RALEIGH – The 2017 edition of the North Carolina State Fair is a wrap, and two local students found success while doing what they love.
Richmond Early College senior and 4-H’er Coleman Lee Berry represented Richmond County well this year at the annual N.C. State Fair Livestock Show. Berry walked away with second, third, fourth and fifth place finishes in the showing of his Wether Meat goats.
Prior to the State Fair, Berry placed first in the showmanship category for the senior division at regionals. This involved attending 11 different circuit shows across the state during an eight-week period.
“I won the junior belt buckle quite a few years back,” Berry said. “I also won the intermediate buckle a couple years back, and now my last year showing, I was able to win the senior buckle.”
Showing goats is something Berry became interested in at the early age of 10 after watching friends and family compete.
“I decided to give it a try and I loved it,” Berry said of his passion.
Since he became involved in the shows, Berry has shown up to six animals per year and noted that it “is a lot of hard work.” Prior to the actual show, there is great deal of training that goes into a show goat. Then, before the competition, each animal must be clipped and washed to prep for the show.
Berry stays on the go. His show goats come out of his own Goat Patch Show Goat Farm where he kids 10-15 does per year. Additionally, he is the manager of the Berry Patch in Ellerbe. The Berry Patch is home of the world’s largest strawberry, and offers an abundant selection of local produce. It also offers the best homemade ice cream.
This was Berry’s last year of showing, as he will graduate in May from Richmond Early College with an Associate’s Degree. He plans to continue his education at North Carolina State University in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS).
However, the goat show must go on.
“Three years ago, I was able to get my sister, Ava, interested in showing,” Berry beamed. “This year Ava received first place in her class with a doe kid and also received a pin for doe showmanship.”
Farming runs deep in the Berry family, and from the looks of it, the future generation stands ready to carry on the tradition.