LESTER PRAIRIE, MN Grace Bayerl, age 12, of Lester Prairie, earned two purple grand champion ribbons for her participation in lightweight dairy market goat, and overall market goat showings at the Minnesota State Fair at the end of August. She was the first member of McLeod County 4-H to earn these awards.
Grace is the daughter of Jeff and Lisa Bayerl of Lester Prairie, and lives on the family farm with her brother, Easton, 7, and parents.
Although the family farm also has chickens and cows, when Grace and Easton wanted to add goats, their parents allowed the purchase of three goats on the condition the children would take care of them.
Lisa recalls the kids taking notebooks to Munson Lake Nutrition for a talk with Paul Berning on feeding rations and hoof trimmings. Lisa and Jeff are proud of such teamwork.
Grace has participated in 4-H for more than four years. Her schedule of projects consists of, but is not limited to, showing rabbits, gardening, and cooking. The McLeod County Fair is her usual competition venue, with this being her second year showing livestock.
Her favorite part about working with goats is seeing their personality after they warm up to her.
A state fair competitor must be at least a sixth-grader, and win at the county level in order to gain admission to the state competition. This was Grace’s first year of eligibility. Her competition partner was Endgame, a goat named after the recent movie release and shared with her brother.
It was a flurry of experiences, between learning the ropes and being overwhelmed with immediate success. Grace expressed her gratitude toward Paula Frick, Brad Quast, and Tad Feltmann for their guidance through the entire process.
As her prize, Grace took home an aluminum transport carrier. She was proud of its potential for future feedings and showings.
With the start of the school season, she reluctantly turns to other activities, such as band, Knowledge Bowl, basketball, and softball.
Nonetheless, she reserves enough time to personally feed the goat every morning and evening, and plans to continue to show goats in the future.