Show Time:Kade Plattner
"I really like the Missouri State Fair, because I get to eat funnel cakes. That's the really cool part ... that and fried Oreos," Marshall High School junior Kade Plattner said.
He loves to devour treats at the fair almost as much as he loves showing livestock. He's been an avid livestock showman since the age of 3. His parents, Randy and Anna Plattner, of Marshall, gave him his first yearling heifer, which is what sparked his interest in agriculture.
Showing livestock has had a positive effect in other areas of Kade's life, he said.
"It teaches me a lot of responsibility of what needs to get done, timing and preparedness," Plattner said.
Learning to juggle multiple schedules has become normal for him. He keeps busy throughout the school year with football and basketball and holds the title of vice president in the Marshall FFA chapter.
Plattner started out showing cattle but made the decision to start exhibiting goats approximately 10 years ago.
"I wanted to mix it up. My sister is smaller and we wanted to get something that was more for her size, so we got goats," Plattner said.
He will bring six to nine of his boer goats to the Saline County Fair and possibly a few of his dairy goats. The American Boer Goat Association website states that "boer" comes from the Dutch word meaning "farmer." It is a meat goat with lop ears and is a horned breed. Plattner's goats range in age from 3-36 months and older. He has purchased a few animals but a handful of his younger goats were home raised.
Plattner had a few things to consider before bringing his goats home for the first time. Providing adequate shelter and pasture ground was essential. Investing in a feed company that would provide him with top ingredients was very important. Talking with others who have raised show goats was another key to his success.
"Talking with people who have animals gives you that background knowledge because they have so many more years experience than you. They just give you little hints and tricks," Plattner explained. "It's nice to have those contacts because you'll never know when something's going to happen."
Plattner is making preparations for his upcoming fairs and shows. He gets a rotation planned when it comes to washing his boers.
"When it comes to fair time, we might 'foof' them up a little bit, you know, give them what we call 'shave it,' but basically give them like a haircut," said Plattner.
A garden hose, bucket, rubber scrubber, shampoo and conditioner are the necessities for washing his goats. It seems as though Plattner has found one trick that will not only bring in blue ribbons for his animals, but it also works for ladies as well.
"I've found that Moroccan Oil infusion is wonderful. It makes your hair really soft and easy if you want to work with it. I even wash with this," he chuckled. "All the girls like it at school."
Along with the Moroccan Oil infusion shampoo trick, he has picked up some other hints from his time in the show world. He is willing to share these tips with younger showmen.
"I ain't going to be able to show forever, so you might as well pass it down to the younger generations," Plattner said. Youth from other FFA chapters have purchased goats from his herd to start their show career.
"It's actually cool to see because you'll go to their fairs and you see them do well, so it's a really cool experience."
He doesn't show livestock for the blue-ribbons or the funnel cakes at the state fair. He does it because he likes the challenge it presents, he said.
"Showing is to show everybody else your quality of animal. You can even put the best work into an animal and it might not win, but that doesn't mean you give up on it. You just gotta keep working," Plattner remarked.
"There's always something new to do everyday." His motto: "my actions speak louder than my words." He lets his showmanship do the talking. This allows him to focus on what he needs to do to improve himself or his animals.
If you're looking for Plattner at the Missouri State Fair, you'll most likely find him with a funnel cake in one hand, and his special Moroccan Oil Infusion shampoo in the other.