WEST ELKTON — The children of Stapleton Farms have had a very successful year competing at the Preble County Fair, the Ohio State Fair, the American Boer Goat Association (ABGA) and Junior American Boer Goat Association (JABGA) National Shows.
Zach and Autumn Stapleton are the owners of Stapleton Farms, located just outside of West Elkton. They specialize in ABGA Registered Boer Goat reproduction and sales.
According to Zach Stapleton, “Our goal is to produce high quality, structurally and reproductively sound animals. We want to make the Boer Goat better.”
Boston Stapleton, 8, Haylee McCullough, 15, Zaydn Banks, 11, and Makayla Morris, 15, all spend time working at Stapleton farms.
“Let me tell you, there is always something that needs done. Always a goat that needs washed, clipped, fed, vaccinated, or trained. Countless long nights in the barn waiting on does to kid, these kids are there for it all. It truly takes a village to make a champion,” Zach Stapleton said.
“You can pretty well bet that for each backdrop picture we take that there is a whole other team back at the farm working while we show. Every person on the Stapleton Farms team has to contribute for the program to be successful. We win as a team and we lose as a team, but in the end we stick together.
“I think a big part of what were doing here is teaching the kids life lessons – it’s more than just a goat. These animals teach us about hard work, compassion, responsibility, friendship and loyalty. To be honest, I really can’t think of a better way to teach a young person work ethic than livestock. Point blank, you get out of it what you put into it.”
Boston Stapleton is the daughter of Zach and Autumn Stapleton. She has grown up on the farm with goats, horses, dogs, cats, and rabbits. According to her father, this constant exposure at an early age helped them figure out she is a “born showman.”
“Being from a rural area, there really aren’t as many opportunities to play with other children so Boston [Stapleton] was quick to befriend almost any animal growing up. I’ll never forget looking our the window and seeing her with two bottle baby goats bouncing on the trampoline. I’m confident that she could teach an animal to do anything. She is by far our most natural showman and a fierce competitor,” he said.
Boston Stapleton is not old enough to compete in 4-H, but she is already a National Champion. Stapleton Farm’s competes in the ABGA and JABGA all over the country for most of the year.
This year, they traveled to Grand Island, Nebraska for the ABGA and JABGA Nationals to compete against 2,000 of the best goats and showman in the country.
Boston Stapleton and her buck kid made history by becoming the only team in history to win both the JABGA bred and owned buck show and the JABGA open buck show at only eight years old.
She was also the Junior Division National Grand Champion Showman and Overall Points winner. As part of her prize package she won an Exiss trailer.
Her accomplishments included: Exhibited 2019 JABGA Bred and Owned National Grand Champion Buck, exhibited 2019 JABGA National Grand Champion Buck, exhibited half of the 2019 JABGA National Grand Champion Pair of Buck Kids, 2019 JABGA National Grand Champion Showman Junior Division, and 2019 JABGA Junior Points Champion.
Haylee McCullough is the niece to Zach and Autumn Stapleton. She is a sophomore at Miamisburg high school and is a member of Preble County Livestock 4-H club.
“Haylee [McCullough] has been showing goats for as long as I remember having goats. She is a phenomenal showman and recently took second place in showmanship at The Ohio State Fair! We could not ask for a better role model or mentor for the younger kids,” Zach Stapleton said.
“If anyone ever needs help with exhibiting an animal, we send them herway. She is by far our most experienced Showman.”
Her accomplishments included: Preble County Fair Overall Grand Champion Breeding Doe and Second Place in Breeding Doe Showmanship at Ohio State Fair.
Makayla Morris is the newest addition to the Stapleton Farms Team. She lives in Camden and is a member of Summer Super Livestock and a sophomore at Preble Shawnee.
“From the moment Makayla [Morris] stepped foot on our farm I had no doubt that she was going to be a superstar in the livestock world. Horses, goats, pigs, you name it – Makayla can show them all. I think it’s safe to say that she has more talent in the show ring than just about anyone I’ve ever seen.
“The thing I think I admire the most about [Morris] is that she refuses to be outworked. Which is why her early success wasn’t a huge shock to me. She just gets it. This was her first year showing goats and she made a huge impression.”
Her accomplishments include: Exhibitor of The Ohio State Fair Open Show Overall Grand Champion Breeding Doe, Preble County Fair Goat Showman, Preble County Fair Overall Reserve Champion Breeding doe.
Zaydn Banks is the nephew of Zach and Autumn Stapleton. He attends sixth grade at Highview in Middletown and is a member of Preble County Livestock 4-H Club.
“Banks is the most social and definitely the comic relief of the group. This is his first year in 4-H and he is already turning heads in the show ring. Always eager to put in the work to make himself and his animal better, we think he will be giving the older kids a run for their money here real soon,” Zach Stapleton said.
This year, at the Preble County Fair, he received Intermediate Goat Showman Champion.
Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH