“They look at how you control your goat and ask hard questions about how I cut their feet and worm them,” she said.
How do you mange the goats?
Irish manages breeding, birthing, feeding, grooming and showing. About the only thing she can’t do is drive the family trailer to shows. In addition to the 18 percent protein feed her goats get year round, they thrive on Bermuda, alfalfa or mixed grass hay in winter.
“They’ re happy with lots and lots of hay and plenty of water; and they want to be loved. The goats are affectionate. They’re sweet once they get to know you,” she added.
By Jennifer Ailor