Fri | Oct 30, 2020

No kidding around - 11-y-o girl boosts stock with goat prize at Minard

Published:Saturday | November 16, 2019 | 12:19 AMCarl Gilchrist/Gleaner Writer
Eleven-year-old Sonilia McLean holds the goat she caught as a prize at Minard.
Eleven-year-old Sonilia McLean holds the goat she caught as a prize at Minard.

Most preteen students might not have yet decided on a career, but for 11-year-old Sonilia McLean of Beecher Town Primary School in St Ann, fate may have already decided for her.

Already an owner of three goats, the student was one of several who won prizes at the Minard Livestock Show and Beef Festival in Brown’s Town on Thursday.

In scramble, the ever-popular event in which students catch a goat or a calf and get to own it if he or she catches it, Sonilia was one of those who triumphed in the girls’ category – 10 girls and five goats in a ring, catch me and I’m yours.

Sonilia had a goat at home that gave birth to two rams recently, so increasing her stock was at the forefront of her mind when she decided to turn out for the event.

She admitted that it wasn’t easy to catch the ram.

“Mi back him up inna di corner,” she told The Gleaner, sharing that she had plans to rear him to maturity.


Sonilia’s mother, Sonia Martin, who was visiting the show for the first time, said she was elated at her daughter’s success. This was the third time the 11-year-old was attending the event and the first she was victorious. Before Thursday, she had two bucks and one nanny.

Martin has no qualms about young people getting involved in agriculture and has given Sonilia her full backing.

“Agriculture is the best thing right now because you can raise goat, you can raise chicken, all sorts of things. I would recommend her to do agriculture whenever she starts high school,” Martin said.

Meanwhile, grade six teacher Camille Henry, one of several tutors who accompanied the group of 32 students from the school, said it was the third straight that year that a student from Beecher Town Primary was winning the goat scramble.

But there’s one catch. The rule is that the student should donate the first born from the prize goat to the school. She acknowledged that the students would benefit greatly from being at Minard Livestock Show and Beef Festival.

“Being here, they get to find out about the livestock and the different things related to livestock, like the different breed of cattle, and so on. It’s their third year at the event and they are all excited to come and be a part of it, and they look forward to coming every year,” Martin said.