By LIBBY CLUETT
FORT WORTH – Again, a Palo Pinto County student has claimed the overall grand champion junior wether goat title, this time at the 117th Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo.
Santo sophomore Grant Read, representing Santo FFA, won the title on Feb. 2, and this past Saturday his heavyweight goat, named “Fifteen,” sold to Fort Worth’s Shale Exploration for $55,000.
This sum will go to his college education, said his father, Jackie Read.
“We were really excited,” said the elder Read, noting that Fort Worth goat sales have normally been in the mid-$30,000 range.
Grant Read is no newcomer to grand championships. At last year’s Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Junior Market Goat Show he was grand champion. At the Houston auction his goat fetched a world-record $155,000, but only a percentage of that went to Read. He’s able to keep the full amount from Fort Worth, though.
Jackie Read said his family started with showing animals when his oldest son, Dayne – now a freshman in college – was in third grade. They chose goats upon the suggestion and eventual coaching from Palo Pinto County Agrilife Agent Scott Mauney.
To get the goat ring ready for showmanship and the general livestock show, Read said it not only starts with good breeding, but, more importantly, it takes a good feed-and-exercise program, which includes regularly walking the goat.
“This thing is a family project,” he said. “The younger they were, it was a whole family project, and the older they got, it became a brother’s project.”
His sons “put in a lot of long hours,” Read said, adding that they would “come in after football practice and homework to feed the animals in the morning and at night and find ample time to work with their animals to get them in show-ring shape.”