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Once upon a time there was a goat named Corki -

by Terri Hogan

Senior Staff Writer

In 1987, a Laytonsville family purchased a goat named Corki at the Montgomery County Agricultural Fair.

Raising and showing goats has since become a family affair for the Peoples/McKeever/Claggett clan, as its third generation prepares for the 70th anniversary of the fair, which will take place Aug. 10-18 in Gaithersburg.

Anne Claggett, now of Damascus, said that when her family moved to Laytonsville when she was a child, the previous owners of the property had left a goat, asking them to care for it.

Her mother, Barbara Peoples, has always been an animal lover.

“She did some research and learned that goats are herd animals, so we went to the fair to purchase a companion,” Claggett said. “We bought Corki, an Alpine goat, from a 4-H’er for my brother, David McKeever.”

Soon afterwards, Claggett announced to her family that since her brother had a goat, she wanted one, too.

Not wanting the siblings to compete against each other, they decided on a different breed. They purchased a Nubian goat from a farm in Clarksburg and named her Mulberry.

Being new to the world of raising goats, they were all in for a surprise when Mulberry unexpectedly delivered twins Oreo and Rudy.

With their herd growing, Claggett said she and her brother got involved in the local 4-H dairy goat club, run by Diana Patton. Patton still runs it today.

Claggett said her family now owns about 60 goats on their Laytonsville property.

The farm does not sell milk or cheese, but the goat milk is pasteurized and used for bottle feeding the babies to get them used to people.

Like their mother, Claggett’s children, Rachel McKeever, 20, and Aaron Claggett, 9, are carrying on the family tradition by showing goats at the county fair.

Claggett is still involved, as well. She is a national-level dairy goat judge, which means she is licensed and paid to be a livestock judge at fairs and events across the country.

Claggett said she and her children are looking forward to this year’s fair, even though a lot of preparation leads up to it. All the animals need a full body clip, their nails trimmed and a bath.

“My kids will each spend at least 40 hours at the fair, if not more,” she said. “I have to work, but will be there daily.”

Claggett said there is a huge sense of community in showing goats and being a part of the county fair.

“It is heavy in terms of being run volunteers and that is something I noticed my whole life,” she said. “I wanted to give back to the community and wanted to give my kids and other kids the same opportunities I had.”

Claggett said her family also leases their goats out to three 4-H members, ranging in age from 10-13.

“Each leases a couple of goats and they feed and care for them,” she said. “They will show them under their own names at the fair.”

 

Fun at the Fair

 

The 70th Annual Montgomery County Agricultural Fair, “A Tradition to Treasure,” will be held Aug. 10-18 at the fairgrounds, 501 Perry Pkwy., Gaithersburg

Fair hours are as follows:

Friday, Aug. 10 — 3 p.m. to midnight. Gates will close at 11 p.m. for entry.

Saturday, Aug. 11 through Saturday, Aug. 18 — 10 a.m. to midnight. Gates will close at 11 p.m. for entry.

Carnival hours are as follows:

Friday, Aug. 10 — 3 p.m. to midnight. Gates will close at 11 p.m. for entry.

Saturday, Aug. 11 through Saturday, Aug. 18 — noon to midnight. Gates will close at 11 p.m. for entry.

General Admission is $12, children 11 and under are free. Free same day re-admission for those who get their hand stamped at the gate before departing.

Tickets (for admission, parking, carnival and grandstand entertainment events) can be purchased online at www.etix.com/ticket/v/9714/the-montgomery-county-agricultural-fair.

Parking is $10 cash per car at the fairgrounds.

Group rate is $7 per person with 15 people or more. Must be purchased in one transaction at the fair office and picked up prior to the first day of the fair.

Free parking and shuttle bus service from Lakeforest Mall, located at Lost Knife Road and Odenhal Avenue on Aug. 10 from 11:30 a.m. to midnight and Aug. 11-18 from 8 a.m. to midnight.

Highlights include livestock, carnival rides, children’s activities, exhibits, food and entertainment.

For more information, call 301-963-FAIR (3247) or go to www.mcagfair.com.

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