Teams scramble for goat-milking bragging rights

Wes Franklin

In all of his nine years, Braydon Brewer of Anderson, Mo., said he had never milked a goat. That was until Saturday, when he got some real “hands on” experience at the McDonald County Fair.

Braydon, along with his two pals, sisters Shalaya Davis, 12, and Caitlyn Davis, 13, made up one of seven teams entering this year in the annual goat-milking contest at the fair. 

Apparently, it wasn’t as easy as one might think. 

Braydon, the designated “milker” in the Green Meadows team, squeezed, tugged and yanked on the teats of the rather worried-looking Nubian dairy goat to try and squirt the required 10 spouts of milk into a golden bucket in the timed event.

It took a while. But though his team didn’t win, Braydon finally got the job done.

“That … was … kinda … awesome!” he said after the contest, carefully choosing every word.

It was a brand new experience for him, after all.

Although he said he liked milking the goat, he added it’s not something he would want to do every day.

“Hmm, probably twice a week … maybe,” Braydon offered. 

This year’s goat-milking contest was different than in the past, wherein “lucky” contestants simply tried to fill up a container with milk in the quickest time. Instead, this year’s event, which was sponsored by the McDonald County 4-H, focused on the actual steps necessary when milking a goat for real.

“For those who have participated in the past, if you think you’ve got it figured out, you don’t,” organizer Cheryl Franklin told milking competitors just before the “fun” started inside the Rick Huston Memorial Arena in the fairground livestock building.

Team members were first required to lead the goat to the milking stand, then give it a half-cup of grain, then wash and dry its udder, then squeeze 10 squirts of warm, white milk into gold-painted bucket, then spray the goat’s teats with a disinfectant sealer, and finally finish by leading the — by this time bewildered — animal back to where it started.

And all as fast as possible.

Encouraged by the shouts from the bleacher crowd, the teams scrambled for goat-milking bragging rights when their turn came around.

“Pinch and squeeze, pinch and squeeze,” Franklin encouraged some of the more inexperienced milkers who seemed to have trouble getting any milk to come out at all.

But then it was an inexperienced milking team that wound up winning first place in the end, whipping through the milking technique in exactly one minute, four seconds flat.

The last time Morgan Pierce, 15, milked a goat was exactly one year ago — at last year’s goat milking contest,

She didn’t do as well then. This time, however, her team — Fellowship of Christian Athletes, McDonald County High School chapter — came out on top.

Pierce was the designated milker for the FCA group, made up of herself, Sidney Wortman, 15, and Zandrya Farmer, 14.

“I watch my cousin milk all the time,” Pierce later said as explanation of her goat-milking skills. 

Apparently, she has the technique down.

As a reward, the McDonald County FCA team was given a golden milk bucket filled with goat-milk products, Milk Duds, and Milky Way candy bars.

Each team member was also crowned with sparkling tiaras that lit up with flashing lights.

“We just did it for the crowns,” Pierce said, laughing. “That’s all we wanted.”

Neosho Daily News