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Arkansas-based Animal Group Big Attraction at County Fair

TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KLIX) – What do you get when you add monster trucks, freestyle motocross and baby goats?

Answer: fun times at the Twin Falls County Fair.

A goat checks greets a camera at the Animal Specialties Petting Farm on Wednesday night at the Twin Falls County Fair (Photo by Andrew Weeks)
A goat greets a camera at the Animal Specialties Petting Farm on Wednesday night at the Twin Falls County Fair (Photo by Andrew Weeks)

There is a lot more to see and do at the fair, of course, but these were some of the highlights on Wednesday, the first day of the 101st annual fair. And while the monster truck rally and freestyle sport were available to see only on Wednesday, the baby goats will be available through Monday.

The five-week-old goats were born in Jackson, Wyo., at the Teton County Fair, said Connie Boger, who with her husband Bunky – known to rodeo fans for the time he spent in that arena – owns Fair Animal Specialties, a Lowell, Ark.-based company that returns to Idaho every year to host the animal petting zoo.

The company has been around for 42 years, traveling the country and promoting agriculture.

The baby goats and potbellied pigs, the latter which are up for sale, are the big draws at the petting zoo this year. That’s good news, Boger said: the little farm animals help get people interested in agriculture.

“If we can plant a little seed in someone to become interested in agriculture, I’ll feel like we’ve accomplished our mission,” she said, noting she believes that happens whenever someone brings home a farm animal or learns more about the important role they play.

Animals, Animals, Animals
Animal Specialties travel the country every year, attending about 20 fairs in many states. This year the group started in Florida and plans to finish in Texas – “if it hasn’t floated away by then,” Boger said.

On Thursday she took half of the animals from the petting zoo to the Bingham County Fair in Blackfoot. After that, and once the Twin Falls County Fair ends, her group will head to two fairs in Washington State.

It is fun, demanding work, but what’s a fair without a petting zoo?

“It’s been pretty busy,” said Linda Reddell, who was manning a booth Wednesday night at the petting farm where visitors could purchase cups of food to feed the animals. “People really like the baby goats.”

Other animals at the petting farm are adult goats, chicks, dairy cows, sheep and yaks.

Melani Gonzalez, 11, pets a goat at the petting farm Wednesday night at the Twin Falls County Fair, while her mom, Reina Gonzalez looks on. (Photo by Andrew Weeks)
Melani Gonzalez, 11, pets a goat at the petting farm Wednesday night at the Twin Falls County Fair, while her mom, Reina Gonzalez looks on. (Photo by Andrew Weeks)

Fun, Family, Tradition
Reddell, who is from Elm Springs, Ark., said this is her first time to Twin Falls and was enjoying the experience and seeing people’s reaction to the kids, especially the reaction from children.

But everyone who visited, no matter their age, seemed to like the baby goats best.

“I like the little goats,” said Buhl resident Reina Gonzalez, who was at the fair with her 11-year-old daughter Melani.

The fair has become somewhat of a tradition for her family, Gonzalez said, and they always enjoy the attractions and food. Barbecue sandwiches and elephant ears are some of her favorites.

What are some things they’d like to see added to the fair? They have a few suggestions.

Melani said it’d be neat to see an ostrich. “And maybe a zebra,” she quickly added.

As for her mom, Gonzalez said she’d like to try bungee jumping at the fair one of these days.

“That would be fun,” she said.

This is the 101st year of the Twin Falls County Fair, an event that has become somewhat of a tradition for Reina Gonzalez and her family. (Photo courtesy of Brayden Weeks)
This is the 101st year of the Twin Falls County Fair, an event that has become somewhat of a tradition for Reina Gonzalez and her family. (Photo courtesy of Brayden Weeks)

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