Raising and showing prize livestock has been a family affair for the Vandivers of Ennis.

Courtney Vandiver, 17, of Ennis saw her champion goat sell for $3,000 during the Ellis County Expo Saturday afternoon.

“Four years ago, when I was a freshman in high school, my goat got grand champion and, four years prior to that, I got a champion reserve,” Courtney said, saying this was her last year to show an animal.

This year was the first year for her sister, Chelsea, 9, to show a goat and their brother, Chase, 13, an eighth-grader at Ennis Junior High School, has shown goats in competition as well.

Parents of Courtney, Chelsea and Chase are Kerry and Karen Vandiver, whose farm is south of Ennis between Alma and Ensign.

“Our kids have done extremely well this year,” Vandiver said in regard to his children’s participation in livestock competition. “They have had some years that were not so good – but this year has been good.”

Because livestock judging is an essential part of the high school Future Farmers of America, Chase has had an interest in it and felt compelled to enter the livestock judging contest Thursday.

“I learned one thing,” Chase said. “I really need to do more research before getting into judging.”

Chase asserted that he would probably be involved in cattle judging later on.

“We are very proud of our children,” Karen Vandiver said. “They have done so well this year – and this has been such a fun week for all of us here at the expo. We get to come out and not only show our animals, but meet up with lots of friends – this is one thing that’s so great about the Ellis County Expo.”

Courtney, who will graduate from Ennis High School this spring, plans to attend Navarro College and transfer to Texas A&M.  

She plans to study to be an orthodontist, while Chelsea cannot decide between being an orthodontist or a doctor.

E-mail Paul at paul.gauntt@wninews.com