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Sunday, July 21, 2024 at 12:05 PM

Fitting Clinic Prepares Grange Youth to Show at State and Local Competitions

Fitting Clinic Prepares Grange Youth to Show at State and Local Competitions
Patrick Aliff teaches at the High Desert Grange Showmanship Clinic

Author: Courtesy High Desert Grange

Agriculture and all its aspects, including livestock, is an integral part of northern Nevada and a focus of High Desert Grange. It’s not unusual to see grange members, young and old, teaching one another the skills necessary to raise healthy, happy animals. Sharing knowledge is so important to High Desert Grange member Debra Hoffmann, of Hoffmann Hill Farm in Fallon, that she organized the High Desert Grange-sponsored Fitting and Showmanship Clinic for Goats and Sheep that was held at the Churchill County Fairgrounds on March 12th and 13th.

The event was open to everyone, youth and adults from Grange, 4-H, FFA, and Independent Youth were invited to attend.

What is “fitting” you might ask? Fitting means washing, drying, and clipping the hair on an animal to prepare it for the show ring.

During these two days, presenters David Mueller and Patrick Aliff from Chestnut Springs West, a farm in California, led participants through the hands-on lessons. Many people brought their goats and sheep. Those individuals who did not were able to audit the event.

Day one featured fitting techniques including how to clip the hair on the does for showing in breeding classes at fairs, etc. Day two focused on the showmanship of presenting an animal in the show ring to bring out the best characteristics of the animal while maintaining control of the animal.

When asked what inspired her to organize this learning opportunity, Debra shared her reasons, “I am one of the goat leaders for High Desert Grange. Each year I try to help the youth fit their animals for all the shows. I am just learning myself and wanted to bring professionals in to teach so youth can be more competitive in the show ring.”  Helping Debra with this event were Snow Morrison, Donna Withers, Carolynn Chamlee, and Gloria Montero.

Mueller and Aliff raise and show Boer goats. They also raise and train horses. Aliff is a judge for the American Boer Goat Association and travels the country judging shows. Both men put on similar clinics around the western states to help individuals improve their showmanship ability and fitting skills. Fifty participants ages 7 and up, plus their families, came from Nevada, California, and Idaho to attend the Fallon clinic.

The Fitting Clinic fee was $60.00 for those people who brought an animal and $40.00 for those who did not. The Showmanship fee was $40.00. Fees covered the clinic and lunch which was provided by the Nevada Goat Producers Association.

Putting on the event was easy for Debra once the date was set. Seeing the drastic improvement in the skills of the youth in such a short period was her greatest thrill.

High Desert Grange will be participating in the Nevada Junior Livestock Show and the Churchill County Junior Livestock Show and Sale.

Debra has had requests to offer this clinic next year. Check the High Desert Grange website at the beginning of next year to stay informed:  http://www.grange.org/highdesertnv22/.