Local 5 met with members of the Schaefer family as they prepared to participate in the goat exhibition on Aug. 17, Day 8 of the 2023 Iowa State Fair.
"In order to do well in the showroom, you gotta put a lot of time and effort in the ring at home," said 19-year-old Kate Schaefer. "Whether that's walking them every single day, washing them every day, getting them up on the stand; the more time you spend in the barn, the better you'll do here."
Kate has been showing goats for nearly 12 years, but the family tradition started before Kate was even born. Her mom, Jennifer Schaefer, began showing animals in 4-H when she was a kid.
"I think it's great to raise your kids with livestock," Jennifer said. "It teaches a lot of life lessons."
Local 5 and CW Iowa 23 are bringing exciting 2023 Iowa State Fair experiences to you, from live newscasts to an interactive Local 5 Weather Lab experience. Come see us in front of the Administration Building (Grand Concourse) each day between 9 a.m. and 8 p.m.
More than 58,000 animals are shown over the course of the fair. Kate and her family showed 12 goats at the fair this year, but at home, they have "too many to count", Kate tells Local 5. That's why they have to be selective with which goats they show at the fair.
"[The judges are] looking for the goat that follows the true breed standard, whether that's having the biggest rump, having the biggest top on their loin, looking for the femininity in their body," Kate said. "Overall mass is typically what will win in the show ring."
While Kate loves showing and raising goats with her family, she says the community around animal exhibitions is what makes it all worth it.
"The livestock industry is actually a great big family," Kate said. "So, to be able to go to a show every single weekend or come to the Iowa State Fair every single year and find all these people that have the same passion and interest, it's just somewhere that feels like home."
Iowa Parks and Recreation Day
Celebrate all things outdoors at the Iowa State Fair. Thursday is Iowa Park and Recreation Day at the fairgrounds.
"It's critical to be outdoors, get back in touch with nature," said Steven Jordison, executive director of the Iowa Parks and Recreation Association. "It actually reduces your stress level, it encourages you to have a better lifestyle, which is what we all need in today's society."
Nearly all of Iowa's 935 communities have some sort of park or recreation activity, according to Jordison. That means all Iowans can have access to outdoor education.
Iowa Credit Union Day
In addition to your standard fair activities, fairgoers can stop by the Grand Concourse on Thursday to participate in hands-on activities and learn about the work credit unions are doing to help Iowans.
More from the fair
WATCH: Complete coverage of the 2023 Iowa State Fair