Home > Dispatches > Daily Dispatches 2018 >Daily Dispatch #239

August 28, 2018: Goat Milking Contest: Recycling Versus Security

If you told me a year ago, when I was watching the goat milking contest, that this year, I’d be one of the competitors, I’d have been incredulous. Both the amateurs and the pros looked like they knew what they were doing. I, who at the time was milking one goat, never felt like I knew what I was doing.

But there I was, smack dab in the middle of the Pebble Corral, watching as my pail filled with milk, sort of.

It was as I was working on a chapter in When you Come to a Fork in the Road, Pick it Up, and interviewing Suzy Crosby, that we determined that there should be a recycling team. Three weeks ago, I realized that I was going to have to be the one to put the team together. This was

Elsa and Matty

difficult because recycler/goat milkers are hard to find. Pete was a logical choice, but he had a conflict – it was his first day of class.

I determined that Mollie Boyer should be the coach because she’s a visible recycling presence. Then I drew a blank in coming up with two more milkers. I acted upon Pete’s suggestion, that we enlist Jennifer Charvet, who ended up with Teslin, Peaches’ female offspring. And Jennifer enlisted her mother, who was one of the original Buffalo Mine area homesteaders. And there was me. None of us were ringers – we had SOME milking experience, but not a lot.

We won handily because we both had a strategy and got lucky. All the team members were to choose one goat, and milk that goat, one at a time. All total, the teams had twenty minutes each to get the group supply of milk. The winner was the group with the highest weight milk in the bucket at the end of the competition.

Our strategy was to have Jennifer, our best milker, go first, me go second, and Jennifer’s mom go third. Molly, our coach, kept track of time for us. Jennifer immediately put us in the lead, by milking fast and efficiently. I, who was second, had a lot of time, which was good because first of all I was slow, and secondly, my goat Anna had a big udder but small teats. Jennifer’s mom (who had the least amount of time) went last. The latter decision was fortuitous because Jennifer’s mom turned out to be a faster milker than me.

We also got lucky with our goat choices. I did not get a chance to ask Jennifer or Jennifer’s mom why they picked the goats they did. Me, I chose Anna because she seemed to me to have the biggest udder. Turns out she was very feisty and I had a hard time keeping her off the stand while Jennifer was milking her goat. When this happened I realized that she had probably already begun to let down her milk.

Our opposition – being security, they were all large individuals. It was quite the contrast, they were wearing their dark blue uniforms and we were wearing our different colored hard hats and lime green recycling vests.

There was a good sized crowd there, most sitting in the corral bleachers – and we recyclers were cheered on by our own. And Wayne, the announcer, who came complete with a speaker system, made it all seem real official.

Suzy and company adhered to the rules and they were very precise in how they went about recording and weighing the milk.

Yes, we won. And Jennifer got the individual high point milker award. After, I may have gloated too much. But this was in my mind a major accomplishment. Three small women kicked butt, and we did it in a very professional manner. It was a route – Security’s final tabulation was approximately two pounds of milk and Recycling’s was nine pounds.

This, to me was what was most important. At the Fair, at least, we recycling workers are invisible when doing collection runs, and out of sight when in the sorting area. Conversely, we were a very visible presence at this event. Now those who see us pulling carts will know that ours is a very organized effort, one that is working toward community betterment.

Lastly, the professional milkers milked our goats in what was their own contest. Chelsea’s final tab was approximately nine pounds, and competitor Tabby’s final tab was a whopping eleven pounds.

Next: 240. 8/29/18: A Conversation with Hrimmi and Tinni

Horse Care Home About Us Dispatches Trips Alys's Articles