MN couple awards goat kids to three 4-Hers

ADRIAN, Minn. -- They may be small but they gave off a mighty cry as they were placed into the awaiting arms of their new owners Sunday evening on a farm near Adrian.

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Ann Schieck-Solomon and her husband, Kal, stand behind the three winners in the Nobles County 4-H Great Goat Giveaway. The 4-H'ers holding their new Nigerian Dwarf goats include Claire Hoffman (from left), Mackenzie DeGroot and Torrin Clarke. (Julie Buntjer / Daily Globe)

ADRIAN, Minn. - They may be small but they gave off a mighty cry as they were placed into the awaiting arms of their new owners Sunday evening on a farm near Adrian.

Nigerian Dwarf female goats were awarded to a trio of Nobles County 4-H’ers after the youths wrote essays explaining why they wanted to win a goat, what they hoped to learn, where they would house it and what they would feed it.

Mackenzie DeGroot, Claire Hoffman and Torrin Clarke were all smiles as they held their new, loudly bleating brown and black goat kids for the first time. The goats were gifts from Ann Schieck-Solomon and her husband, Kal, in memory of Ann’s daughter, Shelby Schieck, who was in a car crash five years ago and later died.

“I set aside some money each year to do a scholarship at school for a senior,” Schieck-Solomon told the 4-H’ers. “This year I decided I was going to do something different and since she was such an animal lover, I wanted to, in memory of her, get the goats and share them with you.

“Take them to the fair and show them and just have a good time with them,” she added.


The 4-H’ers selected their goat kid as their name was drawn, with 10-year-old Torrin Clarke, Fulda, getting first choice. He chose the oldest of the three goats - a January-born doe.

Clarke, a member of the Graham Lake Braves 4-H Club and the son of Phil and Kayla Clarke, said he was really happy to win a goat.

“I don’t win a lot of things,” he said.

Clarke, who has sheep at home to keep his new goat company, said he’s shown goats in the past with his cousin, and is looking forward to having his own goat.

“I wrote (in the) letter that I liked animals and I like to be on the farm,” he said.

In preparation of bringing the goat home, he and his family made a pen for the kid and filled it with bedding.

As for a name for his goat, Clarke said, “I was thinking Billy Bob.” That won’t work for a girl, though, so he said, “I’ve got to think of names.”

Claire Hoffman, 11, and a member of the Okabena Bees 4-H Club, said she was so happy to be selected a winner of a goat that she screamed.


“I was really excited,” she said. “I think it will be a fun experience. and I’ve never done it before.”

Hoffman, the daughter of Mike and Erin Hoffman of rural Rushmore, said she’s most looking forward to bonding with the goat.

“As you train it, it will get used to you and maybe come up to you,” she said.

Adding a goat to the family farm will be a change.

“My dad didn’t like it so much,” Hoffman said with a grin, noting that her mom was supportive and helped her write her essay.

Hoffman said she’s thinking of naming her goat “Nugget” because she’s kind of small and “is brownish like a nugget.”

Mackenzie DeGroot, 10, and a member of the Clovers 4-H Club, already has one goat on the farm, so she was looking forward to bringing another goat home.

“I thought it would be fun to show it and take care of it,” she said, adding that she’s thinking of naming her March-born kid - a twin to the kid Hoffman selected - either Sue or Lois.


DeGroot is the daughter of Kim (Corey) Gronewold and Trent DeGroot.

Schieck-Solomon anticipates offering additional goats in the future as she and her husband build up a herd.

“This is good - this makes me happy,” she said, adding that Shelby would “very much approve of this.”

In addition to the goats, Schieck-Solomon provided the 4-H’ers with books about Nigerian Dwarfs and notes about how to care for them. She worked with Katie Klosterbuer, Nobles County 4-H Program Coordinator, to make the Great Goat Giveaway a success.

Klosterbuer said she is so appreciative of the donation, which will build interest in the goat program and provide hands-on learning for 4-H members. Seven essays were received.

“I’m just so thankful for the opportunities for the kids,” she said. “Hands-on learning is the most beneficial for youth.”


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