Middle Tennessee State University will host the fourth annual Heart of Tennessee Junior Meat Goat Classic that will bring 75 boys and girls from across Tennessee to campus.
The event will be held starting at 6 p.m. Friday, Oct. 3, and from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 4, at the Tennessee Livestock Center, 1720 Greenland Drive in Murfreesboro. For parking and building location, a printable campus map can be found at http://tinyurl.com/MTSUParkingMap14-15.
Students in grades 4 through 12 from 20 counties will be competing for prizes. For the event schedule, rules to be posted before the event begins and more, visit www.hotmeatgoatclassic.com/Heart-of-Tennessee.html.
Midstate counties represented with entries this year include Bedford, Cannon, DeKalb, Dickson, Lawrence, Lincoln, Robertson, Rutherford, Smith, Sumner, Williamson, Wilson and White. West Tennessee entries will come from Decatur, Dyer, Gibson, Henderson and Tipton counties. East Tennessee will have entries from Cumberland and Hamblen counties.
The youth entries’ deadline was six weeks before the event. No late entries will be accepted. However, late entries will be allowed in the Adult Showmanship Class.
“The event combines the educational experience with the competition class shows,” said Jessica Carter, MTSU associate professor in animal science, who organized registration. “They (youth entrants) work hard, and they get rewarded, too.”
About $17,000 in prize money will be awarded, said Carter, who added that the Tennessee Department of Agriculture is a major event sponsor.
The main competition classes will be skillathon, showmanship and classes for wethers, orcastrated male goats, and commercial and registered does, or female goats.
Skillathon covers all aspects of goat production, identification, goat knowledge quiz, quality assurance and milk quality and handling.
One of the most popular activities is the costume class, where entries turn clever-to-outrageous ideas into outfits for them and their goats.
Brian Faris, an animal science professor at Kansas State University, is serving as judge for the competition.
— Randy Weiler (Randy.Weiler@mtsu.edu)