MIAMI COUNTY — While there are usually a few tears as 4-H members go through the sale ring at the Miami County Fair’s annual general livestock sale, there was a pair of girls who cried happy tears after they bonded over a goat named Tucker.
Eryn Oldham, 18, of West Milton, finished her 4-H career on Thursday and will be going to college at Ohio State University’s ATI campus in Wooster. She is the daughter of Tom and Kim Oldham.
She shared how she raised her market wether goat named Tucker from birth to exhibit at the fair last week. Oldham also raised the doe that produced Tucker, one of triplets, but neither the two other babies nor the mother survived after the birth last winter. Oldham shared how she had to bottle feed Tucker from birth, growing more attached to the animal and formed a unique bond throughout the year.
Everly Comer, 4, of Casstown, also happened to fall in love with Tucker in the goat barn during fair week.
Comer’s siblings showed cattle and hogs at the fair. Her mother Missy said Everly insisted on visiting every day with Oldham’s goat that captured her heart in the barn.
“She would talk to this same goat every day,” Missy said. While attending a show in the goat barn, Missy said they watched as Tucker drew attention by sticking his head through the wooden barn slats and crying out during the shows. “Every day we’d walk through the barn and she’d head straight to his pen.”
During the fair’s Beef Fun Day, Missy said her daughter played with the goat for hours. She then noticed it was Oldham’s last year of 4-H and began asking about the teen and the story of Tucker.
“People had the nicest things to say about her so I told my husband (Zach) I was going to try and buy her goat. He thought I was joking,” said Missy with a laugh.
Comer shared how they didn’t know Oldham prior to Thursday’s sale, but have since connected on social media hours after the sale so they can continue to share Tucker’s adventures on their farm.
“When they told me why they bought him because their 4 year-old had been playing with him all week, I cried,” Oldham said. “He’s going to go home to a great family. I’m happy that he’s going to home where there are cows and live with other animals and live out his life. I’m still sad I had to get rid of him, but I’m happy to know he’ll be well taken care of.”
“It was happy tears on both ends,” Missy said. Missy shared how her children plan on taking goat projects to the fair next year, but Tucker will live on their Casstown farm as a pet.
“He will live forever at our house as Everly’s pet — he’s her best friend. Goats must be her thing — he’s a cute little one, too,” she said.
After Missy broke the news to her husband about the new addition to their farm, Missy said Oldham’s relatives then purchased her daughter Ella’s market hog at the sale.
“It was a full circle day for everyone,” she said. While Tucker is adjusting to his new home, both Oldham and the Comer’s know Everly will take care of him each day.
“She’s hand feeding him right now,” Missy said with a laugh.