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BELTRAMI COUNTY FAIR: A barn load of fun (video)

Two-year-old EmmaRae Tanem runs with her horse, Maggie, with a little help from sister Alexis Booge during the Tiny Tots Horse Show on Thursday at the Beltrami County Fair. (Monte Draper | Bemidji Pioneer)2 / 4
Having the perfect stance is important as Chelsie Gilbertson and Josh Gilbertson adjust their Boer goats during the 4-H Goat Show on Thursday morning at the Beltrami County Fair. (Monte Draper | Bemidji Pioneer)3 / 4
Calli Yerbich runs her goat through an agility course Thursday at the Beltrami County Fair. The goats had to make their way through cones, a ladder and a teeter totter before jumping a hay bale to the finish line. (Malachi Petersen | Bemidji Pioneer)4 / 4

BEMIDJI -- The Beltrami County Fair was buzzing and ‘baaing’ with activity Thursday.

From animal shows to the stables, every type of farm animal was on display.

One of the more popular animal shows Thursday was when about 50 4-H children showedoff  their goats.

Anna Marie Ward, the 4-H program coordinator, said the goat show is a traditional animal show. Ward said there are many different types of goats, including meat and dairy goats. For the showmanship part of the show, all breeds of goats were able to compete.

“The 4-H youth are judged on their knowledge of the animal, specifics about their breed, and also how they handle their animal,” Ward said. “Showmanship is where we’re looking for those top-notch kids.”

Caitlin Pickett, the grand champion for the seniors showmanship group, said her goat, Louise, had been bred specifically for showing at fairs.

“You generally just choose your best behaved goat,” she said. “You just go out there every day and then they’ll just start learning it automatically.”

After the initial goat show, a goat agility contest was held. Participants ran their goats through a series of obstacles to compete for the best time.

In addition to goats, horses were a big draw Thursday.

Abby Lebis and Bella Fontana said their Quartermaster horses are a part of a drill team performing throughout the week. “We practice the drill team routine two times a week for about three hours each day,” Fontana said. “The horses go out, they spin around, we meet up, and it kind of looks like a dance routine.”

“We show the horses up here and we do a little skit,” Lebis said. “We do competitions, like (today) we’re doing a competition, and we show them to people.”

Dianne Derr said the animals were a big hit with her grandchildren.

“The kids enjoyed seeing all the animals. We’ve been through all the animal barns and watched the horse show,” Derr said.

The animals shows might be a chance for some to show off animals and the training they’ve done, but for one woman, the fair is of sentimental value.  

Whitney Pittman and her family are the organizers of the Judy Pittman Memorial Tiny Tots Horse Show. The show allows children to showcase their riding skills and is held in memory of her mother, a leader of the 4-H Horse project who passed away from pancreatic cancer in 2008.

Pittman said her favorite part of the fair is being able to reconnect with friends and watch the kids compete.

“It’s always been a part of my life because my mom was so involved with it and everything,” she said. “I get to be here around the people I’ve known my whole life. For me, it’s the kids -- the fair is about the kids, and learning, and having somewhere to show off what you’ve been working for.”

For more information on the Beltrami County Fair, visit