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Michalke does win best of breed at county fair's dairy goat show

Joe Naiman

Village News Reporter

Two does raised by Fallbrook Future Farmers of America member Taylor Michalke were awarded grand champion of breed at the San Diego County Fair's dairy goat show June 13-18.

FFA, 4-H, and Junior Grange members who competed in the Junior Dairy Goat Show were also allowed to compete in the Open Dairy Goat Show as long as the same animal was entered and shown in the junior show and the animal met all open show entry deadlines and guidelines.

Tina-Rex was the grand champion for the LaMancha breed in both the junior division and the open division, and Nutmeg was the junior and open division grand champion for the Oberhasli breed.

"I've never done it before," Michalke said of raising a grand champion. "I've been working on it for a long time, so it was great to finally accomplish that achievement."

Michalke brought eight LaMancha or Oberhasli goats to the fair's dairy goat show and won numerous classes. "It was a very good year," she said.

A doe that has given birth competes in the senior division for its breed. The junior division is for does who have not given birth. Although milking is not part of the senior dairy goat competition, the criteria includes udder positioning as well as conformation and general appearance.

The junior division had four classes for each breed: dry yearlings born in 2022, senior kids born in January 2023 or February 2023, intermediate kids born in March 2023, and junior kids born in April 2023 or early May 2023.

The senior division had five classes: milked yearlings, two-year-olds, three-year-olds, four-year-olds, and five years or older. The class champions competed against each other for the junior grand champion and senior grand champion distinction.

Each breed has a best udder winner, and there is also a best udder award for all breeds. The fair had a best of show for all breeds with grand champions and reserve champions being awarded for specific breeds. The dairy goat show also had recorded grade grand champions and reserve champions for mixed breeds.

In many classes, Michalke and her sister, Morgan, swept first and second. That deprived Morgan Michalke of numerous first-place ribbons. "I'm a little disappointed, but that's okay," Morgan Michalke said.

Taylor Michalke graduated from Fallbrook High School in June. She spent five years in Fallbrook 4-H prior to enrolling in Fallbrook High School and transitioning to FFA. She is now 18 and was 9 when she joined 4‑H.

An incoming ninth grader is able to show livestock at the San Diego County Fair as a Future Farmers of America member. Morgan Michalke, who completed eighth grade at Potter Junior High in June, utilized the ability of incoming ninth graders to show livestock as an FFA member. She turned 15 on June 24 and was 9 when she began showing market goats at the county fair. She began showing dairy goats in 2018. Michalke brought three LaMancha goats to the dairy goat show at this year's county fair.

Tina-Rex is now 3 years old. She was bred in Kansas by Jen‑Mae‑Ka Kids Dairy Goats and the Michalke family acquired her shortly after her birth. As a yearling in 2021, Tina-Rex was the junior doe champion.

Not only was Tina-Rex the champion 3-year-old LaMancha dairy goat this year, but Tina-Rex and Cera were the breed's champion dam and daughter and Tina-Rex, Cera, and Miss-Demeanor were the dam and produce champion for a dam and two daughters. Tina-Rex was the junior show's Best Doe in Show reserve champion and the junior show's Best Udder reserve champion for all breeds. Taylor Michalke also won the FFA advanced division showmanship with Tina-Rex.

"She's a great partner," Michalke said of Tina-Rex. "She's got a great personality, super sweet."

Nutmeg is 2 years old. She was acquired from Elise Dbl Eagle's Dairy Goats in Valley Center. Nutmeg was the junior Oberhasli grand champion and Ginger, who was born on May 1, was the reserve junior Oberhasli champion.

"It was really fun to show a different breed. It's my first time in Oberhaslis," Michalke said. "It was great to try something new."

Nutmeg gave birth to both Ginger and Cinnamon on May 1 The two Oberhasli kids were born in Fallbrook. Ginger was the Oberhasli junior kids champion and Cinnamon was the reserve champion in that class. Nutmeg and Ginger were the Oberhasli dam and doe champion pair while Nutmeg, Ginger, and Cinnamon were the top Oberlasli dam and produce trio.

Blue Line LaManchas is the Michalke family herd, and both Cera and Miss‑Demeanor were born in Fallbrook. Cera was born last year and was the champion LaMancha dry yearling. Miss‑Demeanor was born in April and was the champion LaMancha junior kid. Miss‑Demeanor and Cera were the junior champion and junior reserve champion for both the junior and open divisions.

"We were really successful this year," Michalke said.

Although Morgan Michalke finished second to her sister in many classes, the younger sister showed five-year-old Nova, who was acquired from Jen‑Mae-Ka Kids Dairy Goats. Nova was the champion 5-year-old LaMancha for both the junior show and the open show, and Michalke also won the FFA novice division showmanship with Nova.

"She deserved it. She's a really good goat," Morgan Michalke said. "She was able to help me win easily."

Nova is also the mother of Regina George, who received second place among LaMancha yearlings, and Thunder, who was born April 11. Nova, Regina George, and Thunder placed second in the dam and produce category while Nova and Regina George were second in the mother and daughter competition.

Future Farmers of America has an alumni year provision which allows FFA members to pursue their American FFA degree, and Taylor Michalke will be pursuing that degree and remaining in FFA for the 2023-24 academic year.

Audrey Greenwood, who graduated from Oasis High School in 2017 and took agriculture classes at Fallbrook High School so that she would be eligible for membership in Fallbrook's FFA chapter, received her American FFA degree in 2018, showed LaMancha goats in both the junior and open dairy goat competitions before aging out of the junior division.

Greenwood now shows LaMancha dairy goats in the open division although she did not participate in this year's San Diego County Fair. Morgan Michalke credits Greenwood for teaching the Michalke sisters about showing LaMancha dairy goats. "We both kind of learned it together," Michalke said.


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