La Mancha goat brings state fair magic to Chatfield youth


Patrick Drogemuller is looking forward to showing his La Mancha goat at this year’s state fair. GRETCHEN MENSINK LOVEJOY/CHATFIELD NEWS
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GRETCHEN MENSINK LOVEJOY
CHATFIELD NEWS

Three times is a charm, but four times is ma-a-aaa-gic.

“I’ve taken her to the fair three times, so this is her fourth year,” said Patrick Drogemuller, a Chatfield Root River Rabbits 4-H member. His prize-winning La Mancha goat, the girl who’s brought him ribbons and awards from the show ring at the county and state fairs in years past has once again earned him a trip to the state fair.

“I’ve always been confident with her. She’s always been an amazing goat to show,” he continued. “I’ve gotten reserve grand champion with her the past two years. I think at the county fair this year, she got second or first. She’s such a good animal that I don’t have to work with her on showing…all I’ve had to do is keep her milking. Otherwise, she knows what to do.”

Drogemuller, an upcoming Chatfield High School junior, is excited to show the externally earless goat because of her stellar show ring behavior, but he has his reservations about the state fair as well.

“I want to just go, sit with my goat, get away from my little sister. I don’t do much up there. I do like to let everybody see my goat and give her loving attention,” he said. “I like just being up there and giving the experience to people who live in the Cities what it’s like to have an animal. It teaches you responsibility.”

He countered, “I’m not looking forward to people asking why I cut her ears off…she’s a La Mancha, and La Manchas don’t have ears.”

The show ring is where he — if not his goat — gets nervous. “It does help to get up there and de-stress after the show,” Drogemuller said. “Until then, I’m stressed out, but after the show is done, I’m de-stressed and I go hang out in the barn.”

Drogemuller certainly plans to spend his time hanging out in the goat barn with his goat, and maybe he’ll venture off to the cooking contest if he’s got enough people to go with him.

“I’m also doing the cook-off if I can get a team together.” That shouldn’t be too difficult, because, he noted, “The fair’s an amazing experience. And it’s an easy way to make new friends and meet new people. I make at least 30 new friends each year.”