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Sixth-grader wins Grand Champion at fair

By Judy Reed

Randy Spicer with son Cole (R) after he Cole won Grand Champion AOB at fair. Courtesy photo.

A Cedar Springs area sixth-grader won the title of Grand Champion AOB with his yearling goat at this year’s Kent County Youth Fair.

Cole Spicer, 11, is the son of Randy and Lianne Spicer, of Solon Township, and a sixth-grader at Cedar Springs Public Schools. He raised his spotted Boer goat, Tesla, from infancy. In fact, she was born and raised right on their farm. “Homegrown is the term we, as farmers, use to describe her,” explained Lianne.

This was Cole’s second year of showing goats, and he did all of his own training. “This was his project,” said Lianne. 

Randy said that Cole was ecstatic when he found out he’d won Grand Champion. “He was over the top. Just recently he said, ‘I wish we could go back to fair.’”

Lianne said that Cole and Tesla have a special bond. To Tesla, Cole is “her boy” and she follows him like a puppy. That was clearly seen in a later part of the fair. 

Cole with goat, Tesla. Courtesy photo.

“After he won yearling Grand Champion AOB with her, she was asked to be used in the Showmanship sweepstakes,” said Lianne. “Showmanship sweepstakes is where 4-h kids compete in showing every animal variety at the fair. They have the duration of the fair to learn how to show cows, horses, chickens, pigs, sheep, goats, rabbits, and guinea pigs. So Cole’s Grand Champion doe was requested for this show. Cole, as the handler, agreed and passed her over to another showman to use. The whole time Tesla tried to cross the ring to get back to her boy Cole, while the show was in progress. It was like watching a completely different goat! In this class it’s the showman that is being judged, and Tesla was proving to be loyal to only Cole.”

Cole is setting his sights higher next year and plans to show pigs and goats in 2022. 

Lianne and Randy would like to thank Cole’s club leader Allyn Toren of North Kent Sheep, and Kent County youth fair goat barn Superintendent Wanda Vandefifer. “These people worked really hard this year to support the kids and keep the fair spirit alive,” they said.

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