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Costume contest helps wrap up youth goat classic a...

Costume contest helps wrap up youth goat classic at MTSU

At the MTSU-sponsored Heart of Tennessee Junior Meat Goat Classic — primarily held for 4-H and Future Farmers of America participants — they save the best for last.

“The best,” of course, is the always funny costume class, which will conclude the two-day event held in the Tennessee Livestock Center’s main arena, set this year for Friday and Saturday, Oct. 5-6.

Jess Michael Vaught and brother John Buryl Neely lead in their "chicken goat" at costume event.

A then-2-year-old “Col. Harland Sanders,” aka Jess Michael Vaught, with help from older brother John Buyrl Neely, leads his costumed “chicken goat” around the show ring during the 2017 Heart of Tennessee Junior Meat Goat Classic Costume Contest in MTSU’s Tennessee Livestock Center. (File photo by Ashley Turner)

Affiliated with the MTSU School of Agriculture, the event enables school-age children who raise meat goats to compete and learn more about their project. More than $60,000 in scholarships have been awarded since 2011.

The show is co-sponsored by the Tennessee Department of Agriculture. The organizing committee includes members from MTSU, the University of Tennessee Extension, Tennessee State University, the Tennessee Farmers Cooperative and Farm Credit Mid-America.

“One of the highlights is a costume contest that will be held on Saturday afternoon,” said Dr. Jessica Carter, director of the MTSU School of Agriculture. “We never know what the contestants will think of and how creative and clever their costumes and those of their goats will be each year.”

Activity will begin Friday, Oct. 5, including the 6:30 p.m. Pee-Wee Showmanship, plus showmanship in a variety of other goat categories.

Skillathon, which focuses on the knowledge and skills acquired in raising goats, is a big part of both days of the event.

An Adult Showmanship Class, a fundraiser for the Heart of Tennessee Show Fund, follows the Costume Class.

For more information, call show manager Logan Hickerson at 615-785-0859 or Carter at 615-898-2169.

— Randy Weiler (

Ke\ylee Anderson leads her goat into the show ring during costume contest.

“Pocahontas,” aka Kylee Anderson, leads her goat, draped with a Native American blanket, onto the show ring during the 2017 Heart of Tennessee Junior Meat Goat Classic Costume Contest in the Tennessee Livestock Center. This year’s goat event will be Oct. 5-6. (File photo by Ashley Turner)